What Are Slugs and Snails?

Slugs and Snails

Slugs and Snails

Slugs and snails are two of the most destructive garden and landscape pests that plague property owners. Both are part of the Mollusca phylum and are very similar in appearance. The main difference is that snails have an external spiral shell, and slugs do not. Both species move by gliding on what is called a muscular foot. The muscle secretes a slimy mucous that helps them move smoothly across the ground and along plants as they travel.

Snails and slugs can be destructive to a homeowner's property, especially in gardens and on plants. They feed on leaves, stems, and fruits, which can damage or kill plants. In severe infestations, they can cause significant damage to crops and garden beds. Additionally, their slime trails can be unsightly and cause a slipping hazard. Effective pest management strategies, such as handpicking, barrier methods, and baiting, can help reduce their impact on a homeowner's property

What kind of slugs and snails are there?

There are numerous species of slugs and snails found across the world, with diverse characteristics and habits. Here are some common types:

Garden Slug (Arion distinctus):

Found in gardens and agricultural areas, these slugs are typically brown or gray and can be a pest to crops.

What is a garden snail?
Garden Snail

Leopard Slug (Limax maximus):

Recognizable by their distinctive leopard-like spots, these slugs are native to Europe but have spread to other parts of the world.

Banana Slug (Ariolimax spp.):

Found primarily in North America, banana slugs are known for their bright yellow coloration and can often be found in damp forests.

What is a banana slug?
Banana Slug

Giant African Land Snail (Achatina fulica):

One of the largest species of land snails, they are native to East Africa but have been introduced to many other parts of the world as pets or for food.

Roman Snail (Helix pomatia):

Also known as the Burgundy snail, this species is prized in Europe for its culinary uses, particularly in French cuisine.

Garden Snail (Cornu aspersum):

Commonly found in gardens worldwide, garden snails are known for their brown shells and are considered a pest by gardeners.

Japanese Land Snail (Euhadra brandtii):

Native to Japan, these snails are appreciated for their colorful shells and are sometimes kept as pets.

Golden Apple Snail (Pomacea canaliculata):

Originally from South America, these large snails are often kept as pets in aquariums but can also be invasive in freshwater ecosystems.

These are just a few examples, and there are many more species of slugs and snails, each with its own unique characteristics and habitats.

Are Slugs and Snails The Same Thing?

Slugs and snails are not the same thing, but they are closely related. Both belong to the class Gastropoda, which is a diverse group of mollusks characterized by a single, coiled shell (in snails) or the absence of a shell (in slugs). The primary difference between them lies in their external appearance:


Snails have a spiral shell on their back, which they can retract into for protection. The shell is usually made of calcium carbonate and serves as a protective structure for the snail's soft body. Snails are typically slower-moving than slugs due to the weight and bulk of their shell.


Slugs, on the other hand, do not have a shell or have a greatly reduced shell that is internal. Instead, they have a soft, slimy body that is more exposed to the environment. Slugs move by secreting mucus to glide along surfaces, and they are generally more streamlined and faster-moving than snails.

While they have these differences in appearance, both slugs and snails share many similarities in terms of anatomy, biology, and ecological roles. They both play important roles in ecosystems as decomposers, herbivores, and prey for various animals.

Why Are Snails And Slugs A Problem?

One of the biggest issues with slugs and snails is their voracious appetite. These pests are known for their ability to consume large amounts of plant material, including leaves, flowers, and vegetables. This can be devastating for home gardeners, who may lose entire crops to these pests. Additionally, slugs and snails can also cause damage to the structure of your home, as they can chew through wood, insulation, and other materials.

Another problem with slugs and snails is that they can be carriers of diseases and parasites. These pests are known to transmit diseases such as meningitis and rat lungworm, which can be dangerous for humans and pets. Additionally, they can also carry parasites such as tapeworms and flukes, which can cause health problems in both humans and animals.

Overall, slugs and snails are a pest that homeowners should take seriously. If you are experiencing an infestation of these creatures, it's important to take action to eliminate the problem and prevent future infestations. This may include using chemical or natural remedies, such as slug bait, copper tape, or diatomaceous earth, as well as implementing preventative measures such as removing debris and controlling moisture levels in and around your home.

