What animals eat snails?

In this brief guide, we’ll address the query: “What animals eat snails?” Also, we’ll explore what snails eat, where they can be found and what their role in the environment is. 

What animals eat snails? 

Snails have many predators, including humans. In the wild, they may be preyed upon by rodents such as shrews, squirrels, mice, weasels, and other types. 

Other types of animals such as reptiles and amphibians such as snakes, lizards , salamanders, toads and turtles can feed on snails, along with birds such as quails, thrushes, gross black birds, wild turkeys, and many other types.

Some invertebrates such as beetles, roundworm flies, and larvae of these animals may also prey on snails, though, unlike other larger animals, they won’t knock them back in a single gulp. 

Other snail types can also feed on smaller snails, and lastly, even humans eat snails in dishes like escargot. In this guide, we’ll focus on garden snails, as there are other types such as desert snails and sea snails. 

What do snails eat? 

Snails are mostly herbivorous but they can be considered opportunistic omnivores. In some instances they are considered pests as they can feast on crops and garden vegetables, but they have also been known to eat dead animals such as earthworms, other snails, and other types.

They make very few distinctions in what vegetables and plants they eat in their diet may include: ornamental flowers such as dahlias, marigolds, and others. Vegetables such as cucumbers, lettuce, cabbage, bean plants, and other types of cultivated plants are also edible options for them. 

Of course, the diet of a farmed snail won’t be as varied as that of a foraging snail, as the former must be fed clean, innocuous food. Curiously, they deposit the heavy metals they ingest into their shells rather than accumulate them in their bodies. 

Beer is also maintained to be a favorite food of theirs and some home-gardening authors recommend trapping snails that are pests using blue-colored basins that are filled with beer. 

Food snails cannot ingest dry, mealy processed foods, foods high in salt, and pure salt. 

Table salt (sodium chloride) is deadly to snails as it tampers with their cells’ moisture content and can dehydrate them, impairing their bodily functions. 

If you’re keen on farming snails and decide to catch them to start your project, you can purge them by feeding them a diet of leafy greens and moistened grains. 

Where can snails be found? 

Garden snails can be found in many environments such as urban landscapes, suburban niches, and in wild habitats. Their ample diets allow them to successfully survive in many environments such as cities, gardens, wetlands, forests, terrains sown with crops, and many others.

Environmental garden snails are not suited to, include deserts (due to the lack of moisture) and arctic temperatures, and regions with permafrost. 

Their soft bodies indicate that snails require humid environments, though their bodies aren’t able to withstand extreme temperatures and drought.

More exotic species may be suited to these extreme regions, though they’re beyond the scope of this guide.  

If you live in a temperate climate and have a lush, green garden, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find a garden snail by turning over a stone or a decorative element on the ground. 

What is their role in the environment? 

Snails play important roles in their environments, as they’re important dietary sources for many animals, they recycle organic matter, and they play an essential role in the calcium cycle. 

When they ingest trace amounts of calcium from their food, it is deposited in their shells, and when animals ingest snails with their shells, they’re also ingesting calcium, which is essential for bone health, for egg-laying animals to form eggshells, and to pass it along to higher tiers in the food chain. 

On occasion though, when they happen upon a bounty of plants that they can feast on (such as sown fields, vegetable patches, and even garden vegetables), they can be considered pests that may require management. 

Snail-pest management should always be done by prioritizing the health of other animals, your own, and by avoiding pollution. 

We advise our readers to consult with licensed experts on the subject, such as pest-control professionals and agricultural extension officers to resolve any doubts and receive a professional orientation.  

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we’ll address the query: “What animals eat snails?” Also, we’ll explore what snails eat, where they can be found and what their role in the environment is. 

References

https://www.carnegiemnh.org/science/mollusks/predators.html#:~:text=Vertebrate%20predators%20of%20snails%20and,%2C%20blackbirds%2C%20and%20wild%20turkey.

http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7427.html 

https://www.lenntech.com/periodic/elements/ca.htm

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