Snails - Drink Slide Die

About: Just your average bloke in beautiful New Zealand, solving my seemingly unique problems because I cant find any one else that has.

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This instructable tells how to get snails drunk and out of your garden.

The snail season hits again... I watch my hard grown seedlings get obliterated over night....

Ok so I make life hard for my self by refusing to given in and use the various pellet poisons on the market... I figure its good enough to kills snails who knows how many extra arms I'll grow in a life time of that stuff.

So I had heard that snails ( Gastropods to be precise) love a good tipple of beer, can't understand why my self... so I built some Gastro ale houses around the garden and to my amazement they came in droves, we made a "killing," punters or should I say gastros shelled and unshelled slid in from miles around... And as i slept, the party raged on hour after hour until they all slipped in to oblivion..

Man you should have seen the ducks when breakfast was served the next morning ... ( see video)

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Step 1: Step 2. Mk 3 Version Is In

Step 2: Mk2 Version Has Arrived

Well after much mucking bout making the mk1 snail trap, i discovered by accident there is a better way of doing - forget the mark one, jump straight to the mk 2 below...(got to keep the mk 1 version here to allow it to be and instructable...
Mk2 - take the milk bottle required in mk1, quater fill with beer, and fishing weights - and lay it in a small impression in the ground on it side... hey presto the snails will climb in...

1.) The MK 1 - outdoor - and that is the one you see in all the pictures.
What you will need;

1 two litre Plastic Milk bottle complete with cap( see image 1) ( New Zealand - or any other similar shape) OR 420g tin can - see end of this instructable

A cutting device - either scissors, or hand saw depending on the thickness of the plastic

Beer ( best brought in stubbies so you don't leave a bottle halve full)

hole in the ground

Snails from miles around

2.) ** NEW** Mk 2version , suitable for sheltered spots particluary on a deck Trap.

( commonly known as the " keep it simple stupid version, why i didnt think of this at the start version...)

All you need;
1x 1 liter plastic milk bottle ( here in NZ that means at least three sides are flat)


Fishing weight - that will fit through the opening

Step 3: Construction.

We will start from the back this time as the Mk3 is a one step build,
Simply remove the bottle top, lay the bottle on its flat side with the handle side up, place the fishing weight in side the bottle to hold it down and pour the beer in until its level with the opening when layed down. - Done

The Mk 1 being for the more adventrous;

(Image 2)

First cut the bottle in halve across the line shown, using scissors or a hand saw depending on the bottle type you are using.

(Image 3)
Take the base section and cut a flap, no more than three quaters of its height, crease at the join and bend up.

(Image 4)
Take the other halve of the bottle ( ensure the top is screwed on tight)
Turn the bottle halve so the cap is at the bottom and repeat the cutting and bending of a flap.
Ensure you do not cut this flap to deep - no more than say 2.5 inches in total length


Step 4: Assemble

(Image 5)
Take the Capped top section of the bottle - invert it again.

Dig a hole in the garden deep enough to accept the upside down bottle top and allow the flap to angle down and contact the dirt - so it now becomes a ramp. (Best to slightly bury the first halve an inch of the flap)

Take the bottom section of the bottle, alight the flaps and place it over the tops section as a lid, ensuring the walls of the part in the ground is inside the lid. The flap now becomes a handy veranda for keeping the rain off the drinkers...

(image 6)
shows the new snail bar assembled out of the earth

Grab your favourite cheap Beer that your mate gave you last week but you wouldn't be seen dead drinking... ( or do as I did and tell the shop assistant you just want real cheap beer because you are going to open a pub for the snails in your garden....) Lift the lid - pour it in and re cap.

Step 5: The Cleaner..

The next day after the big party ( once word gets around that is..) some bodies got move the customers on ....

(image 6)
Business was a little slow on the first night, but it had well and truely picked up by the second...

(image 7)
On the second night the turn over steadly increased, and has continued to rise, i guess word spreads at a "snails pace around these parts"

Step 6: And Alternative to Beer...?

Now, it would be great to find a way of home making the source of the snails pleasure - beer is great but for some one who doesnt drink alot of beer its now becoming and expensive option....

