Snails and slugs are some of the most bothersome garden pests. A slug is basically a snail without a shell. While all have the ability to produce eggs, mating usually takes place from August until mid-October. Eggs can be laid from 30 to 40 days after mating.

The eggs are pearly gelatinous oval spheres filled with a watery substance, usually in clusters of 3 to 40. They range from 1/8 to 1/4-inch diameter. They can be white or colorless, often reflecting the color of their surroundings. In warm climates, it may take the eggs only 10 to 20 days to reach maturity. In cooler climates, it can be up to 100 days. The eggs will become cloudy just before hatching.

The eggs are generally laid on or near the soil surface. They can be concealed under such things as leaves, flower pots, rocks, and boards or in soil cracks. The site will be cool and provide moisture. The moisture is needed for them to hatch.

If you can hunt them now before they hatch, you will be saving yourself from future plant damage and endless effort catching them later.

Linda Sargent, Smith County Master Gardener
Texas Cooperative Extension

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