This is the only way to be certain of the cause of damage. Handpicking is feasible for a few weeks in Spring when young tender plants are very vulnerable. Hunt at night or after a shower or during damp misty weather, or after overhead irrigation. Slugs & snails are especially active 2 to 3 hours after sunset. They are inactive during very cold or very dry weather. They dislike heavy rain or wind. Handpicking can greatly reduce slug & snail numbers locally & temporarily, so crops can survive & flourish. They travel only short distances & are strongly habituated to their locality. They only recolonise an area slowly - though many eggs may also hatch. One gardener removed between 10 000 & 17 000 in 4 consecutive years, another between 36 000 & 61 000 from a quarter acre, with no noticeable reduction in numbers. Dispose of slugs & snails by:
- Removing them to a distance at least 20 yards away.
- Putting boiling water over them to kill them. When cold add to compost heap.
- Feeding them to pigs or mollusc eating ducks or hens.
- Eating Roman or common snails. They used to be sold in markets.
- Putting them into a bucket of salty water (2 tablespoons per bucket).
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