Last updated: August 22, 2021

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Welcome to our big snail trap test 2019. Here we present all the snail traps we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and also added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best snail trap for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a snail trap.




The most important facts

  • Snails crawl into the snail trap themselves and cannot get out.
  • You can simply catch the snails in the trap or kill them with slug pellets.
  • In both cases you have to remove the snails from the trap manually.

The Best Snail Trap: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a snail trap

How is a snail trap constructed and how does it catch snails?

The idea behind the snail trap is simple: the snails themselves crawl into a container. They can't get out of the container.

Get rid of the snails in your garden with a snail trap. (Image source: pixabay.com / usd-susanne)

A snail trap consists of a container with openings that you have to dig in a little bit. The most common trap in the shops is made of plastic and has a diameter of about 12 cm and a height of 10-20 cm.

However, the snails still need an incentive to crawl into the container. To do this, you put an attractant in the trap that the snails smell and identify as food.

Unfortunately, you have to get the snails out of the trap by hand - not such an appetising business.

What attractants are available for snail traps?

The attractant must smell strong enough to distract the slugs from the scent of your plants.

But too strong a lure can attract new slugs to your garden. Therefore, set traps along the perimeter of your garden.

There are various means to choose from. No joke, slugs actually respond to the vapours of beer. Other natural baits include:

  • Malt (dissolved in water)
  • Sugar water
  • Overripe fruit or leftover vegetables

Slightly more professional products, both biological and synthetic, are available in the shops. You usually have to buy them separately from the traps. Slug pellets also contain an attractant.

The scents vary in strength. Some industrial substances are said to attract slugs over an area of several 100m².

For which snails are snail traps intended?

We can easily divide the different species into slugs with a house and slugs with a naked shell. The latter are particularly dangerous for your plants.

Less damage is caused by the Roman snail, for example. It is also a protected species and should therefore not end up in your snail trap.

This snail is more than just a garden pest: the protected Roman snail. (Image source: unsplash.com/Sarah Schreiber)

Fortunately, this can be avoided. The openings in the trap only need to be small enough so that the Roman snail with its large house cannot fit through, but slugs still can.

What are the alternatives to a snail trap?

Of course you can kill or collect slugs by hand. Other tools besides slug traps are poison or mechanical barriers, for example:

Slug pellet

The pressed poison is scattered in the garden, where slugs eat the grain, retreat to their hiding places and die.

Slug pellets have a bad reputation. After all, you are literally spreading poison in nature, where other animals can also eat it.

However, there are environmentally friendly and less toxic slug pellets, more on the different types below.

Mechanical barriers

A slug fence is just a fence around your bed. The edge must be bent at the top, here it has a 45 degree angle:

A slug collar is a plastic ring that you put directly around a single plant to protect it. However, it must be anchored in the soil without gaps. However, this is hardly possible for each individual plant.

A slug-protective coating is applied to vertical surfaces, for example raised beds and flower pots. The slugs can no longer climb up this surface.

Decision: What types of snail traps are there and which one is right for you?

The most important question you have to ask yourself sounds a bit drastic: Are you ready to kill the snails?

Depending on this, you can choose one of three types of snail traps:

  • Trap with slug pellets
  • Beer trap
  • Live trap

This is, of course, a moral decision. However, all variants also have practical advantages and disadvantages.

What are the characteristics of a slug trap with slug pellets and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

This trap works in the same way as all the others, except that you also add slug pellets. The slugs eat the grain and die in the trap.

No matter how you feel about lethal traps, this is the better way to use slug pellets: As already mentioned, slug pellets are usually spread over a large area in the garden.

Hedgehogs, for example, can eat the slug pellets or slugs that have died from the pellets. Too high a dose is also fatal for hedgehogs.

Advantages
  • Slug corpses not scattered in the garden
  • Slug pellets not openly in the garden
  • Additional attractant in the pellets
Disadvantages
  • Deadly
  • Environmental danger from slug pellets
  • Danger to other animals from slug pellets

In the slug trap, both the grain and the slugs are compactly collected and protected. You must then also dispose of them safely, for example bury them.

What are the characteristics of a beer trap and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

This trap does not work with poison. Instead, the housing is simply half-filled with beer. This attracts the snails, which then drown in it.

Rain can water down the beer or simply overflow the trap, so you need a cover.

Advantages
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Easy to empty
  • Cheap
Disadvantages
  • Deadly trap
  • Beer smell
  • Possibly too strong bait

Of course you can use other liquid baits, but beer has been proven to be very effective. However, people also get the smell. But beer in the garden is not a safety risk.

A real advantage: the floating dead snails do not stick to the container and do not have to be laboriously scraped out when cleaning.

What are the characteristics of a live trap and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

A live trap simply consists of the shell and the attractant without poison. So they definitely pose no danger to anything except the snails.

Advantages
  • Non-lethal
  • Not harmful to the environment
  • No danger to other animals
Disadvantages
  • Animals can still die
  • Regular maintenance required

If you don't want to put a snail's life on your conscience, you must free the snails you catch. It is best to release them at some distance from your and other properties.

You also have to take care of the traps regularly! Otherwise the snails will die. It is best to check the traps once a day.

