What kinds of Snails and slugs are there in Australia?

In Australia, various species of snails and slugs can be found in gardens, causing damage to a wide range of plants. Here are some common snail and slug species found in Australia and their visual descriptions:

  1. Common garden snail (Cornu aspersum)

The common garden snail, also known as the brown garden snail, has a globular, spiral shell that measures up to 3-4 cm in diameter. The shell is typically brown with yellowish or white flecks and bands. The body of the snail is greyish-brown with a slimy texture.

  1. White Italian snail (Theba pisana)

The white Italian snail has a small, conical shell measuring around 1.5-2 cm in diameter. The shell is predominantly white or cream, with light brown or reddish-brown spiral bands. The body of the snail is pale greyish-brown.

  1. European red slug (Arion rufus)

The European red slug is a relatively large slug, measuring up to 7-10 cm long when fully extended. Its body colour ranges from reddish-brown to dark brown, with a slimy texture. The European red slug leaves a distinctive, thick mucus trail when moving.

  1. Leopard slug (Limax maximus)

The leopard slug is a large slug, growing up to 20 cm in length. It has a greyish or brownish body with dark spots or blotches, resembling a leopard's pattern. The body is covered in mucus, which is colourless or slightly milky.

  1. Black slug (Arion ater)

The black slug measures around 10-15 cm in length and has a dark body colour, ranging from black to dark brown or grey. The body is covered in a slimy mucus, which can be colourless or slightly yellowish.

Control measures for snails and slugs:

  1. Monitoring: Regularly inspect your garden for signs of snail and slug damage, such as irregular holes in leaves, slime trails, or the presence of snails and slugs themselves.

  2. Physical control: Handpick snails and slugs from your garden during the evening or early morning hours when they are most active. Dispose of them by placing them in a sealed container with soapy water or by squashing.

  3. Barriers: Create barriers around your plants using copper tape, crushed eggshells, or diatomaceous earth, which can deter snails and slugs from crossing.

  4. Trapping: Set up snail and slug traps using beer or a yeast-sugar-water mixture to attract and drown these pests.

  5. Biological control: Introduce natural predators, such as birds, frogs, and predatory ground beetles, by providing a diverse garden habitat with shelter, water, and food sources.

By understanding the different species of snails and slugs in Australia and their visual characteristics, you can better target your pest control efforts and maintain a healthy garden.

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