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SNAILS!!!

Discussion in 'Issues, Disease and Pests' started by Kipper, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. Kipper

    Kipper CoffeeCoffeeCoffee... Supporting Member

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    O.K. Found the first signs of snails in the greenhouse this morning and thought I would ask for everyone's favorite way of dealing with (KILLING) these sweet little critters. I don't want to be nice and try to 'discourage them', I want them gone........ Thanks for any suggestions. Kipper
     
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  2. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If they are the traditional garden snails then any of the commercial snail bait will work. If you are talking about bush snails then that is a different issue. For bush snails do a search here on the forum and you will see all kinds of opinions and solutions. Good luck.
     
  3. Dave The Scientist

    Dave The Scientist Active Member

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    I have had good luck with lukewarm coffee for bush snails. I just pour it over the potting media.
     
  4. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Kip, try Sevin wettable powder (carbaryl). It works well on slugs and snails. I was using liquid metaldehyde (25% Slugfest) but you have to let the plants dry enough to kill the snails and I can't let most of my plants get dry for very long. Spreading metaldehyde granules under the benches can slow them down. You can also spread Sluggo around the periphery of the greenhouse.
     
  5. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Caffeine could kill them, but it requires quite high concentration according to a scientific paper. At the concentration (1% caffeine), it killed a lot of my orchids, so I wouldn't recommend it (and it didn't eliminate the bush snails). It is surprising to hear that people say that it works at a very low concentration.

    After recommendation from Marni, I tried Sevin, and it seems to be effective. But it doesn't achieve the complete elimination (Marni mentioned this, too).

    I also tried tank-mixing Sevin, Physan 20 and Neem oil. The first 2 acts on the different aspects of snails, and Neem was shown to make the snail more hungry. So they get exposed to the toxin (snails move around instead of staying in the shell). I also tried Sevin + liquid Deadline (metaldehyde) + Neem. Some molluscicide combines carbaryl and metaldehyde. But liquid deadline is pretty messy to spray, so I quit using it.

    Marni, have you tried Metaldehyde (deadline M-Ps) and/or sluggo pellets in the pots (instead of on the bench)? No toxicity to plants?

    Also I wonder if anyone tried Orthene (acephate). Angela (abax), who used to be here long time ago, mentioned that it works. I looked for scientific literature, and there hasn't been any info about this as a molluscicide. However, by looking at how it acts on insects (neurotoxin), I can see a possibility that it could work against snails. Phytotoxicicity is supposed to be low.
     
  6. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Naoki, if you mixed Neem Oil in with the Sevin, that could be why it isn't washing off easily.

    I have sprayed with 25% metaldehyde (SlugFest) and Sevin, but metaldehyde only stuns the snails and you have to let the plants dry so they desiccate. I've given up on the liquid metaldehyde since the drying does more damage to plants than I'm willing to put up with. I used to use Orthene years ago and never noticed any action on snails. That doesn't mean it didn't, just none that I noticed. I've also never heard Orthene sugggested.

    I have tried the M-P deadline pellets, but they have an attractant that becomes moldy with time. All of the products with attractants will mold and if lodged in a crown of a plant can do a lot of damage. 7% metaldehyde granules (no attractant) are available and I used to use a $10 seed spreader and broadcast over the plants. It works, but some plants (Promenaea in particular) will get bleach spots where it lands. It is great under the benches.

    Sluggo does work and I sprinkle it outside the greenhouses so it stops them before they get in.

    When I am applying a molluscicide, I water everything heavily in the morning so that the they have a nice wet environment that will encourage them to get on the move. As soon as the afternoon cools down to a comfortable temperature I spray. That way they have all night to move around.

    As far as I can tell this isn't a war I am going to win. I just take joy when I win a skirmish. But they'll be back.
     
  7. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, Marni. I recently ran out of Neem (it's kind of expensive to use it for drenching), but the residue might be from the time with Neem. I'll experiment with it.

    I did try my first Orthene last night, so I'll see how it goes with it and Sevin alternately used.

    I think liquid Slug Fest is discontinued, and I couldn't find it anywhere. Is 7% metaldehyde granules Durham 7.5%? Is it still available? I tried to look for it, but I haven't located it. Since bush snails are not attracted by the attractants, the one without it sounds better.

    It is interesting that Sluggo works. Hollingsworth paper mentioned that it didn't work, so they didn't see any lethality from it. I heard another person said that Sluggo has some effects, so I should give it a try.

