Going to your letterbox and realizing that it’s been inundated with slimy snails is never fun. Not only are they unpleasant in general, but they also love to eat through all your mail, which can be inconvenient to say the least.
If you can’t seem to get rid of these little creatures, don’t panic because below are a few things you can try that have been proven to work, regardless of where you live.
1. Place eggshells or coffee grounds in the bottom of your letterbox
When you’re making breakfast in the morning, save some coffee grounds or some eggshells and place them in the bottom of your letterbox. The eggshells will feel like broken glass to the snails and they’ll disappear quickly.
You don’t even have to put a lot of eggshells or coffee grounds in the letterbox; just sprinkle some of it at the bottom of the box after you’ve removed your mail. If it doesn’t work, simply add some more until it gets rid of them.
2. Garlic spray
Soft-bodied snails are killed with garlic sprays, and garlic can also kill fleas and other pests. You can find garlic sprays, also called garlic barriers, in many home-improvement or gardening centers.
They’re easy to find, and all you do is spray some at the bottom of your letterbox periodically to keep these nasty pests away.
3. Rubber bands
One of the things many people don’t realize is that snails hate the smell of rubber. Find either rubber bands or rubber rings of some type and place them at the bottom of your letterbox, and you’ll quickly realize the snails are no longer there.
Try using either one or two thick rubber bands or rings, or four or five of the smaller ones for the best results.
4. Diatomaceous Earth
You can easily find diatomaceous earth in your local gardening or home-improvement center.
This type of earth is found in oceans and rivers and consists mostly of the fossilized remains of very small aquatic organisms.
It is inexpensive, very effective, and super easy to use. All you have to do is sprinkle it at the bottom of the letterbox and it works like a charm.
5. Copper Tape
Copper tape is a great way to keep snails out of your letterbox. All you have to do is take the protracted part of the tape and place it around the bottom of the letterbox.
It doesn’t kill the snails but prevents them from getting into the letterbox in the first place. It is also pet friendly.
This method requires that you soak the snails in vinegar then wait for them to die. Spray undiluted vinegar in the bottom of your letterbox, making sure you cover the snails completely.
Vinegar works to dissolve the snails. The only bad part is you’ll have to scoop up all of the dead snails and discard them afterwards. Nevertheless, the method works well.
It is a good idea to add a few small stones on the base of the letter box. This will lift your letters up out of the vinegar.
7. Baking Soda
Baking soda repels and doesn’t kill the snails, so it’s best to sprinkle it on both the outside and the inside of the letterbox.
You don’t have to sprinkle a ton of baking soda for it to work; just make sure as much of the letterbox as possible is covered with it.
8. Snail Pellets
Several companies make snail and slug pellets that you can sprinkle on the bottom of your letterbox or even around the base of the letterbox on the ground.
The pellets make the snails stop eating and they eventually die.
What Is a Good Natural Snail Deterrent for Outdoors?
This is a surprise to many people, but there are numerous natural methods that work to repel snails. These include corn bran, which causes snails’ bodies to expand until they die.
You can also sprinkle salt directly on them, causing them to die almost immediately. Liquid iron phosphate, which is sprinkled on the soil where the snails are and kills them; and even pine needles, which the snails will hate because it’s so difficult to walk over them.
What Attracts Snails to Your House?
If you’re wondering why snails love your house so much it is moisture. Snails love moist conditions, and if you have moist plant debris, mulch, low weeds, fallen logs, or underneath rocks in your yard or garden, they will be attracted to it.
This is one of the reasons why it’s so difficult to get rid of snails. The drier the conditions are in your garden, the less likely you’ll have problems with snails.
What Is a Home Remedy to Get Rid of Snails?
There are actually numerous home remedies that are effective in getting rid of snails. They include the following:
- Mix one part ammonia and ten parts water and spray on the soil.
- Mix eight ounces coffee (not decaf) and eight ounces of water and spray on the snails themselves.
- Place about three inches of seaweed at the base of the plants; once it dries up it will repel the snails.
- Sprinkle a good bit of salt directly on the snails to kill them.
- Put some beer in a jar and bury it in the soil up to the top; the snails will enter the jar and drown.
- Place petroleum jelly around the base of a pot, container, or plant stem to make it difficult for them to go any further.
- Place wood or sand pellets around the garden soil, which makes it difficult for snails to go any further.
How Does Vinegar Get Rid of Snails?
As you likely already know, vinegar is fairly acidic. This means that as soon as you spray any type of snail or slug with vinegar, they die almost immediately.
For the best results, use straight vinegar and do not dilute it. Just fill a spray bottle with some vinegar (white usually works best) and start spraying directly on the snails.
The only thing you’ll need to make sure you do is never spray them when they’re actually on the plants.
If you do, the vinegar could kill the plants as well as the snails, and that’s something you don’t want! So be very careful when using vinegar to get rid of your snails and slugs.
How to keep snails out of your letterbox | Summary
Snails can be an annoying guest that venture into your letterbox when the weather is wet. Using a natural deterrent like coffee grounds, egg shells or even pine needles is a great option. You can also use vinegar or baking soda to get rid of them.
Think natural and you will keep your letterbox snail free.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.