Why Do Snails and Slugs Come Out After it Rains?

May 2022

If you have a garden, you might know the hassle of slugs and snails eating your precious plants. While they aren’t dangerous to humans, they can slowly wreak havoc to your garden and potentially start an infestation in your home. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at these creatures, plus we’ll explore how to prevent or get rid of snails and slugs in your garden or home.

Introduction to Snails & Slugs

Snails and slugs are formally known as gastropods (technically, they’re mollusks). It’s easy to recognize these creatures living near your garden by the slimy trails they leave behind, as well as deadly holes in your plants.

Snails and slugs are very similar – the only real difference is the fact that snails have shells, while slugs don’t. Both have thousands of teeth, typically used to eat organic materials such as leaves and plants. Unfortunately, aphid extermination isn’t the only type of garden pest you need to worry about if slugs and snails are around. However, some slug species (such as leopard slugs) actually eat other slugs as well as dead or rotting plants. They don’t damage living plants and are very beneficial to your garden. This species is easy to recognize due to its leopard-like print.

Why Do Snails Come Out in the Rain?

Both snails and slugs rely on moisture to survive. Their bodies dry out very quickly when they are active without moisture to support them. This is why they only become active when it rains or when you’ve recently watered your garden. In addition, most slugs are typically active at night because it’s cooler and more humid (plus there are fewer predators to hunt them).

If they know there is a food source nearby (like your garden), they’ll hide nearby until the dampness returns. Many slugs are most active in spring and summer due to the increase of plants and garden watering.

Where Do They Go When It’s Sunny?

Another common curiosity is where snails and slugs go when it’s not raining, due to the fact that it seems like they only exist when it rains! When there is no moisture outside, garden snails and slugs go into hiding to prevent water loss and avoid predators.

Snails find cool spots such as empty plant pots, under window-sills, rocks, or in piles of firewood. To reduce water loss, they seal themselves using dried mucus. Snail shells also aid in preventing water loss. Since slugs don’t have a shell, they tend to squeeze into more compact, damp hiding spots that snails wouldn’t be able to reach. They also use dried mucus to protect themselves from water loss.

How to Get Rid of Snails & Slugs

Unfortunately, snails and slugs can become a real problem for some gardens, especially if you live in a wetter area. You won’t always see them due to snails and slugs nocturnal nature, but it’s easy to recognize the trail of slime they leave behind. Since your plants need water to survive, it can be hard to prevent or get rid of snails and slugs. However, here are a few tips.

Remove Hiding Spots

Slugs and snails have to hide somewhere when it’s not damp. If you always find them in your garden, they likely have a nearby hiding spot. Make sure to remove any hiding spots such as rocks, piles of firewood, planters or flower pots, and anything else that can be moved. Sometimes, you can track their trails to find their hiding spots.

Indoor Removal

Sometimes slugs and snails make their way indoors, which can lead to an inconvenient infestation. This typically happens when there are damp areas in the home such as basements and crawl spaces. To prevent this, make sure to seal all cracks and spaces under doors that can be used as entry points. In addition, use a dehumidifier to remove moisture from all areas of the home.

Natural Prevention

There are a few natural ways to get rid of slugs and snails in your garden. For example, diatomaceous earth is a sharp natural powder that will cut and kill slugs or snails that crawl over it. Many gardeners spread it around their garden, but it can be harmful if breathed in. In addition, slugs and snails hate copper because it gives off a natural electric charge. You can try placing some copper wire as a barrier around your garden.

Bring in a ProfessionalIf it seems like they just won’t go away, professional slug or snail removal will typically be needed. Aptive Environmental is a great pest control option with offices around the United States. Plus, we focus on preventing future infestations as well – we are so confident in our services that we will come back at no additional cost if the pest we target comes back.

Recommended Reading

How to Pest-Proof Your Garbage Cans

Depending on where you live, you may be familiar with managing pest-ridden garbage cans. What many city-dwellers and suburbians don’t realize though, is how easy it is for their own trash cans to become home to opportunistic pests. Allowing bugs to live in your...

Oct 20, 2022

What to Do After a Pest Control Treatment by Aptive

Most homeowners know the importance of receiving routine pest control treatments each quarter, but not all know that the actions you take immediately following a treatment can directly determine its success. As the homeowner, make sure you’re taking full advantage...

Sep 15, 2022

Do You Need Pest Control in the Winter?

Pest control is a successful way that millions of people reduce bugs in their homes. It’s common to use pest services during warm months, but it’s just as important to stay protected and prepared during the winter. Many people actually notice an increase of...

Aug 22, 2022

What Insect Stings Hurt The Most?

Stinging insects are the worst. While you likely remember being stung by a bee or bit by a fire ant, you might be surprised to hear that these insects are on the lower end of the insect sting pain scale. In this article we’ll explore which insects have the most...

Jul 11, 2022

Is a Yellow Jacket a Bee?

Yellow jackets and bees have a lot in common when it comes to physical appearance. This can make it difficult to tell them apart, especially when one or the other is buzzing around your head. However, knowing the difference could be useful in encouraging the right...

Jun 3, 2022

Can Humans Get Fleas?

A common concern among pet owners is that their dogs or cats will pick up fleas. However, it's not just pets that are at risk; humans can actually get fleas too. Fleas will jump onto any animal or person that it can reach to feed on the blood it needs to survive....

Apr 23, 2022

Will My Cat Keep Mice Away?

Will mice stay away if you have cats? It’s a common belief that cats will take out any mice in or around your home. Before you run to an animal shelter to adopt a cat, read this article to learn more about the potential dangers, how cats could make your mouse...

Mar 21, 2022
DIY Pest Control Pros and Cons

DIY Pest Control Pros and Cons

When you’ve asked other people about what they do for their home pest control, you've probably had a lot of mixed responses. It seems like there are more people doing DIY pest control than ever before, and you're starting to wonder if it's something you...

Jul 19, 2021
5 Surprising Spider Superpowers

5 Surprising Spider Superpowers

Spiders can be scary creatures, but they also have special abilities that make them seem like eight-legged superheroes. In fact, they're truly marvels of nature. Even if you'd rather not have them in your home, it's easy to respect their fascinating...

Jun 10, 2021
The Lifespan of Insects

The Lifespan of Insects

A lot of people in the world probably think that learning about insects’ lifespans is something just for entomologists. After all, why would anyone else be interested in such a thing? But there are actually a lot of good reasons, as a homeowner, to learn a bit...

Jun 2, 2021

Take back your home from pests today.

Pin It on Pinterest