Regarded as cute by some, gross by others and despised by many, snails were among the first inhabitants of the Earth. Texas snail fauna consists of 165 terrestrial species. These members of the mollusk family have a radula in their mouth for grinding food. Active at night and during cloudy, wet days, they eat plants and even can gnaw through limestone rock to get the calcium their shells require. The average lifespan of a snail is 15 years, some live 25 years. Snails hibernate during cold weather and times of drought.
They can be very destructive in the vegetable garden and destroy newly planted seedlings. They usually eat calcium-rich foods like broccoli, kale, soybeans, turnip greens, spinach, peas and okra to help grow their shells. They also like basil, beans, cabbage, lettuce, strawberries, algae, lichen, and decaying plants and fruits. They also will damage ornamental plants such as hosta, marigolds and Rudbeckia maxima.