I have 3 kids, so I’m constantly looking for fun new ideas to undertake with them. I noticed my oldest (9 years old) digging in the flower garden one day. I ask him what he was doing. He told me he was looking for snails. I went back into the house and I had a great idea! What if I could help my kids discover a few snails in my backyard? So that’s exactly what I did.
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How To Find A Snail In Your Backyard
There are basically two types of snails. The land snail (which I caught) and the aquatic snail. A snail is always fighting to keep water from leaving its body. This is why the snail secretes mucus. It is to help prevent the water from leaving the underside of its body as well as to aid in its’ movement. But, they also hide in moist dark areas to protect themselves.
Another thing to remember is that snails are nocturnal. So, it will be easiest to find them at night. I chose to use a flashlight, but any outside light source would work. Snails are herbivores which mean they eat plants and flowers. The best place to find them would be in your garden (if you have one) or in a place where a lot of vegetation is growing. Here are a few quick tips on how to find snails in your backyard.
After a Rainstorm
Finding a snail after a rainstorm is pretty easy. There are free to roam without having to worry about losing their moisture content. You can usually find then crawling up the walls of your house or snacking on the leaves of the plants in your garden. They can even climb upside down, so you may want to check the underside of plants as well.
Looking Under Random Items
Snails like moisture. So, looking under items such as dead wood or stones is a perfect place to find them. You can wait until night time and grab your flashlight. Try to look in areas such as a garden that you water frequently. Looking under flower pots is one of the most popular places to look. Water from the pot will collect underneath it which will attract the snails. You can also try watering your garden late in the afternoon to encourage the snails to hide there.
Small Pond or Bird Bath
You can sometimes find snails in shallow water. If you have a small pond, this can be a great place to look. You have to look closely because a lot of snails are very small. You can sometimes find them crawling along the bottom of the pond. Most snails like clean water, so the best place to look would be in a clear water area. This will also make the snails easier to spot.
Cracks and Crevices
Snails love to hide in between cracks of basically anything. You can find them hiding in the cracks of your sidewalk or even in crevices of the foundation of your house. When the kids and I were looking, we even found one inside of a brick. It had lodged itself into one of the holes in the brick. Just remember to go slow and look closely. Snails could be hiding anywhere.
Following a Snail Trail
A snail will leave behind a shiny mucus trail as it moves. If you can find a mucus trail, then you should pursue it. If you follow the trail and it seems to end, you may want to check to see if the snail has climbed up onto something. There are few limitations on where a snail could travel. Be sure to thoroughly check the surrounding area. The snail could literally be anywhere.
Finding snails with your kids or just by yourself can be lots of fun. Snails hibernate during the winter so it’s best to look for them in the spring or summer months. It is amazing how many snails you can find once you start looking. You probably have snails hiding throughout your back yard, but you just haven’t noticed them. Once you have caught a few snails, you can even keep them as pets.