Here's how to protect your plants from snails and slugs.
They eat their way through the garden under the cover of night, leaving a slimy trail to show where they’ve been.
A nocturnal menace to the garden in the warm months, snails and slugs have a huge appetite for many types of plants.
They love vegies, especially lettuce, but are happy to sample other delicacies from the spring garden smorgasbord.
Left unchecked they’ll attack flowers, with annuals like pansies and violas a favourite feast.
These pests like moist soil and are most active during cool weather and humid periods, so they’re especially busy in spring and early summer.
At night, snails and slugs climb onto plants to eat foliage, hiding in leaf debris or sheltering under shrubs during the day.
Before using pest control in the garden it’s essential to correctly identify the problem and use the appropriate technique or product.
If you know what to look for it’s easy to spot when gastropods are helping themselves to your plants.
Healthy seedlings can disappear overnight, plus foliage and flowers show ragged or chewed-looking holes with the lower leaves of plants usually consumed first.
Snails and slugs also leave a trail, so look for shiny streaks on foliage and silver-grey slime trails appearing on the plant, soil or pots.
The best way to catch them in the act is to search for them by torchlight, before sunrise or after dark.