WHERE SHOULD MY SNAILS LIVE?
DO SNAILS SMELL BAD?
WHAT SHOULD I FEED MY SNAILS?
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I FEED MY SNAILS?
HOW CAN I PLAY WITH MY SNAILS?
DO I NEED TO GIVE MY SNAILS A WATER BOWL TO DRINK FROM?
WHAT ABOUT THE BATHROOM?
MY SNAIL HASN'T COME OUT IN A WHILE - IS IT OK?
WHAT ABOUT VACATIONS? HOW LONG CAN MY SNAILS BE UNATTENDED?
OH NO, SOME FOOD STARTED MOLDING IN MY TERRARIUM! WILL MY SNAIL BE OK?
WILL TWO SNAILS REPRODUCE IF THEY ARE IN THE SAME ENVIRONMENT?
Snails are very easy to house. You can use a large mason jar, Tupperware, or a terrarium to provide a cozy environment for your snails. They will need some substrate such as soil or coconut coir to live in. We use Zoo Med Eco Earth Loose Coconut Fiber Substrate for our snails. Snails also like to hide in moss, we use Galapagos Terrarium Sphagnum Moss.
Make sure your snail house had a lid, but also has airflow. This is a very fine starter terrarium called a Kritter Keeper.
This is probably the question we get the most. Snails are so interesting. Something that surprised all of us when we first got snails is how they don't really smell at all.
Snail terrariums are easy to keep clean and unless you forget to take out any food that might start to mold after along time, you shouldn't have any smell at all.
Snails will eat a lot of things, but they do best with vegetables such as lettuces, carrots, asparagus, and broccoli. Some snails will also like fruits such as apples or pears, but we have found that feeding fruit tends to attract fruit flies, and snails seem to prefer veggies in the first place.
Cucumbers can be a special treat as they are easy for snails to eat and they have a lot of water within, our snails love cut up cucumbers.
Snails should not have salt or spiced items, these things irritate their soft bodies and might accidentally lead to poisoning and death.
Snails are very neat; they will eat when food is around, and if not, they will hibernate or estivate until it is. We feed our snails once a day, but snails can go for as long as three months without eating and still live by slowing down their internal processes!
If you want your snails to be active, make sure they have food regularly. Watching them eat is also really interesting! You can hear them crunch food and watch it go down their bodies to be digested.
First, wash your hands. You can hold them, you can give them mist baths, you can talk to them, and snails even like being hummed to!
Just be careful when you play with your snails, don't drop them and make sure to be gentle when you handle them. Never pull a snail by the shell, just be patient and let them crawl on to you.
No, but you do need to make sure there is moisture in the tank. We spray our tank once a day with a fine mist all over the sides. We like this mister. The snails will slide over and absorb the water as they pass.
A bowl of water is not advisable because land snails can't swim and may accidentally drown.
If you decide to move your snails to a bigger terrarium and want them to be really active more humidity is helpful. To do this in our terrarium we use this humidifier and this bottle to fill it up without having to take it apart.
We use distilled water which you can find in your grocery store. Tap water varies in quality around the world, but in the US many have added elements that snails might not tolerate as well as humans do.
Like all pets, snails go to the bathroom. Snail poop is small and if you have a lot of dirt, you might not notice when they go. If you've got a plastic or glass terrarium your snails might poop on the sides. We clean our terrarium every other day by just wiping off any visible poop. Every two weeks we do a big clean and make sure to wipe down all the sides.
Using just water will be best, chemical cleaners might poison your snails, and no one wants that.
Probably, snails can go into hiding for a lot of different reasons. If they are scared, or too hungry, or too cold, or too thirsty they will just suck themselves up into their shells.
Sometimes snails will hang out in their shells for a very long time, even a few months. If you are worried about your snail, you can try to carefully coax them out by placing them on a plate with a thin layer of water. Give your snail ten minutes or so to see if it comes out.
If you leave some food and a nice bit of moisture, your snails should be fine for a week to a month. Again, snails are incredible and will just hibernate or estivate if they don't have food or water to eat. They are very forgiving pets :)
Sugary or starchy food + time = mold. Cucumbers are nice treats for snails, but they shouldn't be left in the enclosure for more than a few hours.
If you find mold in your terrarium you could get new dirt, or you could bake the current dirt. We use Zoo Med Eco Earth Loose Coconut Fiber Substrate and always bake it at 200 degrees for 2 hours to kill anything like spores or other nasties hiding within. Any new substrate (dirt or coir) would be best if cooked too. Whenever we do a full dirt redo (4-6 months) we cook it all.
Don't be too worried about your snail- the response of going up into the shell to hide until conditions are better is normal and it's one of the reasons snails are so hardy - they will just wait out bad conditions by slowing down their bodily systems until things are better.
This is a very good question. Baby snails are ~ 1 year away from reaching sexual maturity. But the more involved part of the answer is that there is a way to inhibit breeding that really involves no special work.
Breeding in captivity is pretty tricky. We’ve had multiple snails for 3 years and this is the first summer (2020) we’ve ever had babies. During the COVID home restrictions in NYC we built a new terrarium, adjusted the ph levels in the soil, and got a much more intense humidity set up going. This is all to say, if you give snails a standard terrarium environment they probably won’t breed. In the wild they wait until conditions are just right.