Do Worms Eat Snails? (And Do Snails Eat Earthworms?)

Snails can be a difficult thing for many gardeners to handle. They have a tendency of eating through fruits, petals and leaves, whilst the plants are still growing, damaging and even killing them.

There are pesticides available to kill these little creatures, but using a harsh chemical in your garden could kill the creatures you do want around and the vegetation that you are growing. 

Yes, worms do eat snails, but only when they’re dead and decomposing. Earthworms will not attack living snails (or almost any living thing!)

Worms will eat any decaying organic matter, from plants and fungi, to insects and animals.

Of course, the snail would have to be dead for the worm to consume it and not just in any form. Earthworms have mouths, but don’t have teeth like we do, and would not be able to just dig in and eat meat. The snail would need to be in a state of decomposition.

Species like the snail or slugs can be pests, but luckily, soil diggers like the worm are generally on our side and benefit our gardens.

Do snails eat worms?

Yes, snails do eat worms. 

This of course largely depends on the snail species. There is a wide variety of snail types out there and whilst some of them, such as herbivores, prefer to munch on all kinds of vegetation, some of them, being carnivorous snails, do in fact choose to consume worms as their primary source of food. 

Snails will consume just about anything.

Most of them are omnivorous, herbivorous, detritivorous and carnivorous. Some do in fact, even feed on other snails.

So, it should come as no surprise that should they cross a worm’s path, they will have no trouble feasting on it. It’s not just your plant life that’s likely to provide a tasty treat.

But what is hard to imagine, is the slow snail having any chance of catching a slippery, speedy earthworm.

It’s hard to imagine them with a big lumbering shell on their back, as predators. Well, we didn’t believe it either. Rather than explain how, see this video of a ninja snail use an earthworm as spaghetti.

Pretty surprising to see one of the slowest land animals attack with such speed, right? Not often you get to see a snail eat live prey. Damn, natural world – you’re scary!

The tiny, thin body of the earthworm didn’t stand a chance against the snails mouth – which is like a sharp, serrated cave of slime!

Do Slugs Eat Worms?

Slugs are also quite a problem for earthworms. Slugs consume all sorts of flowers, fungi, decaying matter and yes, slugs also love to get their nutrients by eating earthworms.

In fact, in recent years in the UK a slug known as the Ghost Slug has been known to harm eco-systems by feeding primarily on earthworms.

They usually come out at night, in a damp and cool environment, so finding them whilst you are gardening is very rare. 

An infestation of snails and slugs in your garden can be a real problem.

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You will of course be able to notice the drastic difference that they will make to your vegetation on the surface of the ground, but you won’t necessarily be able to treat the problem beneath the surface, before it is too late.

Treating your slugs and snails problem with any harsh chemicals would be a mistake.

They could not only damage your vegetation, but they could easily contaminate any food you might be growing and will harm and/or kill any of the wildlife that is helping your plants grow.

So how does one deal with slugs and snails in the garden, or if you’ve found them in your worm compost?

How To Get Rid Of Snails In A Worm Bin?

Snails can sometimes find their way into a worm bin – and once they are there, the infestation begins.

Snails love worm bins as they provide a nice, damp habitat for them, with endless amounts of the various foods that they love, including the worm itself.

Trying to get rid of snails in a worm bin can seem like a long and arduous process but it is necessary in order to keep your little friends and their environment thriving.

First of all, you will have to manually retrieve all of the snails within the bin and release them outside. Retrieving all of the adult snails is only the first step in the process of cleaning out your worm bin.

In order to ensure that the problem will not be a recurring one, you will most likely have to take the worms from the bin long enough for you to empty it.

Chances are that the adult snails laid their eggs within the bin, meaning that within a short period of time, their offspring could be causing you just as much grief.

Replacing the bedding with new materials really is your best solution.

Take a look at our guide on worms and bread to find out more about what wigglers love to munch on!