Are your garden and aquarium littered with countless snail eggs? Do you have sleepless nights over the sight of them?
Snail eggs typically appear like spotted brownish-grey, jelly-like bundles on the soil surface. A similar sight is possible inside your aquarium.
Worry not as we look into some easy ways to get rid of them.
How to Identify Snail Eggs?
Mollusks (slugs and snails) fall under hermaphrodites and lay eggs after mating occurs within their kind. A snail can lay about eighty eggs at once six times a year.
Snail Eggs On Ground Surface
These eggs are coated with a slimy substance and lack a definite shape though you could say they are round. They appear jelly-like and are typically found under surrounding rocks.
You may not spot them quickly because of litter or debris on the ground surface.
Snail Eggs In Aquarium
Snail eggs are usually in a clutch held together by a transparent sac in an aquarium. They appear like tiny jelly bubbles with some snail species eggs having color.
After fertilization, the eggs develop a dark spot coloration within a short period. Infertile clutches produce a distinctive smell within 3 – 4 weeks.
How To Get Rid Of Snail Eggs In Garden?
This section highlights the measures you should take to get rid of snail eggs in your garden.
Timely intervention is vital as a large snail population can severely damage your fruit or vegetable crops.
1. Use A Soapy Or Salty Water Solution
Salt and soap act as natural poisons to slugs and snails. Pouring a solution on tiny larvae dehydrates them by absorbing water from their bodies.
The solution also destroys unhatched eggs.
2. Handpick The Eggs From The Garden
Firm up your courage and handpick the tiny eggs from your garden. You can wear latex gloves or use tweezers when grabbing them. Never handpick them with bare hands.
Look out for them in their usual hiding places, such as under plant leaves, the topsoil, debris, and the surrounding environment.
Once captured, place the eggs in a covered container and dispose of them.
Mollusks are nocturnal, which means they are more active during the night. Thus, collecting their eggs is ideal during the day after mating during the night.
3. Use Chicken, Ducks, And Other Natural Predators
A surefire way to control the snail population and their eggs is to introduce their natural predators.
Apart from the chicken and ducks, snails have many other predators such as rats, snakes, and toads.
However, ensure to protect your plants from the collateral damage the predators bring. Domesticated fowl have the habit of feeding on plant seedlings as well.
4. Solarizing The Soil
Soil solarization is a nonchemical technique efficient in getting rid of snail eggs. It involves using a plastic tarp to capture the sun’s radiant energy.
Lay the plastic tarp on soil for about four to six weeks during hot sunlight. It traps the heat from the sunlight in soil, heating 12 -18 inches of topsoil soil.
The rising temperatures prove lethal to the eggs.
Turning the soil during shallow cultivation also exposes the eggs to sunlight, neutralizing them in the process.
5. Get Rid Of Weeds And Debris
Weeds and debris in your garden provide hiding spots to mollusks from the heat of the sun. This also encourages them to lay eggs.
This will rob the snails of their perfect breeding grounds.
Also, be on the lookout for the eggs under tree barks. Collect and dispose of them.
6. Plant Snail Resistant Plants
As highlighted above, snails love to find shelter under plant foliage. They usually chew off beans, lettuce, dahlia, cabbage, marigolds, hosta, delphinium, and several vegetable plants.
However, some plants such as rosemary, sage, and lavender are not that attractive because of their scent. Planting them will deter snails from making your garden a habitable ground for laying eggs.
Other plants you can grow to deter them include hydrangea, California Poppy, ferns, and lantana.
How To Get Rid Of Snail Eggs In Aquarium?
A scarce snail population in a freshwater aquarium should be no cause for alarm. Snails can also be a food source for certain fish species. They also turn the substrate and help control the algae population in the tank.
However, a rising snail population is undoubtedly a matter of concern. These pests chew off aquarium plants, rendering them lifeless.
This, in turn, disturbs the whole aquatic ecosystem, including the fish and other living beings. The snails can clog your water filters as well.
When you no longer can stand the sight of these troublemakers, use the steps below to get rid of them.
1. Introduce Natural Predators In The Aquarium
You could add natural predators to your tank to control the snail eggs menace. Some fish species, such as bettas, loaches, and catfish, consume snail eggs.
This is one of the best natural and chemical-free control methods.
2. Use Bait To Lure Them
Snails typically lay eggs on the leaves of the plant they love. You could use several vegetable plants such as cabbage lettuce in your aquarium to lure them.
Get rid of them and their eggs by picking them up with tweezers or gloves.
3. Remove The Eggs Manually
Do you have a thin plastic card lying around, such as a defunct credit card? This would be the best tool to use.
Scrape the eggs gently of your aquarium plants or glass wall using the card.
If the eggs are embedded deep inside the substrate, use a siphon and channel them to a container or a bucket.
4. Remove Attached Plants
Another way to get rid of the eggs is to remove items such as plants and decorations inside the aquarium that the eggs are attached to.
Quarantine and disinfect these plants and objects before putting them back in the aquarium.
How To Dispose Of Snail Eggs?
There are humane ways to get rid of snail eggs in your aquarium without destroying them.
You want to keep them as far as possible from your garden to avoid a re-infestation. Some ways you can dispose of the eggs include:
- Let them dry out in a sealed container like a coffee tin.
- Keep the snail eggs under cold temperatures for 24 hours, preferably in a freezer.
A scarce population of snails in your aquarium is beneficial for reasons such as algae control and turning the substrate. They also consume decaying matter in your garden, recycling nutrients in the process.
However, a large infestation in the garden and the aquarium can damage plants and disturb the ecological balance.
The solutions listed above are well proven and will enable you to maintain a healthy garden and a beautiful aquarium.