The Decollate Snail - your choice predator for the Garden Snail
The Decollate Snail always wins!
These snails, also called the Killer Snail, will prey on the eggs and young of the Brown Garden Snail, Helix aspersa. It is not an active predator, stalking down its prey and then pouncing on them like a panther. No. It's a snail, okay?
The Decollate Snail mostly just goes about its business of feeding on decaying plant material, digging down to lay their eggs, and generally doing snail like things. When they come across a small Garden Snail or some of their eggs, it will attack and devour the prey, albeit at a snail's pace.
Over a period of 2 to 5 years the Decollate Snail builds in numbers until it reaches approximately equals those of the pest snail. Once this happens the pest snail quickly declines until they become very hard to find. The Decollate Snail continues to break down decaying plant matter and picking off any pest snails that wander in. In this way, the Decollate provides permanent control of the pest (I wish they were all this easy!)
The biology and habits of the Decollate Snail
The Decollates are mature when they reach a little over a half inch in length. They are hemaphroditic and require a partner to produce viable eggs. They will lay eggs over most of the year, as long as the soil is moist, the ground is warm enough, and sufficient food is present.
This snail feeds on decaying plant matter, which improves soil fertility, and its tunneling to feed and lay eggs increases soil aeration. They do double duty - pest control and soil improvement. What a bargain!