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Snails and slugs are two very similar creatures that belong to the family of Gastropods. These mollusks look very much the same and they are very closely related the only difference being that one has a shell on its body while the other one doesn’t. Most people believe that slugs don’t have a shell because they can’t see it. This is far from being true. Slugs were at some point creatures with shells just like snails. In time, evolution helped them develop an internal shell that replaced the external one, which enabled them to travel considerably faster.
Snails can be found on land, in saltwater but also in freshwater, and occupy basically all places around the world. Currently, there are more than 150,000 different species of snails on the planet. This is why, especially in stormy weather, you will find snails regardless of where you are. Many pet lovers like to grow snails, regardless of whether they are aquatic or terrestrial creatures.
Snails are considered good pets but if you don’t need them as pets they can be a real pest (especially for gardening enthusiasts). If you want to grow different plants or flowers in your backyard, then it won’t take long before you start hating snails. Although they are small and look like they don’t pose any danger, they are known to almost destroy whole gardens, eating the leaves off of vegetables and plants and leaving them lifeless.
This is why most gardeners try to get rid of these pesky creatures as soon as they appear. It is the only way to make sure that they don’t wreak havoc all around the garden. Garden lovers have a way of knowing when their gardens have been frequented by snails. This is done by tracking their poops on plants.
Do snails poop?
Yes, snails will poop, just like any other animal would do. Their poop looks like a string and is pretty small, but it will get even smaller when it will dry up. It doesn’t have a fixed color as it will depend mostly on what these mollusks eat.
The most common places where they poop are either directly on the mud or on the leaves of plants they eat. You will know that a snail has been around your garden if you notice a few dry, C-shaped things lying around.
It might seem that this is all I can say about snail poop, but I do have some other interesting pieces of info. In the part below I will help you better identify snail poop and talk about how to remove both the mollusks and their poops from your garden.
What do snails like to eat?
Learning more about what mollusks like to eat in general will also help you understand what snail poop will look like and why.
Most species of snails will be 100% herbivores. This means that their whole diet will be made exclusively of living, healthy plants.
When left in the wild, a snail will eat fruits, mushrooms, leaves, and vegetables. They will only feed on decaying plans when they can’t find healthy, living ones. They also like to eat chalk from different types of rocks. This is because they need all the calcium they can get to keep their shells strong.
There are a few species of snail that are carnivores and a few that are omnivores, but these are very rare.
Because the poop of a snail will be influenced mostly by what it eats, the snails you’re likely to find in your garden will have a faded green poop. If a snail has been eating out of our pumpkin garden, its poop will have a shade of orange.
How do snails poop?
There are actually people that think that snails can poop out of their heads while others think that these creatures use their mouths to defecate. This is as far from the truth as possible but there is a reason for this misunderstanding.
Snails have their bottoms inside the shell which only opens up in a cavity next to their mantle. This means that all of their poop will go inside their shells. When at some point the poop slips out of their shell it will be very close to their face, which makes a lot of people think that they poop through their heads.
What should snail poop look like?
It’s very easy to miss snail poop, especially if you never looked for it in the past. It is small in size and it can easily blend with dust or dirt, which makes it almost invisible to the naked eye.
If you look really close you will notice that this poop looks like the letter C because its ends are curling up. It will have a brighter shade when fresh and wet but will become paler when dry. It should be stringy and very thin.
The two factors that will give the snail poop its color are the color of the shell and the food they eat.
It’s not really clear why there is such a strong connection between the color of the snail’s shell and its poop, but snails with brown shells will usually have brown poops, while those with red shells will usually leave a reddish poop.
Where should you look for snail poop?
Snails will poop almost anywhere they go. They are creatures that can’t really hold their poop so they will go anywhere they feel like.
Even if they poop on the spot, it will take a while for the poop to get out of their shell, so the poop you see is probably older than you think. Most often when a garden is infested with snails, you will find their poop on plant leaves. When held in captivity they will prefer to poop on the walls of the aquarium and not on plants.
Do snails urinate?
Most people have conflicting information on whether snails urinate or not. Some individuals consider that snails poop and pee at the same time, which is why their poop is very liquid, while others think that snails never pee.
There are a few that even think that while peeing, the snails would release a sticky, white substance. Although even experts have a hard time figuring out how a snail pees, none of the theories can be supported by real evidence.
Is snail poop toxic?
It took me quite some time to do proper research on this question but it turns out that snail poop contains nothing toxic for us, humans. This is mostly due to the fact that most snails you will ever see are herbivores.
No study has ever come across a fluid or chemical specific to snails and their bodies that could be harmful to people. And up to this point no human has even been infected with any illness from snail poop.
Even though you will probably be fine if you touch snail poop, I can’t imagine it being a positive experience, so I still recommend that you use gloves and try to cover your mouth and nose when getting rid of the pop. Even though it is very thin and small, you should try to remember that it is still poop from a creature. You should always try to stay safe.
Keeping your garden safe from snails?
If you’re afraid that snails might damage your garden then I think I have a couple of tips that would help you get rid of these pesky mollusks.
Below are some common remedies tried and tested by gardeners themselves that you can use to get rid of snails:
- A good thing to remember is that snails really hate the dry texture of sand. An easy way to make sure that snails won’t get into your garden is to make sand circles around it.
- A second protection measure is to put a layer of pistachio nut shells all around the plants you want to keep protected from snails. These types of nut shells are both sharp and salty, two of the properties that make snails run (at their own speed, of course). These shells will decompose, become manure and actually help the plant, so you don’t have to remove them at any point.
How do I find out whether a snail is dead or not?
Sometimes snails like to play dead and on occasions, it can last for days. However, Usually, you can consider a snail to be dead if it’s not moving for a few consecutive days or if he sits outside of his shell. You will also be able to find out whether a particular snail is dead by giving it a sniff. Dead snails have a really bad smell on them.
Is it natural for snails to have holes in their shell?
As a general rule, snails should not have any holes in their shell. Most of the time, if a snail has holes in its shell, this probably happened from a deficiency of calcium or an accident.
It is a clear fact that snails do poop, even though we can’t know for sure just yet if they also pee. You can easily miss snail poop in your yard if it gets mixed in dust or dirt, especially due to its smaller size. However, if you see a stringy, dry and small thing that seems to be curving like the letter “C”, then it is probably snail poop.