Most people’s first interaction with snails and slugs is of those that are eating their plants, their crops or the vegetables in their garden. Sometimes, the culprits can’t be found as these animals, often slugs, bury themselves in the soil during the day and only come out when conditions are more favourable at night.
Our native snails are NOT vegetarian. They eat fungi, micro-algae on the leaves of plants and biofilm on most surfaces. Some are carnivorous and will even follow the slime trail of other snails to have a feast.
The major problems in our backyard gardens are two species:
- The common garden snail or European Garden Snail, Cornu aspersum, which is related to the ones that are eaten there in huge quantities. These can, with careful preparation, be eaten also but are farmed at the Glasshouse Mountains at Glasshouse Gourmet Snails.
- The Asian Tramp Snail, Bradybaena similaris which is serious vine and market garden pest, has become well-established in eastern Australia.