A snail is a type of mollusk characterized by its spiral-shaped shell. It belongs to the class Gastropoda, which includes both land and water-dwelling snails. Snails are known for their slow movements and their ability to retract into their shells when threatened. Are snails insects? No, they are similar but not the same. They are in the class Gastropoda which is not a class of insects.
Let’s learn more about snails.
Snails are fascinating creatures that belong to the mollusk family. They are often found in moist environments, such as gardens, where they leave behind their slimy trails. These gastropods have soft bodies protected by a hard shell made of calcium carbonate. Unlike insects, snails move slowly, using a muscular foot to glide along surfaces. Their antennae help them navigate their surroundings and detect food.
Are Snails Insects?
No, snails are not insects. Insects belong to the class Insecta, while snails belong to the class Gastropoda as mentioned earlier. While both insects and snails are part of the animal kingdom, they have distinct characteristics that set them apart.
What Kind of Snails Are There?
There are numerous species of snails across the globe. Some common types include garden snails, Roman snails, milk snails, apple snails, and helix pomatia. Each species has its own unique features, habitats, and behaviors. Let’s take a look at a few.
Garden snails, scientifically known as Helix aspersa, are commonly found in gardens and damp areas. With their iconic spiral shells and by producing slime trails, they wander through vegetation, feeding on leaves and decaying matter. Although they can often be considered pests due to their appetite for plants, they play vital roles in nutrient cycling and soil aeration.
Roman snails, or Helix pomatia, are renowned for their large size and distinctive golden-brown shells. Often hailed as a culinary delicacy, these snails are sought after for their tender texture and unique flavor. However, due to the increasing demand and overharvesting, they have become a protected species in many regions.
Apple snails belong to the Ampullariidae family and are known for their vivid shells that resemble apples. These freshwater snails play an essential role in maintaining aquatic ecosystems by consuming algae and detritus. Some apple snail species, such as the Golden Apple Snail, have unfortunately become invasive in certain parts of the world, posing a threat to native flora and fauna.
Lifecycle of a Snail
Snails undergo a fascinating lifecycle. They begin as eggs, which eventually hatch into small snails. These juveniles then continue to grow and develop their shells. As mature adults, they reproduce by laying eggs and the cycle continues.
Where Do Snails Live?
Snails can be found in various habitats, including gardens, forests, deserts, and even aquatic environments. Land snails are often found hiding under rocks, logs, or in dense vegetation, while water-dwelling snails can be seen in ponds, lakes, and rivers.
Other Recommended Maintenance
Now that you know that snails are not insects, let’s take a look at a few other areas of recommended maintenance. One of those is centipedes in your bed. One way to keep them out is to make sure the humidity is low and eliminate the moisture.
Another is roof rats. They are long and slender and have large ears and eyes, a tail, and a pointed nose. Roof rats also have brown fur with black spots and a belly that can be white, grey, or black.
Lastly, flies may bother you in these warm months. Using citronella can help repel them. There are different types of citronella and finding what works best is key.
When Do I Call a Professional?
While snails can often be harmless and beneficial to the environment, there are situations where it may be necessary to call a professional. If you are experiencing an infestation of snails that is causing damage to your plants or property, or if you have concerns about the potential spread of disease, it is advisable to seek assistance from a pest control expert or local authorities.
Snails are intriguing creatures with unique characteristics and habits. Understanding their biology, habitat preferences, and when it’s appropriate to seek professional help can help us coexist harmoniously with these fascinating mollusks. Call Honor Services and we will gladly assist you with some pest control recommendations while conducting a thorough home inspection in Melbourne, FL, and surrounding areas.