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate snail traps based on these factors

In the following we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate snail traps. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular snail trap is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Optics
  • Easy disposal
  • Safety
  • Environmental compatibility
  • Size

Optics

At least your flower bed should be pretty to look at. An ugly foreign body is a nuisance.

That's why many traps are kept in inconspicuous shades of green. But there are also artistically valuable designs that are eye-catchers in their own right:

Easy disposal

Whether the snails you catch are dead or still alive - you certainly don't want to touch them.

That's why it's good if the traps have a removable lid. Then you can shake out the roughest parts. The edges should be as round as possible.

Cleaning will probably still be a bit disgusting, a garden hose can help.

Safety

Before you buy and set up a trap, make sure the lid is tight. Also, the openings should be small enough that no one can reach in or sniff.

On the one hand, you don't want another animal to eat away your attractant and the slug pellets.

Above all, of course, you don't want your slug pellets to harm any animals, let alone small children who are out and about in your garden.

Also make sure that the trap is well buried or secured.

Environmental compatibility

It is best not to use any harmful chemicals at all:

You can use many natural substances as attractants.

If you decide to use slug pellets, be aware that pellets containing metaldehyde are not biodegradable and are dangerous to other animals.

Slug pellets made from iron(III) phosphate are more ecological and much less toxic. This can be applied with a clear conscience. (But the snails still die)

Size

The traps should not be too low, otherwise larger snails can get long and crawl out again. The Spanish snail can grow up to 10 cm.

A larger snail trap with more volume will of course not fill up so quickly. Nevertheless, you should not put off emptying the trap for too long. Especially in summer, the contents can otherwise become very unappetising.

Facts worth knowing about snail traps

Where is the best place to put the snail traps?

You don't want to attract the snails to your vegetables in the first place. Therefore, place the traps with the bait at a distance from the area you want to protect.

Exception: The snails are already in your raised bed, then the trap must of course be placed in the middle of the bed.

As already mentioned, it is also worth protecting the edge of the plot so that the slugs do not come to you in the first place.

How can I build a snail trap myself?

A snail trap is not exactly rocket science, so do-it-yourself is quite easy:

  1. Find a canning jar or similar.
  2. Bury the jar just to the rim and fill it with beer.
  3. Now you need a cover. For example, you can put a bucket over the jar and tie it to the bottom. You just have to cut out a piece of the rim first so that there is an entrance.

What other options are there in the anti-slug fight?

Create natural retreats

Snails like dark, cool and damp places. You can offer them these.

A very simple trick is to put an old mouldy board in a corner of the garden. You can then simply collect the slugs from it and get to grips with them using garden shears or just banish them from your property.

Power

We have already told you about the slug fence. You can also electrify the fence.

Two wires run along the fence. A battery energises them. If the snail now touches both wires, it closes the circuit and gets an electric shock.

The voltage should be low enough not to hurt the snail. Then the construct does not pose any other danger.

Inserting a running duck

The running duck is particularly fond of eating snails. If it lives in your garden, it will help itself to your pests.

If you are an animal lover, you could get one. But of course only if you can keep them in a species-appropriate way!

Simply do not plant snail food

Even snails don't eat everything. So if you are not totally committed to one type of flower, choose a snail-resistant variety.

Plants protect themselves with hairy or fleshy leaves, for example, or with bitter juices.

What types of snails are there?

According to Wikipedia, there are about 100,000 species of snails on the planet, in the sea and on land.

Generally speaking:

Snails are useful!

  • They "feed" birds and other animals.
  • They decompose dead tissue and help produce humus.
  • They pollinate plants.
  • They eat excrement and thus contain epidemics.

In Germany, you may encounter these species in particular:

Roman snail

The Roman snail has a large shell with a diameter of up to 5 cm. It likes sparse plants and calcareous soil.

However, it is endangered and is a protected species!

Roman snails mainly eat wilted plant parts and are therefore not a great danger to your fresh plants.

Ribbon snail

The ribbon snail has a yellow or pink shell about 2 cm in size, which is partly covered with a black ribbon pattern.

It is an important food for songbirds, but eats mainly withered plant parts.

The ribbon snail is harmless to plants. (Image source: pixabay.com / Peggychoucair)

Large snail

This snail is called a "monster snail" because it can grow up to 20 cm long. It is greyish striped or spotted.

As it is hermaphroditic, it mates hanging freely in the air.

However, it is not too much of a threat to your plants, as it lives mainly at the edge of the forest and eats other snails and their eggs, among other things.

Genetted field slug

This 3 to 5 cm large snail is a nudibranch species with a greyish body and reticulated grain.

It can cause a lot of damage in your garden as it likes to feed on fresh leaves.

Spanish slug

This snail species is also a nudibranch and is the most common snail species in Germany. It grows to around 8 to 10 cm long and is either dark grey, grey-green or red-orange in colour.

It is the main pest in domestic gardens and eats fresh leaves as well as hard plants.

For a long time, the Spanish slug was considered an invader that had been introduced from the Iberian Peninsula - hence its name. However, this is probably not true, but it still causes damage.

Picture source: pixabay.com / Myriams photos

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