Why Should You Seek Professional Slug & Snail Control?

When considering pest control services for snails and slugs, choosing Alta Pest Control offers numerous advantages:

Expertise and Experience:

Our team consists of highly trained technicians with extensive experience in dealing with various pests, including snails and slugs. With our expertise, we can accurately identify the species causing the problem and implement effective control measures tailored to your specific situation.

Environmentally Friendly Methods:

At Alta Pest Control, we prioritize the use of safe and environmentally friendly pest control methods. We understand the importance of protecting your family, pets, and the environment while effectively managing pest infestations.

Efficiency and Effectiveness:

Our specialized equipment and techniques enable us to swiftly and effectively eliminate snails and slugs from your property. By choosing Alta Pest Control, you can save time and avoid the hassle of dealing with persistent infestations on your own.

Long-Term Solutions:

We don't just address the immediate problem – we also provide ongoing maintenance and monitoring to prevent the return of infestations. Our comprehensive approach ensures long-term solutions, giving you peace of mind knowing that your property is protected from snails and slugs.

Customer Satisfaction:

At Alta Pest Control, customer satisfaction is our top priority. We strive to provide exceptional service, tailored to meet your specific needs and preferences. Our friendly and professional staff are always available to address any concerns you may have throughout the process. Additionally, we offer a guarantee for our general pest control package, ensuring that you receive effective and lasting results.

When you choose Alta Pest Control for snail and slug control, you can trust that you're getting the expertise, efficiency, and personalized service needed to effectively manage and prevent pest infestations on your property.

Snails and Slugs FAQ

Let us answer your questions! If you have any other questions about snails and slugs don't hesitate to give us a call at (866) 290-9062

Are Snails and Slugs dangerous?

Slugs and snails are not dangerous to people, but they are a danger to our gardens, crops, and landscape. They feed on a variety of living plants along with decaying plant matter. Their rough tongues create smooth holes in leaves and flowers. Snails and slugs cause damage to seedlings, fruits such as strawberries, tomatoes that grow close to the ground, lettuce, herbaceous plants, and even the bark of young trees.

A large infestation of slugs and snails can cause devastating and costly damage to gardens, orchards, and crop fields. One of the best ways to tell snail and slug damage apart from other garden pest damage is by the presence of their silvery slime trails.

Why do I have a Slug and Snail problem?

The main reason that slugs and snails have found their way onto your property is that it's providing them with suitable sources of food and shelter. Areas of moisture on your lawn and other places that are close to food sources attract them.

Where will I find Slugs and Snails?

Slugs and snails are mainly outdoor pests. They hide in damp, dark areas like under landscaping ties, fallen trees, woodpiles, mulch, and thick vegetation. Slugs and snails are nocturnal pests and emerge from their daytime hiding spots to forage for food in gardens and flowerbeds during the overnight hours.

How do I get rid of Snails and Slugs

For homeowners looking for a responsible approach to getting rid of slugs and snails from their property, we suggest partnering with Alta Pest Control. We focus on low-impact pest control that effectively eliminates slugs, snails, and other household pests while minimizing the impact on the environment. Let our family-owned company protect your home and family from our area’s most persistent household invading pests! If you are looking for more information about our slug and snail control services, reach out today and speak with one of our friendly and helpful professionals!

How can I prevent a Snail or Slug problem in the future?

The best way you can prevent a future problem is to have a consistent pest control schedule throughout the year.

How Alta Pest Control Protects Your Home From Pests

All of our treatment plans are customized to your home and yard. We do this to ensure that you get the exact coverage you need to keep your home safe. All of our technicians and inspectors are experts in their field, so you can be sure that you are getting top-tier protection.


One of our expert technicians will inspect every inch of your home and business for pest activity. Then they will create a custom plan based on their findings.

Initial Service

Once your custom plan is created, we will treat your home and yard to give you immediate relief from pests. Then, we will create a boundary around your property to prevent more pests from entering.

Follow Ups

After the initial service, we will conduct regular maintenance to ensure that your pest problems remain solved. We will also conduct free inspections for problem pests, such as termites.

Alta Guarantee

When it comes to pest control, we put our money where our mouth is. If we treat your home, and you're still seeing pests, we'll come back and retreat for free. We'll always have your back.


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