Asked May 27, 2014, 8:25 PM EDT

Over the past several years the number of snails in my yard have increased geometrically. Today I find over 100 visible on one boxwood shrub. Many others similar. Seems to be only at my house, neighbors do not have problem. How can I control them? thanks, Jeff

Oakland County Michigan

3 Responses

The first question is: are the snails causing some kind of damage that you are finding? The boxwoods are winter damage.

Snails are not as common of a problem as slugs are. In a few rare cases, someone in a neighborhood has tried to raise snails and their escargot herd ran away. Snails might feed on leaves or fungi and a variety of other plants, usually live ones. But, with the exception of greenhouses, no one in Michigan has ever had noticeable snail damage.

Snails, like their relatives, slugs, usually prefer damp areas to live. You might look at your environment in the yard and see if there is some way to make it less inviting. Or you might try a slug bait and see if your snails are interested in being poisoned.

Gretchen, thanks for the reply! No, I do not see damage by the snails, the boxwood was simply an example and I found it odd that the snails over ran the dead section and did not climb into the green section. I have snails everywhere, as I walked on the deck this morning I smashed a couple dozen under my feet. They are in the shrubs, in the mulch, in the grass. This spring (still cold) I was weeding and found a nest of them in an 8 inch diameter area around the base of a mum - 20 to 30. From what I can see on the net, these breed of snail is not indigeonous (sp) to the area. I guess I will try some slug stuff. thanks, Jeff

Good luck. Your problem is not common. I still think that someone in the area decided to raise their own escargot. At least it would be unusual to have them create much in the way of damage.