My snails have been making a layer of... something(?) around the entrance to their shells. I don't know what it is. They remain in their shells until I remove the layer, which is really bothering me.

Can someone identify the stuff and tell me how to prevent it? Thanks!

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  • Could you give details about how you keep these snails? They usually create this layer to protect themselves from something (dryness, cold...), and by removing it, you may force them out, but they will close up again soon unless the trigger is removed.
    – Layna
    Aug 8, 2016 at 10:19
  • I keep them in a 2 gallon fish bowl with some organic dirt I found in the garden section of Wal-Mart. I use a mesh and rubber band to cover the hole. I keep the the bowl moist and I put in fresh food every day. Aug 8, 2016 at 10:55
  • How about temperature and hiding-spots? thinks Also, the species of the snail and your location may be useful, so all-out snail-experts can jump in here :)!
    – Layna
    Aug 8, 2016 at 10:59
  • I don't know the exact temperature, but I keep them in my man-cave (which can get above 80F). I don't know the specific species, but I found them crawling outside my window. I live in Kerrville, TX. Aug 8, 2016 at 13:17

2 Answers 2


This is totally normal. It's dried up slime to conserve moisture. The snails will hibernate in this. My snails are hibernating too right now, but I wake them up once a week to feed them. To remove it just use a toothpick; BE REALLY CAREFUL they are often just right under this layer and won't like being poked.


These are milk snails! commonly found in Texas, originating from the Mediterranean, and North Africa! They enjoy warm climates, lots of soil to dig in, hiding spots such as logs, rocks, and bark. When too cold, they create a seal and go into a deep sleep! The seal allows their heart rate to decrease and holds a steady temperature to keep from dying. Your snails may benefit from a heating pad! I often use like warm water when spraying their terrarium, and leave them in sunlight, while they will hide from direct sunlight they need the warmth. Hope this helps!

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