    You are probably right that we can't beat them. I'm trying to breed the snails in a container so that I can do some experiments. But surprisingly, it isn't easy to grow (they don't multiply quickly). Weird...
     
  8. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Naoki, Yes, Durham is the product I was talking about. It looks as if Slugfest is still available in the US. Slug FestĀ® All Weather Formula - OrCal Inc. Whether metaldehyde is approved for use in Alaska is another question.
     
  9. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    Anyone know where it can be purchased?
     
  10. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the link, Marni. I'm also trying to find the place to get them. I contacted Or-Cal, and they said they sell them to Ag distributors such as Wilbur Ellis, Simplot, Helena and Crop Production Services. I contacted all 4 (no reply yet), but I have a feeling that they won't sell it to individuals. For Durham, Amvac seems to have two products; Duhram Ornamental 7.5 (link) and Durham Metaldehyde Granules 7.5 (link). It's the same company who makes Deadline M-Ps. Ray, you used to sell M-Ps, do you have a lead on finding Durham?
     
  11. Gregg Zollinger

    Gregg Zollinger Active Member

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    Leave it to a scientist to start breeding the snails so he can figure out what best to kill them with. That is a great idea Naoki!
     
  12. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Naoki, it is the Durham granules that I get.
     
  13. e-spice

    e-spice Member

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    I have a isolated group of plants that has some bush snails in the medium. They mostly grown semi-hydroponically, using lightweight clay aggregate (LECA) as medium. I had an some of these snails in the past and used a 1% caffeine spray which really did a good job eliminating the snails but almost eliminated the orchids too. It really stunted root and plant growth about a year and killed a few plants. I've heard about hosta growers using an ammonia solution to get rid of slugs and snails.

    Doing a few experiments, a 10% ammonia solution kills the small snails on contact. I wonder what effect it would have if I saturated the top medium of the affected orchids with 10% ammonia and then rinsed with water in 30 minutes or so? Has anyone tried something like this before or care to share your thoughts on this approach?
     
  14. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've not heard or tried ammonia. I suspect the plants aren't going to like it. I would try it on something I don't care if I loose and see what happens.
     
  15. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Interesting, e-spice. Was it a quick kill with 10% ammonium (liquid)? Sometime, those bastards look dead after the initial exposure, but after a couple days, they start to move again. So after you expose them, it is better to keep them in a container, and see if they move.

    Ammonium is a nutrient for plants, but at a higher concentration, it becomes phytotoxic. I don't know at what concentration, though.

    Currently, I'm using overdosed metaldehyde granules. I can't get the higher concentration granules, so I'm using the lower concentration version. I give lots of granules per pot (10 granules or so per 2.25" square pot, I think). Bush snails are not attracted to these as the bait (according to a scientific paper), but I think the leached out metaldehyde can keep the snail population low. Even though it is higher than the recommended dosage, I haven't seen any toxicity to plants (mold starts to grow, but plants aren't bothered by them, neither). For the mount, I have to use Sevin. It doesn't give residues by itself (as Marni mentioned), but I think the residue problem I mentioned above is actually from mixing Sevin with Physan 20.
     
  16. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Where what can be purchased?
     
  17. Chuck-NH

    Chuck-NH Well-Known Member

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    Hi All,

    Been on the road traveling again so limited time to converse on the forum. From my scatter the granules approach, I have found less success of late with any type of the "store brand bait", whether metaldehyde or other formulations for slugs or snails. I have tried overdosing with a barrier around the plant as Naoki suggests with better success...although a few super slugs just go right across and still get those precious Masdevallia blooms. I have just purchased (online), a gallon of the Orcal Slugfest. A friend of mine swears by it as very effective against the bush snails as well as slugs. He does not dry out his plants as has been mentioned in earlier posts. Will post whether successful or not.
     
  18. e-spice

    e-spice Member

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    Thanks to everyone for replying.

    naoki - Yes, it kills them on direct contact at 10%. On multiple occasions I've observed them for several days and they never moved at all or came out of their shell. It may kill them at less of a concentration, I'll try 5% the next time I catch one. See here for some hosta grower discussion: Hostas:Talk me into the ammonia thing... They discuss saturating the soil with the solution and that's why I started wondering about that with orchids and bush snails.

    e-spice
     
  19. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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  20. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It is registered in California so I get it at a nearby agricultural supply house.