About Decollate Snails
Decollate snails are easy to differentiate from brown snails. The beneficial killer snails have conical shells and grow to about 2″ – 2 1/2″ long while adult brown snails have 1″ – 1 1/2″ semi-circular shells. Decollate means “to behead”. Decollate snails are fearsome carnivores, pursuing their gastropod cousins and burrowing into their fleshy body cavity until they are consumed.Decollate snails feed on Helix aspersa (European Brown) garden snail and White garden snail.Once the Decollates have attacked all the pest snails, they will then feed on leaf litter (decomposing organic material).The Decollate snails are nocturnal predators and are rarely visible during the day. They usually burrow into the soil during the day and emerge at night to prey. They normally do not eat healthy plant material nor do they climb walls, fences etc.Currently the release of Decollate Snails is limited AZ, NM, TX, and CA. Release in California is limited to the following counties: Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Madera, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura counties. The release of the Decollate snails elsewhere is restricted or prohibited.
Decollate Snails are usually available in the following size packages: 50 & 100 count retail cup and retail breathable pouch.
Once you have made it home with your Decollate Snails, you may store them in a cool spot out of direct sunlight. If temperatures are extreme you may place units inside a refrigerator. Among the best places to release Decollates are under irrigated perennial shrubs or ground covers where there is a rich supply of organic matter. Under each shrub, release 3 – 5 snails or 100 per 1,000 sq. ft. of planter area. Problem snails will be reduced quicker if plenty of Decollate Snails are released. To facilitate growth and reproduction, keep the release site damp and hand pick large brown snails from the release site often.
Adult Decollate snails are sold in quantities of 50 or 100. Our snails are shipped in paper containers or pouches. During shipment Decollate snails will Epiphragm. Epiphragming is a protective mechanism used by the snails for survival during periods of hot or cold. To activate the snails for release, place them in a bucket or pan, run cool water over them, drain off excess water (do not leave the snails emerged in the water) and place them in a shady location for 20-30 minutes until they emerge from their shells. To prevent escape during activation, cover the container.
Note – These rates are for preventative control only, multiple releases and/or higher quantities are necessary for heavier infestations.
Like other land snails, decollate snails are hermaphrodites. They can start producing eggs after they reach about 10 months of age and can produce roughly 200 eggs per year. Life span for decollate snails is roughly two years, as opposed to brown snails’ six-year life span. Decollates will go dormant under certain conditions, such as when temperatures are high with low humidity. Although decollate snails cannot survive long periods of freezing weather, they will dig down into the soil during cold weather for protection.Like their prey, decollate snails are most active after rains and during the night. They track garden snails by following the garden snails’ slime.