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Do Slugs and Snails Eat Pansies? (Read This First!)

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Slugs and snails are common issues for most gardeners. They may be slow to move, but it is different when eating plants. So, you are thinking of planting some beautiful pansies but afraid of slugs and snails in your garden? 

Find out how to deal with slugs and snails in your pansy’s garden.

Do slugs and snails eat pansies?

Like most other plants, pansies are not safe from slugs and snails. They will eat the flowers and green leaves and make irregular holes. One can control slugs and snails by chemicals, placing traps, or adding sharp sand, gravel, or fuzzy plant borders. 

Slugs usually live on fallen and decaying leaves from your garden, but they don’t mind eating live plants. Snails prefer green leaves. 

They both can be very harmful to your pansies garden. The bad thing is once they start eating live plants, they become uncontrollable.

But it is easy to remove them if you know when and how to take steps. Let’s discuss the problem first.

Slugs and snails can reproduce so fast that one snail or slug can produce hundreds of them within a few months. An adult snail can lay about 450 eggs, and a slug can lay about 500 eggs in a year. They don’t even need a partner to give birth.

They eat fallen leaves and other organic matters of a garden. But when the food source reduces because of their increasing population, they eat live plants and flowers. They can deal considerable damage to pansy plants overnight.

Dealing with snails in a pansy’s garden is tricky as they become active in the nighttime. They can eat plants nonstop and hide before sunrise.

So, most of the time, you will not trace the pest eating your plants. You can recognize slug and snail damage by the smooth holes in the leaves and the wet mark they leave while moving.

A high level of moisture makes conditions favorable for snails and slugs. Shelter and hiding spots are also a basic necessity for them. Avoid overwatering and remove rocks, bricks, boards, fallen leaves, and anything they can use to hide in the daytime.

However, not all species of slugs and snails are harmful to your garden and pansy plants. Brown snails are notorious eaters of pansy plants, while some species of assassin snails can be helpful to control slugs and snails from your pansy garden. 

Check if slugs and snails can eat those parts of pansy flowers.


Slug and snails can eat leaves of pansy plants. They start to eat from the middle of the plants instead of eating from the edge. They have brush-like teeth on both sides of their mouth, which allows them to eat plants from anywhere they want.


Slugs and snails don’t have any problem eating plants that are not toxic or don’t have hair-like fuzz. They eat pansy flowers and the softest parts of the plants.

Winter pansies:

Cold and moist temperature is the most favorable condition for slugs and snails. They can eat a lot of pansy in winter, especially before hibernating.

Do slugs like pansies? Are snails attracted to pansies?

Snails and slugs are a bit too simple to determine if they like something or not. However, snails eat (or like probably) pansy plants and flowers. Slugs also eat pansy plants if there are not enough food sources.

Pansy plants and flowers can attract snails. Those plants are soft enough for snails to eat a lot of them. The leaves are easily digestible for them and provide energy for their metabolism.

There are many different ways to make your garden less attractive for slugs and snails. We will discuss the methods in the latter part of the article.

3 reasons why slugs and snails eat pansies

Pansy plants get more damage from slugs and snails compared to other plants. Let’s find out why they find pansy plants attractive.

Easy to eat:

Pansy leaves and flowers are easily biteable for snails and slugs. They can eat all the leaves of pansy flowers although they like soft growing leaves and flowers. They have about 14,000 teeth which they use to grind the leaves. 

Pansies are dowf:

Pansies are about 6-9 inches tall, making them readily available for slugs and snails. They don’t need to climb much to reach the leaves. The leaves often stay near the ground. However, slugs and snails are good climbers. 

Pansies are nutritious:

Pansies are a good source of food for slugs and snails. The leaves and flowers contain carbohydrates, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants. The pansy leaves and flowers are easily digestible, absorbing most nutrients from them.

Can you put salt around pansy plants to stop slugs?

You can’t use salt to protect pansy plants from slugs and snails. The idea was entirely right, one can use salt to get rid of slugs and snails. 

But it is not a good idea to protect pansy plants or most pants with salts. Pansy plants are sensitive to salt. Salt can reduce the growth of pansy plants.

However, salt can be a suitable choice if you want to protect a place from slugs and snails, such as a bird feeder. Salts absorb the fluids from their body rapidly and cause dehydration. 

You can use gravel, sharp sand, or broken eggshell to protect your plants from mollusks—the sharp edges of those stops slugs and snails from entering your garden.

How to stop slugs and snails eating my pansies? How do you keep slugs out of pansies?

Slugs have a few significant weaknesses and characteristics which we can use to stop their damage to our pansy plants and garden. Firstly, They have fragile and sensitive bodies. Even tiny hairs of leaves can damage them. 

Secondly, their body is weak against various chemicals. Thirdly,  they belong to the lower part of the food chain. And lastly, we know they stay active at night and hide under obstacles in the daytime. 

Prevention methods of slugs and snails focus on those weaknesses. Let’s talk about the procedures in detail.

Make borders with the pointy substrate:

Slugs and snails have soft bodies, and they do not like anything sharp. You can apply sharp sand, gravel, broken eggshells to make a slug protective barrier. 

Those barriers will protect your pansy plants and not harm any other beneficial insects or animals in your garden.

Physically remove them:

You can easily remove slugs and snails physically, but you will have to do it frequently for some days for the best result first water the garden in the daytime. Sprinkle some extra water so that slugs can move quickly. At night, grab a torchlight and visit the garden. 

Manually pick the slugs from your loving plants and squash them. If you don’t want to do that, keep them in a bag and leave them a few miles away from your home.

Set traps:

Traps are another effective way to catch slugs. First, get some useless pots and fill them with yeast or beer. Make holes in the ground and put the jars in the hole. Make sure the jars stay at the level of the land. 

Check the trap after a day and remove the trapped snails. There are other ways too. Just leave some boards in the garden ground and find some hiding slugs and snails every morning.

Introduce predators:

As mentioned earlier, slugs and snails are at the bottom of the food chain. Ducks, chickens, and turkeys can help get rid of them effectively.

Use chemicals:

One can use some chemicals like metaldehyde and iron phosphate to get rid of slugs and snails from the garden. Metaldehyde is not safe for beneficial insects, pets, and children but very effective.

Iron phosphate is slow working but environment friendly and risk-free.

Are snails and slugs good for the garden?

Slugs and snails have both good and evil roles in gardens. But for personal gardens, slugs have more disadvantages than advantages. 

Let’s focus on the bright side first. Slugs and snails keep the garden clean and help recycle environmental nitrogen.

Slugs and snails can eat up plants in your garden. That is the most irritating problem with snails and slugs. They can also cause different diseases to animals that eat them and even humans. 

Suppose you eat something that has slugs mucus on it. That may cause parasitic disease. The disease is not very common but can be life-threatening. 

The condition is caused by parasitic nematodes that use slugs as a vector and infect rodents and mammals that eat them.

Final thoughts

Slugs and snails are one of the main threats that damage pansies. They can deal a heartbreaking amount of damage to pansy plants. So, taking steps like adding sharp sand or gravel can help stop the slugs from reaching the plant. Some chemicals and traps are also effective against them.

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