TARGET PESTS: Helix aspersa (European Brown) garden snails, White garden snails. There are more than 40,000 species of snails and slugs throughout the world. They are survivors and adapt well to almost any climate. They can be found everywhere; including trees, ponds and streams, even in salt-water shorelines. They seem to especially love flower and vegetable gardens. Snails can do major damage to a garden in one night because each snail has hundreds of small teeth. They shred their food, mainly plant material (including flowers), by means of a ribbon-like organ, called the radula, which is covered with hundreds of these small teeth. It seems like they always have an appetite.
DESCRIPTION: Decollate snails are easy to differentiate from brown snails. The beneficial killer snails have conical shells and grow to about 2 - 2 1/2” long, while adult brown snails have 1 - 1 1/2” semi-circular shells. Decollate means “to behead”. Decollate snails are fearsome carnivores, pursuing their gastropod cousins and burrowing into their fleshy body cavity until they are consumed. These killer snails will actually attack brown garden snails and eat them and their eggs. Once the Decollates have attacked all of the pest snails, they will then feed on leaf litter (decomposing organic material).
PRODUCT INFORMATION: During shipment, Decollate snails will Epiphragm. Epiphragming is a protective mechanism used by the snails for survival during periods of hot or cold. To activate the snails for release: Place them in a bucket or pan, run cool water over them, drain off the excess water (Do not leave the snails emerged in the water), and place them in a shady location for 20-30 minutes until they emerge from their shells. To prevent escape during activation, cover the container.
The US Department of Fish and Game limits the release of Decollate snails due to certain areas having local snails that are on the endangered species list. Currently, the release in California is limited to the following counties: Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura counties. The release of the Decollate snails elsewhere is restricted or prohibited. Check with your local Ag department.
RELEASE RATES: Among the best places to release decollates are under irrigated perennial shrubs or ground covers where there is a rich supply
of organic matter. For under each shrub, release 3-5 snails or 100 per 1,000 sq. ft. of planter area. Problem snails will be reduced quicker if plenty of snails are released. To facilitate growth and reproduction: keep the release site damp, hand pick large snails from the release site often.
LIFESPAN: The Decollate snails are nocturnal predators and are rarely visible during the day. They usually burrow into the soil during the day and emerge at night to prey. They normally do not eat healthy plant material nor do they climb walls, fences etc. Decollate snails have been used here in the United States since the 1930’s in the agricultural industry. The Decollate snail lays eggs every 30 daysand each snail lives approximately 2 years.
STRATEGIC CONSIDERATIONS: Snail bait will kill Decollate snails. Allow 3-4 weeks after using commercial snail bait before you release Decollates.