Charles Darwin

Snails in your garden? Warm up your throwing arm, scientists suggest

Snails in your garden? Warm up your throwing arm, scientists suggest

Sea turtles have it. So do salmon and Giant Burmese pythons. Pigeons are really famous for it. Now scientists report that some garden snails have a homing instinct too – but gardeners can overcome it with a simple heave-ho.

In a two-year experiment involving a quantitative ecologist, an experimental physicist and hundreds of snails, the data demonstrated that relocating the mollusks at least 20 meters away was just as effective a pest-control strategy as using poisons. The results were published Friday in the journal Physica Scripta.

“Gardeners who dislike unnecessary slaughter will wish to know if it is...

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