Maybe other gardeners don't bother much about the slugs and snails in their garden. It depends mainly on what you are growing as to whether you will notice their feeding habits. They love vegetables, so those tender seedlings are first and foremost on their menu. But they also love the flowers of the blackfoot daisies as well as seedlings of larkspur and many other annuals-but not nigella (love-in-a-mist). If I sow some seeds directly in the ground I will never see a single plant, so if you ever wonder why a packet of seeds never germinates the snail may be your culprit. The only defense is to cull their numbers dramatically.
I have been out hand picking and have already done away with hundreds. It worries me a little that a new snail has appeared this year... this tiny round one. I am not sure yet if they are just babies but they are more difficult to spot in the gravel and I am not going to let them multiply into great numbers.
The more common ones for me are the decollate snails. When they first appear their shells are complete but wear and tear breaks off the tip.
In the gravel they try to bury themselves but that broken off tips is easy to spot.
They gather in large numbers underneath the blackfoot daisies and can shred the flowers overnight.
There are many suggestions for dealing with slugs and snails. Hand picking takes time but is well rewarded. Small containers of beer partly buried in the ground works well. Empty grapefruit halves turned upside down and left overnight will bring them running as well as the pill bugs. Carrot peelings placed under the shelter of a plant will attract them but you have to remember to remove the snails in the early morning before they return to their shelter.
Using baits is the easy way. Sluggo or Sluggo Plus, both certified for use in organic gardens, work really well. The Plus formula also eliminates other pests such as earwigs, pill bugs, army worms and cutworms. But I prefer not to wipe out everything in the garden just to control their numbers we have a reasonable balance.
On to the next pest of the moment. Caterpillars on my vegetables. These little devils have been making lacework out of my curly kale. I have been feeding them to the little fish in my stock tank pond. Talk about piraña activity when I drop them in.
I could spray with Bt but that involves making it up. Just easier to pick them off.
I didn't even notice the nymphs of the leaf footed bugs on the peppers until I looked at the photograph. You can just see them on the largest pepper. I thought they left with the tomatoes.