Monday, July 22, 2024
Nursery Papers

Nursery Papers – Snails and Slugs in Nursery Production

Horticultural Innovation Australia Limited

Introduced species of snails and slugs tend to be those commonly observed by people in Australia, some of which are major agricultural, landscape and nursery pests. For the most part, such species are introduced by ‘hitch hiking’ on potted plants, soil and fertilisers, pallets, and shipping containers on cargo and freight. They arrive as adults, juveniles, or eggs.

There are around 2500 species of native terrestrial Australian snails and slugs. Native species tend to prefer eating dead and decaying organic matter, not living plants, and some feed on lichen or are even carnivorous.

Snail feeding on plants results in ragged holes on leaves that may be circular or in a line. They have chewing mouthparts that rasp at leaves and remove plant tissue. Most above ground organs can be damaged including leaves, growing tips, flowers, flower buds, fruit, seed pods and seeds.

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