For gardeners, we often come across garden snails. If you’re in your garden for quite some time, there’s a possibility that you’ll encounter snail shells.
But what if you discover a white snail shell?
“What does this mean? Why is my garden snail shell turning white?”
Well – you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I will cover:
- The brief summary of garden snails.
- The reason why their shells transform into white shells.
- Calcium and garden snails.
- Learning about the calcium score.
While I highly recommend that you read from beginning to end, you can navigate through “Why Is My Garden Snail Shell Turning White” with the table of content below.
Garden Snail Shell Turning White: The Introduction
In these modern tech-driven times, keeping pet snails can give way to enhancing imagination, self-esteem, and understanding of responsibility.
Garden snails can be unbelievable pets as they do not require a lot of maintenance; they are peaceful creatures that can even be handled by children without any problems.
They cost practically nothing and are fascinating to watch despite their languid pace.
However, keeping pets is not a quickly done task. They do require care no matter how limited it might be.
Garden snails though, do tend to come with an issue – the weird white, stringy growth on their shells.
While it can be alarming, it can be explained and cared for, and I aim to explain it all from top to bottom.
Let’s dive right in.
The Brief Summary of Garden Snails
First things first, let’s get with the basics. Garden snails whose botanical name is Helix aspersa is an oxygen breathing snail that has an isolated lung.
They have a fragile body, protected with bodily fluid and pale or cream tinted hard shells with darker stripes.
Did you know? 💡 The shell of this species has a length of around 0-9-1.3 inches and a width of 0.9-1.5 inches.
It has a small mollusk, with a shell that has a sphere shape and a relatively glossy surface, with around four or five waves and spirals on it.
Not all snails come with the shell of an identical shading; some are dull dark-colored, yet their more substantial proportion is light-dark or with a noticeable tint; moreover, it comes with some dark-colored or yellow streaks.
This shell has a significant opening with white edges.
A little more about the garden snail before we move on:
- Garden snails are delicate creatures, and when they are not strengthening or when they feel at risk, they withdraw to their shell.
- The garden snails have firm footing that prompts them to move with a skimming tendency enabled by the appearance of bodily fluid to reduce the corrosion with the ground. This bodily fluid is the explanation for the substance that snails leave when they are moving.
These herbivorous snails eat a large variety of live plant parts: leaves, bark, stems, and other organic creations. Several consume parasites and mushrooms.
Why Is My Garden Snail Shell Turning White?
Now let’s come to the pressing questions of why do they turn white? This is an issue many snail owners find themselves facing, and it boggles the mind.
You bring your snail, care for it, but all of a sudden, an unexplainable white material starts growing on its shell, and you are absolutely at a loss as to what is happening.
Could it be parasites? Or could it be some disease or decay? And if so, then what do you do, and what if this problem spreads further?
Here’s the simple answer.
Lack of calcium supplements for your snail and excess of the carbonic acid level is causing this issue.
While it is not that big of a cause for alarm, it is imperative to understand this further and find out what can be done to cure this issue.
This problem is due to the snails’ lack of calcium and I’ll tell you why…
Why Do Snails Need Calcium?
Snails need calcium to produce and repair their shell, so naturally, it’s exceptionally crucial they get enough of it. Shells consist primarily of calcium carbonate and a lesser number of organic combinations like protein. Without sufficient calcium, their shells turn thin and harsh rather than being thick and polished.
Feeding the garden snails vegetables/fruits?
There is ample calcium available in vegetables and fruits, but snails don’t gain consistent calcium supply from just this diet.
Snails in the wild frequently consume soil, among other things, to get adequate calcium.
Feeding Snails Organic Substances
Furthermore, they use some organic substances containing protein to create their shell, so it’s essential to deliver a mixed diet with some meat protein.
Why you shouldn’t feed garden snails tofu?
There is also protein present in soybeans but don’t feed your snail tofu because it consists of salt and beans are incredibly starchy which they will have trouble digesting.
Always maintain a steady source of calcium in your snail’s habitat for them to munch on at their freedom and leisure.
- The easiest way to supply calcium is with a piece of the washed cuttlebone. They are economical and easily found and have added benefits as they are the best source of calcium.
Do Baby Snails Need Calcium?
Moreover, baby snails naturally need additional calcium than adults since they are continually growing. Withholding calcium from a baby snail is equivalent to a death sentence.
So if they won’t consume the source of calcium being provided by you, then it’s recommended to try something different.
Keep in mind that they may be eating it when you’re not noticing, so it’s safe to assume that they’ve likely consume what you fed.
Did you know? 💡 If garden snails end up having calcium deficiency, then their shell will be delicate and jagged.
It should be thicker, smoother, and shinier. If you believe your snail has a calcium deficiency, set them on the cuttlebone.
Garden Snails’ Diet Vary
Still, you must provide them with a varied diet as their shell comprises stuff other than calcium, which they also devour assists in determining how dark their shell is.
What Are The Best Calcium Sources For Garden Snails?
No, not milk – but here’s a useful list to give you an idea.
List of Calcium Sources for Garden Snails
- Cuttlebone – Make sure you always have some clean cuttlebone provided to your snails, either entire or in powdered form. An expanded advantage is your snail gets a slight amount of minerals from them too and it is freely available anywhere.
- Limestone – With no phosphorus, it is mostly calcium carbonate and is very highly recommended.
- Powdered Oyster Shells – Some snails highly enjoy it more than cuttlebone though they can be hard to find.
- Eggshells – Remove the inside skin and wash it. Bake at 250 degrees for 10 minutes to kill any bacteria. If you cannot find anything, this is the best option.
- Natural Chalk – Please do not confuse it with chalkboard chalk.
Hopefully, you find this list of calcium sources for garden snails helpful!
Keeping garden snails can be an effortless and jubilant task, but you must adhere to all care necessary for their survival. Never feed them things that could be poisonous.
While these are low-maintenance pets that cause almost zero fuss, they are very fragile so if you plan to own a garden snail, you must be very gentle and caring as these are delicate creatures that do require nourishment.
So while the white color shouldn’t be too alarming, just realized that it’s recommended to be taken care of.
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