Snail is a common name that is applied most often to land snails, terrestrial pulmonate gastropod molluscs. Snails are related to clams and shellfish. The difference between snails and slugs are that snails have external shells. In wet climates, snails shred plants, especially tender leaves, with rasping type “teeth.”
Outside the garden, slugs and snails actually do beneficial things. They recycle organic matter helping to build soils and they are important prey for wildlife. However, inside the garden and landscape snails can do considerable damage.
Depending on species, slugs and snails need one or two years to complete a generation. Some species lay eggs in fall, some in spring, and some at both times.
Spring and fall are the best times to control both slugs and snails. Feeding generally occurs at night, so in the morning slime trails can often be seen. Currently the best control for garden slugs and snails are the low toxicity, iron phosphate-based slug baits such as “Sluggo.”