Snails killing my outdoor water lily leaves

Asked July 15, 2017, 8:38 PM EDT

Some type of snail is in my outdoor, 500 gal pond. They are eating small holes and edges of my plants. Water lilies and floating plants. We don't put fish in our pond because frogs lay eggs in it from our stream. The snails are multiplying. How can we kill them?

Carroll County Maryland

1 Response

Did your snails come in on a plant? In that case they may not be able to survive over the winter. If they came in from the environment, they may be hardy.

We do not recommend toxic chemicals because it may harm your plants and also any living organisms that have established in the water, including tadpoles. Also, if a large number of snails die all at once, they release a lot of ammonia and nitrite when they decompose.

Manually remove those you can. You can also use lettuce, kale, or de-seeded cucumbers as a bait. Place in the pond during the day and remove a few hours after dark--they should be covered with snails.

Some snail feeding on plants by native snails should be tolerated.

Photos of the feeding damage may help us pinpoint other feeders.