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Published on June 6th 2018

by ellie.white. All rights reserved

I recently read an article, claiming you shouldn't crush snails as this releases their eggs and results in even more snails. I have decided to investigate further. I was initially sceptical as I have frequently found (what I believe to be) snail eggs on the surface of the soil.
So here are some fascinating facts I found out on my quest for an answer. You may never look at a snail in the same way again!
Snails are born with a shell - albeit a very fragile one - known as a protoconch. Due to the fragile nature of this shell, a newly-hatched snail needs to consume large quantities of calcium to help it harden, starting with the shell of the very egg it hatched from.
As the snail continues to grow, the shell grows with it. The new shell material begins soft, hardening as it expands, with the protoconch eventually becoming the central spiral of the mature shell.
You can calculate the age of a snail by the number of whorls or spirals the shell has.
Snails do reproduce by laying eggs, although these must be buried in soil to hatch correctly, so the initial article was an untruth, however, I did enjoy reading up on snails. Despite knowing a lot more about them, I still don't want them eating all my hard work in the garden!
A Cepaea hortensis white lipped snail on a green leaf

White-lipped Snail

Cepaea hortensis

Tell the Candide Community your slug and snail stories. How do you protect your plants and how do you control them? #Snails

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