Now that rainy season is upon us, the snails will be coming out on a regular basis. We all know what a huge headache snails can be, especially those of us who are also home gardeners. While you can always use the method of personally plucking them from your plant (or moving them off the walkway so you don’t step on them), most people are grossed out by the thought of touching slimy snails. The other solution is snail bait. Commercially produced snail baits are usually effective, but they also contain harmful poisons. Other store bought products also cost money, which you can easily save by concocting your own snail bait. It’s non-toxic and uses recycled waste materials, which is an all-around win-win situation.
- Utility Knife
- Cantaloupe (or some kind of melon)
- Kitchen Shears or Sharp Knife
1. Cut the Cardboard.
You’ll want to cut your cardboard into an 8” x 8” square. Do this with the utility knife and set aside.
2. Scoop Out the Cantaloupe.
Cut the cantaloupe in half and scoop out the middle. (Go ahead and enjoy the fruit.) Set the rind aside. This is the part you will be using.
3. Cut a Doorway into the Rind.
Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife cut a doorway into your cantaloupe rind, approximately the size of a lemon wedge. This will allow the snails’ easy entrance into your trap.
4. Set up Your Trap.
Set the cardboard square in your garden area in the late afternoon (before dark.) Set the cantaloupe rind (cut side down) on top of the cardboard. The fruit will attract snails and slugs, who will crawl inside the rind to escape the sunlight, and will remain inside overnight.
5. Dispose of the Snails.
Take a plastic bag out to your garden early in the morning. Lift the entire trap (melon rind and cardboard) and dump into the plastic bag. (You may wish to lift the melon rind beforehand and examine how many snails and slugs your trap has captured- this is entirely up to you.) Dispose of the plastic bag in the trash.
Make a new trap and repeat on a daily basis for about a week. The number of snails in your garden will be reduced significantly (or wiped out completely.) After the first week, continue to set and change out the trap on a weekly basis.
Snails can definitely be a pain in the neck, especially when they start nibbling away on the plants in your garden, but if you follow these easy tips and create your own snail trap, you can dramatically reduce their numbers and the damage they incur. Remember, this DIY snail trap is nontoxic, it uses recycled waste materials, and it’s super easy to make. Do yourself and your garden a favor and at least try this method of baiting snails before spending your money on poisonous snail repellents or the pest control company.