The BBC reports on the possibility that garden snails have a homing instinct and will return whence they came. So perhaps chucking them over the fence into the neighbour's garden is not enough! This idea comes from a 69 year old gardener who noticed them returning to eat her veg even when she removed them up to 10 metres away. A mass experiment is being arranged via Radio 4 to test the theory.

Personally I suspect that the snails don't home in specifically, but that they wander randomly over a large (e.g. 10 metre) range and hence will tend to find your petunias again eventually. But that's very different to the suggestion that they might make a beeline back to their start point.

It's just bucketed it down here and there are a crazy number of snails cruising across my garden path. Perhaps they're all sprinting back home after the lengthy dry spell?


I spotted a snail moving up the patio window after a rain shower so I took the opportunity to photograph it from beneath. This shows the mouth parts and two pairs of tentacles. The bigger, out of focus ones on top bear the eyes, and the ones at the bottom are just for feeling the way. If you look at the foot against the glass you can just see the undulating waves of movement running up along the sides.

As with most things, there are hidden fascinations waiting to be discovered, and I recommend this diagram of the anatomy of a snail, as well as this detailed discourse on the tentacles and eyes of snails.