How Long Do Garden Snails Live?

How Long Do Garden Snails Live?

Garden snails, those slow-moving and often garden-dwelling creatures, have an air of mystery surrounding their lifespan. While they may not be the longest-lived creatures on Earth, they do have a unique story to tell. In this article, we’ll delve into the intriguing world of garden snails and uncover the factors that influence their lifespan.

How Long Do Garden Snails Live

The Average Lifespan

Garden snails, scientifically known as Helix aspersa, have an average lifespan that can range from 10 to 15 years. However, some resilient individuals have been known to defy the odds and survive for as long as 25 years. This longevity, by snail standards, is quite impressive.

In the Wild

In their natural habitat, which includes gardens, forests, and meadows, garden snails typically have a shorter lifespan. In the wild, they tend to live for approximately 2 to 5 years. This difference in lifespan compared to their captive counterparts can be attributed to the challenges and risks they face in the open environment.

In Captivity

When garden snails are kept in captivity, whether as pets or for educational purposes, their lifespan can be significantly extended. In such controlled environments, they may live up to 15 years or even more. The primary reason for this extended life is the provision of a stable and safe habitat, ample food, and protection from natural predators.

Factors Affecting Lifespan

Several factors can influence how long a garden snail lives. These include:

1. Diet:

A snail’s diet plays a vital role in determining its lifespan. Snails need a diet rich in calcium to maintain their shells. Calcium deficiency can lead to shell problems and shorter lifespans.

2. Access to Calcium

The availability of calcium-rich sources in their environment is crucial. Snails require calcium to strengthen and repair their shells continually. Inadequate access to calcium can lead to shell deterioration and a shorter life.

3. Predators

Natural predators like birds, frogs, and certain insects can pose a significant threat to garden snails in the wild. Predation can drastically reduce their lifespan.

Exceptional Longevity

While garden snails are not known for their extraordinary lifespans, there are snail species that outlive even humans. Large sea mollusks, for instance, have been documented to live for hundreds of years, making them some of the oldest living creatures on Earth.


In conclusion, the lifespan of garden snails is a fascinating subject that reveals the intricacies of their existence. With an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years, these resilient creatures navigate their environment, facing challenges and defying the odds. Whether in the wild or under human care, garden snails continue to captivate our curiosity with their remarkable journey through life


How long do garden snails live?

Garden snails in the wild typically live for 2 to 3 years. However, some snails can live for up to 5 years. The lifespan of a garden snail in the wild depends on a number of factors, including the availability of food, water, and shelter, as well as the presence of predators.

Can garden snails live in the winter?

Yes, garden snails can live in the winter. They hibernate during the winter, which means they go into a state of suspended animation. They will curl up in their shells and seal themselves off from the outside world. They can survive in temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius.

How do garden snails reproduce?

Garden snails are hermaphrodites, which means they have both male and female reproductive organs. They reproduce by laying eggs. The female snail will lay a clutch of eggs, which can contain up to 100 eggs. The eggs will hatch in about two weeks.

What do garden snails eat?

Garden snails are herbivores, which means they eat plants. They will eat a variety of plants, including leaves, flowers, and fruits. They will also eat decaying matter.

Are garden snails pests?

Garden snails can be considered pests if they eat too many plants in your garden. However, they can also be beneficial, as they help to control the population of other pests, such as slugs.

How can I get rid of garden snails?

There are a few ways to get rid of garden snails. You can hand-pick them, trap them, or use a snail bait. You can also try to discourage them from coming into your garden by removing any hiding places, such as piles of leaves or rocks.

Leave a Comment