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Whitish clear eggs in small piles atop the soil

Mystery Eggs

Last week I was cleaning up my community garden plot to ready it for new crops and I came upon several small piles of mystery eggs. I had never seen anything like it before and didn’t know whether they were from beneficial insects or not. So I left them.

Here’s what they looked like:

Whitish clear eggs in small piles atop the soil
Whitish clear eggs in small piles atop the soil

Had I been diligent and done the research right away, I would have found out immediately (thank you Google images) that they were…ready for it?


By the time I went back the next day, they had been relocated. So it is very likely there will be plenty of slugs in my garden’s future this spring. That said, I’m glad I looked it up instead of destroying them on site. Had they been beneficial insects, destroying the eggs would have been a tragedy. We work hard to attract good bugs to the garden, it would be a shame to undo that work in a heartbeat.

So, next time I see these eggs what shall I do?

A) Scoop them up and hurl them across the street

B) Squish them into oblivion

C) Import decollate snails (cannibals of regular snails and slugs)

D) All of the above

I think you know the answer.

This Post Has 40 Comments

  1. Natasha

    Relocate in parks, lots of birds will eat

  2. Lynn

    We found them in a potted tomato plant. We’ve never seen slugs in East Texas. How big is the snail that laid this clutch of eggs? Some are as big as marbles and there were more than 50. Also, they were white, not clear. Are we talking about the same thing?

    1. Christy

      There are some giant slugs and giant snails that are invasive species found in Texas. Some snails that are the size of your fist. If you do a search for “marble sized slug eggs in east Texas” you’ll see some of the results I found. You may have spotted the beginning of a new encroachment of an invasive in your area. Take a look at report what you find. This site gives you a place to report your findings.

  3. ruth

    I found adouble string of eggs smaller and neaterthan the slug/snail shells with which I am familiar. Any idea who they might belong to?

    1. Christy

      Smaller and neater usually indicates an insect of some sort. Without a photo it’s hard to tell. You can send an image to ask gardenerd at gardenerd dot com.

  4. Lissa

    Do they need the parents or can you just hatch them on there own ?

    1. Christy

      That’s a good question. I don’t think they require someone to sit on them like chickens do to keep warm. They will most likely hatch on their own and move along.

  5. Colin

    I had no idea what they were . I dropped them in the pond thinking the fish might like them.

  6. Robert taylor

    Don’t interfear with nature let them be free

    1. Elizabeth

      In Hawaii, they cause rat lung disease and you can see their slime on windows and everywhere. Even salt will not kill them. Because of this, we have to be especially careful in our gardens or risk a deadly disease. That’s why I kill them.

  7. Wildlife gardener

    Leave them in your gardens and help our poor hedgehogs. Slugs and snails are their favourite meal….

    1. Christy

      Good to know, Wildlife Gardener. We don’t have hedgehogs here, but opossums do the same job on this continent.

  8. Julia

    cool thanks for posting.
    i found some eggs similar looking here.
    not sure if they are slugs ir snails.
    i have seen adults of both here and they eat alot of my plants.

  9. No kill

    Why kill them?

    1. Christy

      You don’t have to, but if you have a continuous problem with slugs and snails devouring everything in your garden (as do many people in wet climates) the over population will be an issue. Balance is everything.

  10. Rose

    I really love snails (their little faces are adorable) and my snails just laid some! its an average sized clutch of little white squishy balls, they laid one clutch already but that was only 17 eggs and I have only 4 left due to the runts dying and the heathy strong baby snails eating the dead ones (I do feed them, the dead runts were probably just a snack for them, the runts probably died to due heath issues), when the eggs hatch and all runts are culled I’m releasing them in the woods near our house, but I’m not releasing the babies I already have

  11. Cheryl

    Ick! Thank you for posting this! I’ve been battling snails forever. The chickens won’t touch them and they decimated my cabbage and brussel sprouts overnight!

  12. Gemma Lloyd

    We’ve been keeping some snails (6) since we’ve been homeschooling. They have been so interesting to watch, but now we have 4 separate egg nests Containing what looks to be around 50 eggs each 🙈. Is it cruel to change the soil and remove all the eggs to a park etc?

    1. Christy

      Hi Gemma, I always feel that relocation is better than destruction in most cases. They are part of the food chain for a number of critters (ducks, opossums – though I’m not sure you have those in the UK – geese, turkeys, etc.) If you can relocate your snails/snail eggs to a place where they will be of benefit to wildlife rather than becoming an imported invasive species, that would be best. So the park, if it is habitat for those critters I mentioned, is a great location.

  13. Gabby Bongiardino

    I have just found these eggs in my yard under a rock while looking for worms for my worm farm! They are round and clear. I believe they are snail eggs due to the fact that all around the eggs are small snails. I will just leave them there. 🙂

  14. Rebekah

    I found some today, yesterday I got a container filled it with dirt and collected worms and snails and Roly-poly’s and a few grubs so I went out today to get more dirt and found those eggs I didn’t know if they were snake eggs because we did find a baby black snake in that location yesterday but I picked them up and now know there just slug eggs😂

  15. Himani Jamod

    Thank you for your blog in it. otherwise i thought of reptiles eggs.
    i will throw it. but do the soil becomes unhealthy??

    1. Christy

      The soil is unchanged by the presence of slug and snail eggs.

  16. Barb

    So in the midst of the coronavirus scare, I am now homeschooling my grandkids. We’re going to hatch the suckers and learn something!

    1. Christy

      Cool. Keep us posted on what you learn!

    2. Robin Lester

      My 12 year old son found similar eggs on our yard, and he’s planning on hatching them as well!

    3. Alannah

      We just found some today and will do the same! We have already put some caterpillars in a fish tank and plastic take away containers, one lot will be moths and one lot will be butterflies! It’s so much fun!

    4. Karen Franks

      just a little heads up…I did hatch some. If there are too many, they will eat each other (slugs and snails have teeth) and it is not pretty. Also, they love potatos!

        1. Faith

          I didn’t know that’s what it was….. I KILLED A SLUG😭😭😭😭😭

    5. Linda Harake

      Thank Heavens I tossed them in the firepit with dried leaves and burned them. I was going to put them in my sprouting jar to see what emerges. I would have been grossed out to no end with “slugs under glass” and tossed my lovely jar. Here in the Redwood forest of NorCal we have banana slugs that grow to the size of a bruised banana. When I squished an egg it did look very sticky slimy like snail trails. Perhaps if you’re brave enough an old jar, stocking and rubber band, then transported to bird sanctuary or duck pond.

  17. Jackson

    I found them thinking they where some kind of amphibian eggs but then I looked up what they where and inediatly threw the in the garbage

  18. Erin

    My chickens eat them like candy!!!

  19. Aleks

    we have cat food near our plants so the slugs always go for that to eat

  20. Ava

    I saw some of those eggs in my backyard

  21. Sharon

    I’m new to this so what’s the answer?? lol

    1. Christy

      The answer is D) all of the above. Though I think some people will have preferences for one or the other. Personally I like the idea of using decollate snails. They eat the eggs of regular snails and slugs.

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