Snails and slugs are slimy nuisances that can also decimate some of your plants if they get out of control. Gerbera daisies are a favorite dinner for these pesky mollusks, but you can outsmart them by using several nontoxic methods to both keep them away and kill the intruders.
Getting Snails Off of Gerbera Daisies
Eliminate hiding places where snails and slugs can hide during the daytime by keeping your gerbera daisy bed cleaned up of dropped leaves, weeds and other garden refuse.
Hand pick snails after dark by strolling through your garden with a flashlight. You can drop them into a jar containing beer or soapy water. Or simply step on them.
Spread a layer of diatomaceous earth around the border of your gerbera daisy bed. You can also set up a barrier made from copper or simply prop up pennies next to each other around the periphery of your bed. Snails and slugs cannot pass over diatomaceous earth or copper, so they will be unable to find their way to your prized flowers.
Make beer traps by digging small holes every 12 inches or so around the border of your flowerbed. Fill small jars, such as spice jars or mustard jars, about half full of inexpensive beer. Then lower the jars at an angle into the holes, making sure you leave the lip of the jar level with the soil surface on one side. Snails and slugs will go in for a drink and then be unable to crawl back out. They then drown in the liquid.
Scatter iron phosphate granules, sold as “Sluggo,” around the border of your flowerbed. This natural product will cause snails and slugs to die, but they go away from the area to do so, depriving you of the pleasure of finding their dead bodies when you check on your garden in the morning.
Things You Will Need
- Diatomaceous earth
- Copper strips or pennies
- Small jars
- Iron phosphate granules ("Sluggo")
- You'll need to empty and refill your beer traps frequently, especially after it rains.
- Be very cautious if you choose to use chemical snail bait products because they are toxic to humans, animals and some beneficial garden insects, toads and other creatures.