Snail (Helix aspersa on Hosta leaf)

Snail (Helix aspersa on Hosta leaf)

Caught this not so little snail (25 mm high, 35 mm diameter) in the garden this morning rapidly devouring a Hosta leaf. Looks like the snail found all over California brought to this continent for eating purposes.

I wasn’t aware we had them here in Seattle. A quick trip to the “Identification Guide to Land Snails and Slugs of Western Washington” (http://academic.evergreen.edu/projects/ants/TESCBiota/mollusc/key/webkey.htm) and following the dichotomous key I ended up at Helix aspersa (http://academic.evergreen.edu/projects/ants/TESCBiota/mollusc/key/hel_asp/hel_asp.htm). Indeed it is a European intruder.

Hey that was fun, following a branching (dichotomous) key answering one question at each step to arrive at a definitive ID.

Couple of questions here: 1) Are you seeing these voracious land molluscs in your yards? and 2) Ecological/Organic control methods?

I recall as a young lad in the Silicon Valley getting 50 cents a bucket for collecting them by hand, and there was a never ending supply. We then poured rock salt into the bucket to keep the snails from ending up back in the yard.