Do Snails Poop? What Does Snail Poop Like? (+pictures)

 In the Gastropods family, there are two creatures: snails and slugs. These mollusks are related, except that one possesses an outer shell and the other does not. 

The common belief is that slugs do not have shells simply because their shells are not visible. However, that is not true. In the past, slugs had shells just like snails. However, evolution took place, and they began to develop internal shells to move faster.

Snails are abundant in nature over with around 15,000 species inhabiting saltwater, freshwater, and the lands. A good reason why you will find them just about anywhere you go. It is no surprise that both water and terrestrial snails have made it to the homes of animal lovers as pets. 

While snails are adorable pets, you do not want them in your territory uninvited because they can be a handful, especially if you have a garden.

For a passionate gardener growing veggies in the backyard, snails can be a nightmare. These little creatures are known to destroy gardens by creating holes in vegetables and leaves. 

Thus, it is always best to get rid of these destructive little creatures before they can wreak havoc in your garden. But how can you know that they have been frequenting your garden before they ruin your plants? One of the best ways to trace the snails without actually seeing them is by tracking their poop.

Therefore, ridding your garden of these little mollusks is imperative to avoid the loss of plants and veggies. But that begs the question, how can you detect their presence early enough before they make a mess of your garden? One effective way to nip them in the bud is by recognizing their poop. 

Do snails poop? Yes, snails poop just like any other animal. Snail poop appears small and stringy and can become even smaller when properly dried. Their poop color largely depends on what they eat. If your garden has been invaded, you will find their poop on leaves or in the mud. If you observe C-shaped things all over your garden, then you have been visited by a snail.

This article focuses on ways to identify snail poop as well as how to remove the poop and the snails from your garden. 

What do snails eat?

To gain a good understanding of snail poop, it is crucial to understand their diet. It is also important to note that the majority of snail species are herbivorous. 

Their main diet includes feeding on living plants. In the wild, they eat anything from leaves and fruits to mushrooms. 

Snails primarily feed on living plants, however, wild snails have incorporated fruits and mushrooms into their diet. 

Snails do not only feed on living plants, but they also relish decaying ones as well. To maintain a healthy shell, snails need an ample supply of calcium, which is readily available in chalk from rocks.

Besides the omnivorous snail population, a handful of snail species are carnivores. However, they are a rare sight. 

Snail poop is primarily dependent on their diet. If a snail eats pumpkin, you can expect an orange-colored poop. And if they are Garden snails, you should expect a faded green poop. 

How do snails poop?

Many think snails poop out of their heads, while others believe they poop out of their mouth. While these are untrue, it is easy to understand their train of thought in this area. 

Snails have their anus right inside their shell, which opens up into a cavity beside their mantle. So, they do poop inside their shell. Noticeably, the slipping poop from their shell is closer to their mouth, which gives the impression of poop being excreted from their mouth or head.

What does snail poop look like (Identification Guide)?

Snail poop is small in appearance, which makes it easy to miss. If snail poop is mixed with dirt or dust, it will be a lot more difficult to detect. 

Close examination is the most effective way of finding their poop. Their poop tends to be stringy and small, with curls on both ends forming a C-shaped appearance. In the shade, snail poop is typically wet and fresh but slowly becomes dry and pale.

The color of a snail’s poop is determined by two factors: their shell color and diet. 

Speaking of snail poop color, it is often unclear between the shell color and diet which determines the color most. 

However, a snail with a red shell will have red poop, while 

one with a brown shell will have brown droppings. 

Where do snails commonly poop? Most common places to look out for

Snails are not very particular about where they poop.  

They are good at poop retention and will poop whenever and wherever they are when the urge arises. 

Offloading poop from their shells does take some time to drop on the ground. If snails have recently visited your garden, it is common to find their poop on leaves more often. However, if they are in an aquarium, they are more likely to poop on its walls. 

Do snails urinate?

There are a ton of opinions about snails urinating. Several people think that snails do not urinate, while others believe that they poop and pee at the same time, thus the liquid-ish-like poop. 

Some other theories suggest that after peeing, snails release white, sticky substances. Authoritatively, we can debunk these fictitious claims due to lack of supporting evidence. 

Is snail poop toxic?

Concerning studies and personal experience, it is safe to say a snail’s poop is nowhere near toxic, as there is nothing in their poop to suggest that, particularly to humans. Most of the snails you will find around human settlements tend to be herbivores.  

Discoveries are yet to be in respect to chemicals or fluid released from the body of a snail. However, there is no known case on record of snails infecting humans in any way with their poop. 

With that said removing snail, poop requires caution. 

You should cover your mouth and nose and wear gloves. Regardless, it is animal poop, and you can never be too sure. 

How to keep snails away from your garden?

If you are dealing with snail infestation and you are confused about eradicating them, you are in the right place. 

Here are some helpful tips, battle-tested by gardeners that should prove effective:

  • Pistachio nut shells are salty, place some around the plants that need protection. Because these nutshells are sharp and salty, the snails would avoid them. The shells will eventually decompose in the soil and become manure. 
  • Sand also works as a deterrent for snails. Because sand is rough, snails will avoid it. You can make sand circles around your garden and watch the snails disappear. 

Related Questions

Is it natural for snails to have holes in their shell?

No, snails should not naturally have holes in their shells. A hole in the shell of a snail would be indicative of calcium deficiency. Calcium is responsible for the healthy development of their shell.

How do I find out whether a snail is dead or not?

Snails are known to play dead occasionally, and this can go on for a couple of days. However, if a snail’s body is still not moving after a few days or is hanging outside its shell, chances are your snail is dead. A strong smell is also evidence that a snail has died.

Final Thoughts: Snail Poop

While there’s widespread doubt about whether or not do snails pee, it is safe to agree that all snails poop after our detailed submission on the subject. As earlier mentioned, snail poop is often small and insignificant in size, making it easy to miss because the poop can go unseen in dirt or dust. However, a close inspection would often reveal the stringy and often C-shaped appearance that gives it off.