Alabama Peanuts: Snails and Slugs – AnyOptions?

There have been many producer complaints about snail and slug issues in row crops. Snails and slugs can cause direct crop damage and contamination in severe cases. Snails produce an acidic material from their foot that dissolves calcium in the soil and allows production of the shell.

There are a few other publications listed at the end of this article that may be of help to understand basic biology and identification characteristics for snails/slugs. Growers can to take pictures of their problem and share them with extension agent for basic identification.

Below are management recommendations that are very limited in row crops due to high cost of materials. It is a good idea to check with company representatives for purchasing snail/slug control products, as they are very different from insecticides (note:  insecticides will not control snails/slugs!).

Favorable conditions for snails/slugs:

  • Frequent rainfall as we have experienced in 2018 and 2017.
  • High organic matter and debris on soil – this allows snails/slugs to hide during the day.
  • Dense crop foliage provides shelter and makes it easy for the pest to move between plants.
  • Excessive foliage also hinders treatment applications and product effectiveness.

Cultural control tactics:

  • Tillage is a common practice that disturbs soil and kills snails/slugs.  Heavily infested fields may be tilled before planting successive crops to prevent pest buildup. However, this may not be an option for producers using conservation tillage systems. There is not much in research information in terms of snail/slug control in peanuts.

Commercial products:

  • Bug-N-Sluggo (here)
    • OMRI approved commercial bait with iron phosphate & spinosad, manufactured by Certis USA
    • Works against field and garden slugs, cutworms, earwigs, and other ground pests
    • Has peanuts on the label
    • Use rate 20 to 44 lb per acre with 14 d PHI, no more than 3 applications per season
  • Deadline M-Ps (mini pellets, here) has corn and soybean label, but not on peanuts.
    • Manufactured by AMVAC Chemical Corporation
    • Has 4% metaldehyde

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