Constraint - Snails


  • Snails appear to build up most rapidly in canola, field peas and beans

  • Snails are a mollusc with a rasping tongue, and one single muscular 'foot' for movement

  • Much of thier bodies is encased in a shell that they secrete as they grow


  • Snails consume cotyledons and this may resemble crop failure

  • Shredded leaves, chewed leaf margins, and irregular holes all occur as a direct result of feeding damage by snails


  • Snails are predominantly a grain/seed contaminant

  • 1 live snail in a 200 gram sample will lead to rejection 


Free living nematodes carrying bacteria that causes snail death are thought to help reduce populations under certain field conditions. Hard grazing of stubbles, cabling and/or rolling of stubbles, stubble burning, cultivation, and removal of summer weeds and volunteers are all effective management options. Molluscidial baits are effective on mature snails, and IPM compatible, but can be less effective on juveniles.

Links and Resources

GRDC - Snail Management Fact Sheet

Key points, avoiding grain rejection, monitoring and control, snail facts, threshold, minimising snail intake, maximising snail and grain separation, post-harvest cleaning, and control options. Published 2012.