Heliciculture/Diseases and Pests

Basic common sense hygiene may prevent the spread of disease or otherwise improve the health and growth rate of snails. For example, remove and replace food daily to prevent spoilage. Earthworms added to the soil will help keep the pen clean.

Snails have many natural predators, including members of all major vertebrate groups, carnivorous snails, ground beetles, leeches and even predatory caterpillars.Parasites, nematodes, trematodes, fungi, and microarthropods may attack snails, and such problems can spread rapidly when snail populations are dense. The bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes intestinal infections that can spread rapidly in a crowded snail pen. The second disease is caused by the fungus Fusarium, which parasitises their eggs of Helix aspersa. The affected eggs turn reddish-brown and development stops. This disease is commonly referred to as 'rosy eggs disease'.

Watch for predators such as: rats, mice, moles, skunks, weasels, birds, frogs and toads, lizards, walking insects (e.g., some beetle and cricket varieties), some types of flies, centipedes, and even certain cannibalistic snail varieties (such as Strangesta capillacea).