So what do the snails like the most? is it the sugar? the fermenting? the hops?

love to hear if you stumble upon any recipes that lure just as well.

Step 7: Making the Trap From Tins

I have now made the same trap out of several different bottles of similar shape - including a dishwasher powder bottle - and that is a great one - very strong and totally ideal.

here is my latest addition using tin cans.

You will need:

-- a pair of cutters that can handle tin cans with ease - i used aviation snips ... (image 1)
--- Two 420g (image 2) or matching tin cans

-- leather gloves - its recommended that you wear these when making cuts - the edges can be darn sharp!

In the same way as we did for the milk containers - we are going to cut to "ramps" in the base can, and "two verandas" to shelter the ramps in the top can, before slotting them together.

Step 8:

First take one cans and turn it so the open is up, with your snips create to ramps as shown... by cutting 2 vertical cuts down about halve the height of the can, then bending down the flap, then repeat directly opposite - so there are now two "ramps" and a portion of can about 2 inches deep as "bar area" to hold the beer.

Step 9: The Lid

Now take the other can and line it up with the base, so you can mark the position of the ramps on it. ( shown by 2 small black lines in image 4)

Next mark out to cut lines approximately 1cm to the left and right of your marks above ( this allows the lid veranda's to be slightly larger than the ramps)

Cut in the same way as you did for the base can - this time cut bout 2 inches and fold flaps out just under ninety degrees to the can wall

Step 10: Prepare to Connect

Now take the base can and cut off a little from each upright flap so the lower can slides easily into the upper can. (image 5 )

Then fold out about 1 cm of the top of each upright on the base can ( see image 6) so that they hold the top can on firmly when connected

Step 11: Connection

Take the top can and gently slide over the base can - stopping when there is about 2cm gap between the "ramp" and the "veranda"

pour in the beer as for the milk bottle version and place out doors - among the plants -the advantage of this one is it has a flat bottom and can sit with out having to dig it in.... Ensure the ramps are in contact with the ground.

Step 12:

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    16 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    well yes Daisy_kay17, agreed it is pretty horrible.. but here is the snag... if we dont kill those other animals that have a fearsome taste for our food crops, we die too... i take it you still eat vegetables? how do you grow enough to live on with out killing slugs and snails? - some would say getting drunk before passing on was a far more pleasurable way then being desicated by poision, pecked by a bird, crushed...?


    5 years ago



    6 years ago on Introduction

    For those of us in the UK who have a friendly pub, they always chuck away beer where someone's not finished a glass full, so make some sort of deal - if they've got a garden then make them some sluggers and get some beer for free!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I love this!!!!!!

    I killed off most of my slugs last year by using the Walgreen's $2.99/six-pack beer poured into wine bottles laid on their sides in small depressions in the dirt. (They blend in much better than beer cans, too.)
    The problem is that the snails couldn't get in them, so now I have a snail explosion.

    This will make it easier to trap the snails!!! Thanks!!!


    10 years ago on Step 6

    You could probably get a similar appeal with a pinch of yeast in a sugar solution. Let it brew overnight to start fizzing and then put in your trap instead of beer.

    5 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Step 6

    hi there, yes i have already tried that but it would appear that there is an ingrediant of attraction missing from that brew, no patrons turned up the last time we opened the fake bar.. must try it again thanks


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 6

    Wow - 2 years since I looked in.
    Maybe try a watered-down sourdough mix - it has wild yeasts and the other 'smells' from the wheat etc might attract the right guests


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    well you know to a non drinker, its all the same to me.. and expensive waste. but its still cheaper and friendlier then all the poison versions...

    roll on the home made attractants...


    10 years ago on Step 4

    hey, thanks for your invention! I will put it to work Yeast powder mixed in water seems to work well too, a lot cheaper cheers, Torbjörn

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    hey there,

    love to know your mix ratio... i agree it would be much cheapers since i dont drink beer at all... i have been experimenting to see what part of beer they like so much but asyet no answers my self


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Hi there,

    yes i have discovered this also :-) the only thing bout it is lots of people particulary land lords arent so keen on lots of beer cans laying around the property... but something that is "constructed" and looks like its there for a purpose is much easier to explain i have found...:-)  thanks for your comment