In a world full of wonderful animals and birds, some small animals also thrive in your garden. According to an estimate, there are about 43,000 species of snails and about 40, 000 species of slugs on land and inside water bodies. Wow! Who knew about their varied and vast species? Well, since we are on the topic today you will get to know about where do snails come from and what do slugs eat, along with where do slugs and snails live.
1. What are Snails and Slugs?
They both belong to the category of mollusks and the main physical difference between them is the shell. Snails possess shells that they keep on changing throughout their lives as they grow while slugs do not have any shells. Some species of slugs may have internal mantles that act like internal shells. These are better known as gastropods where gastro means stomach and pods mean foot. (See What is a Group of Ants called?)
2. What are their Similarities?
Excluding the shell, their physical features are almost the same. They both have tentacles that act like their sense organs for seeing and smelling and protrude from their foreheads and their eyes are on the tips. They have short tentacles that are used for taste and touch. Read more Slug Vs Snail facts here.
3. Where do Snails come from?Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash
Snails are hermaphroditic and reproduce in two different ways depending on their habitats. The water snails transfer their sperm to egg cells using water as a source. Land snails reproduce through mutual copulation. So, where do snails come from? Earlier species of snails originated in shallow waters which is why many species have gills. But with a decreasing water level and water sources, the habitat remaining for snails was muddy water with low oxygen levels. Thus, the development of the lung system took place which enabled them to breathe on land. Also, check out the 15 Types of Snails and Facts about Them.
4. Where do Slugs come from?
Still, wondering about where do slugs and snails live? Slugs lay eggs in early winters and then go into hiding. During the winter months, which can be approximately 5 to 6 months, the eggs hatch, and a slug matures. According to researchers, slugs were snails for some time, but they reduced their shell size. This is possibly the reason that many slugs have an internal shell. They found their way to survive without shells and grew larger compared to snails. (See Where do Animals get Nitrogen from?)
5. Which habitat do Slugs and Snails prefer?
Humid, moist, and warm conditions are their favorite. They are highly populated in regions of the Atlantic Coasts, Pacific coasts, and the United States. But some species of these gastropods can be found in colder regions also. During winter, they go into hiding to protect themselves from freezing to death. (See How Are Slugs and Snails Different?)
6. How does the Snail Shell determine its Location?Photo by Yoline on Unsplash
Snails need calcium to keep their protective shell intact, and they get this from the soil. The stronger the shell, the better it can fight off the harsh climate. Therefore, they reside in areas where there is a good combination of natural soil and climatic conditions. (See I Found a Newt in my Garden What should I Do?)
7. Where do Slugs and Snails live?
The terrestrial snail has evolved to survive in almost all sorts of habitats, and you can find them in mountainous regions, hot places, colder regions, and areas of high altitudes. But land snails can survive only on land therefore; you see them crawling on the grounds only. However, the main requirement for slugs is moisture. To get a detailed veiw of where do slugs and snails live, take a look at the list of places where they live.
- Below rocks,
- Fallen logs,
- Low weeds,
- Moist plant debris,
- Mulch, and
- Overgrown vegetation. (See How to Get Rid of Gnats without Apple Cider Vinegar?)
8. Where do Slugs and Snails live in the Garden?
If you have a garden, then it is something that you should carefully take a look at. These little gastropods can be found in places like
- Damp garden areas,
- Garden furniture,
- Potted plants, and
- Under sticks and leaves. (See When is it Safe to Remove a Wasp Nest?)
9. At what Temperature can a Snail and Slug survive?Photo by Валерия on Unsplash
They both prefer moderate climates and avoid cold except for species living in colder regions. However, field slugs are monitored while they have buried themselves under moist soil to survive temperatures as low as -4.7° Celsius (23.5° Fahrenheit). The common snail cannot survive if the temperature is below -6.4° Celsius (20.4° Fahrenheit). However, the best temperature at which they are most active is around 17° Celsius (62° Fahrenheit). The highest temperature that slugs and snails can tolerate is around 30° Celsius (86° Fahrenheit). (See Why do Hermit Crabs need Shells?)
10. What do Snails eat?
Snails are mostly herbivores and preferably feed on readily available mushrooms and dead plants. They are quite choosy about their food, and therefore, they are not considered as garden and vegetation destroying pests.
- Cabbage leaves,
- Cucumber slices,
- Kohlrabi leaves,
- Most lettuce leaves,
- Ripe strawberries,
- Rotten tomatoes,
- Soaked wheat bran/oatmeal,
- Wilting plant remains, and
- Young dandelions and parsley. (See What do Newts Eat in a Pond?)
11. What do Snails hate?
Besides getting to know where do slugs and snails live, take a look at their not-so-favorite things. Snails are attracted to strong smells, but that does not mean that they are immune to everything in your yard. But there are some strong smells that they hate. Take a look at these snail repellents:
- Cat mint,
- Pine oil,
- Thyme, and
- Vinegar (See Are Sand Dollars Rare?)
12. What do Slugs eat?Photo by Gene Pensiero on Unsplash
They have been characterized as pests because they are quite not picky about what they eat. They will eat everything they come across in the wild or your garden and yard. But still, they prefer some foods over others, and here are their favorite items from the menu of your garden.
- Tender leaves of vegetables, flowers, and ornamental plants. They eat stems along with the leaves.
- The debris of dead, decaying plants, fungi, and animals. They feed on dead or dying insects, animals, and birds, whichever they come across.
- Trash like paper, bark, and compost is also on the list.
- Other slugs are also their food. Some species like leopard snails hunt and eat other snails along with their general favorite food items.
- Ripe fruits because they are attracted to the chemical ethylene that is released by these fruits. Sue to this chemical they are attracted to beer also. (See What eats Owls in the Food Chain?)
13. What do Slugs hate?
As you are well aware of where do slugs and snails live and what do slugs eat and snails eat, now go through the list of things that slugs hate. And you can use these repellant plants to keep your garden or yard free from slugs.
- Hardy Geraniums,
- Japanese anemone,
- Oriental poppies,
- Oyster plant,
- Purple foxglove,
- Succulent, and
So, today you got to know about where do slugs and snails live, where do snails come from, and what do slugs eat along with the things they hate. It is time to share this information with your garden-loving friends and family members. (See How is Silk made from Silkworm?)