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Gardeners: Snails and Slugs Could Be Your Best Friends!

Updated: Dec 19, 2023



Gardeners often view slugs and snails as the enemy, leaving a trail of destruction in their slimy wake as they leave the crime scene. However, it's time to reconsider these humble creatures and recognize their valuable roles in our ecosystems. In this blog, we'll explore the surprising benefits of slugs and snails and how they contribute to the balance of nature.


What are the benefits of slugs and snails?

  1. Decomposition and Nutrient Cycling: Slugs and snails are nature's recyclers. These small, slimy creatures are crucial in breaking down organic matter, such as dead leaves and plant material. As they munch on decomposing debris, they aid in the nutrient recycling process, returning valuable organic matter to the soil. This helps maintain soil fertility and supports a healthier garden ecosystem.

  2. Biodiversity Support: Slugs and snails are a food source for many other animals, including birds, beetles, and small mammals. By providing a food source for these creatures, slugs and snails contribute to the overall biodiversity of our gardens. Embracing these creatures as part of the natural food chain can help create a balanced and thriving ecosystem.

  3. Seed Dispersal: Believe it or not, slugs and snails can assist in seed dispersal. As they move through the garden, they inadvertently transport seeds to new locations. This unintentional seed dispersal can contribute to the natural regeneration of plants, helping to create diverse and resilient plant communities.

  4. Soil Aeration: Slugs and snails burrow into the soil, aerating it as they move. This activity enhances soil structure, promoting better plant water infiltration and root growth. These creatures' burrows also provide channels for air and nutrients to reach plant roots more effectively.

  5. Natural Pest Control: Surprisingly, slugs and snails contribute to natural pest control. They consume decaying matter, fungi and even small insects. By keeping these populations in check, slugs and snails help maintain a healthier balance within our garden ecosystems.

  6. Medical Advancements: The unique mucus produced by snails has been used in various medical applications. It contains compounds with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Scientists are exploring the therapeutic benefits of snail mucus for wound healing and skin care, showcasing the untapped potential of these creatures.


While it is true that slugs and snails can be challenging to a gardener, understanding their positive contributions to the ecosystem can foster a more balanced and sustainable approach to gardening. By embracing the benefits of these creatures, we can appreciate the intricate web of life in our gardens and work towards creating environments that support both plants and the fascinating creatures that inhabit them.

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