Chili peppers and snails
[No, this is not a chili recipe with snails]
When you've decided to put your chillies in the open air to enjoy the soothing sun than it is possible that they are attacked by ravenous snails. These molluscs (Molusca) are able to apply significant damage to the crop, within a short time.
Snails have a preference for young delicate leaves, but because snails can't climb that well, the lower part of a chili pepper plant is often the snail's target. That the damage was caused by snails can be seen in most cases by the slimy trail they leave behind.
How can we prevent or limit damage to the chilli plants? There are a number of methods, which can be successful by greater or lesser extent.
The battle plan
- Snails are most active an hour or two after sunset. Try to to intercept and permanently remove the snails on their way their meal.
- Snails do not like difficult and irregular surfaces and will try to avoid these. Gravel and grit around the chilli plants would provide a good barrier. Also you can try to put the chili plants on a raised platform.
- A wildlife friendly garden also attracts animals which have snails on their menu. Especially birds like snails.
- Snail traps are also a creative way to battle snails. Dig a few plastic cups in the ground and fill it halfway with beer. The smell of beer is irresistible for snails, they will climb to the top of the bowl and drown. The advice is about a cup per square meter.
- If you plant in pots, you can put copper tape around a pot. This tape will stop the snails on their journey to the plants.
- In desperation? Nothing helps? Use slug pellets.