Are Garden Snails Dangerous to Humans? Are Garden Snails Dangerous to Plants? Are Garden Snails Poisonous to Humans or Pets? Find all here!

Are Garden Snails Dangerous? The Surprising Truth

Garden snails are a common sight, whether in our gardens, forests, or fields. These slow-moving creatures with their characteristic soft bodies and hard shells may seem innocuous and, indeed, they play an important role in ecosystems by helping to recycle nutrients. However, the question often arises: “Are garden snails dangerous?” The answer is not straightforward. While they may not pose a direct threat to humans or pets, they can still present certain risks. This guide aims to address these concerns, examining the potential dangers that garden snails may pose, as well as offering advice on safe handling and measures to protect your garden from potential damage.

What are Garden Snails?

Garden snails are mollusks that are commonly found in various environments, including gardens, forests, and fields. Their characteristic features include a soft body and a hard, spiraled shell on their backs. They’re known to be slow-moving creatures, famous for leaving a trail of slime wherever they go.

Are Garden Snails Dangerous to Humans?

Generally, garden snails are not directly harmful to humans. They do not bite or sting and are not aggressive creatures. However, they can potentially carry parasites and diseases that can be harmful to humans, especially if ingested. The most well-known disease that snails can transmit to humans is called eosinophilic meningitis, which is caused by the rat lungworm. However, this disease is quite rare and is more commonly found in parts of Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Can You Get Sick from Touching a Snail?

While the likelihood of getting sick from touching a snail is low, it’s always good to take precautions. Snails can carry parasites and bacteria that could potentially harm humans. Therefore, it is advisable to wash your hands thoroughly after handling snails.

Are Garden Snails Poisonous to Pets?

While garden snails are not poisonous themselves, they can carry parasites and diseases that can be harmful to pets if ingested. In particular, they can carry lungworms, which can be deadly to dogs and other pets. If you suspect that your pet has ingested a snail, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian.

Are Garden Snails Dangerous to Plants?

Garden snails are often considered pests in the garden because they can cause significant damage to a variety of plants. They feed on plant leaves, stems, and roots, which can stunt growth and even kill the plants. This is why many gardeners take measures to control or eliminate snails in their gardens.

Take a look: Does Vinegar Repel Chipmunks? Best Ways To Keep Chipmunks Away

How Can I Safely Handle Snails?

If you need to handle snails, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterward. While the risk of disease is relatively low, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you have a garden snail infestation, it’s best to use gloves when removing them.

What Can I Do to Protect My Garden from Snails?

There are several strategies to protect your garden from snails, including using snail-resistant plants, setting up barriers, and using snail baits or traps. You can also encourage the presence of natural predators, such as birds, frogs, and certain types of insects, to help control the snail population.


While garden snails do pose some risks, they’re generally not dangerous to humans or pets if proper precautions are taken. However, they can be a nuisance to gardeners due to the damage they can cause to plants. If you’re dealing with a snail problem in your garden, consider implementing some of the strategies mentioned above. And always remember to wash your hands after handling any form of wildlife.

Similar Posts