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Can I Compost Snails and slugs?

(From the Garden waste category | 9 comments - join the conversation)

snailsYes, you can add snails and slugs to your compost heap.

Dead slugs and snails

Dead slugs and snails from slug traps or from under your boot can be added to your compost heap.

Their “bodies” will rot down quite quickly due to the high moisture content. Snail shells will take a lot longer – but like egg shells, they’ll break up and disappear into the compost to slowly break down and release their nutrients.


Live slugs and snails

If you prefer not to kill slugs and snails in your garden, you can add them to your compost heap.

As many a hosta or pea plant can testify, snails and slugs eat plants and leaves so can help break down plant matter in a compost heap. They’re not as good as worms but if you don’t fancy killing them after they’ve eaten your lettuce seedlings, harness them for good instead of evil by adding them to your compost bin.

Do keep in mind though that you’re basically giving them a safe place to live and eat – and their children & grandchildren will probably venture back into your garden…

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  1. Wow thank you :)

  2. Good to hear slugs and snails help the compost. My query is,to stop them leaving the bin for the rest of the garden, can I site the bin on gravel?

    • i havent tried but i read the copper tape can be used to deter them, i imagine you could run it around the inside of your bin. let us know how it’s going with the snails.

    • Slug and snail tap the top and the bottom should theoretically work

  3. i think thats a great idea about the snail and slugs

  4. My compost attracts a handful of slugs everyday, I bet my compost is almost 25% slugs with the amount I put in….. it’s so deserving to hurt them

  5. I have a ton of slugs in my backyard. I’m super glad I can composte them

  6. I think I’m okay with generations of snails as long as they stay in my compost pile. Will I just be adding to my current problem, by placing live snails in my compost? Thank you!

  7. Seen a suggestion to freeze them and then put them on the compost. I mean it’s got to be better than poisoning them. I wanted a hedgehog but my garden is too close to the road, sadly.

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