Identification and control of pest slugs and snails for broadacre crops in Western Australia

Page last updated: Tuesday, 25 October 2022 - 4:40pm

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Biology of slugs and snails

Snails and slugs have similar biologies. They are hermaphrodites - both members of a mating couple can lay eggs. Mating usually takes place from mid-autumn to mid-winter when favourable moist conditions return after summer.

Two to four weeks after mating, spherical pearl-white eggs are laid into moist soil. Egg laying can continue from the break of the season to late winter. However, eggs can not survive a hot, dry summer or lie dormant in the soil. After laying, eggs hatch in two to four weeks, but young slugs and snails usually become sexually mature after one year.

Diagram showing lifecycle of slugs and snails
The lifecycle of slugs and snails