Are Mushrooms Bad for Snails?

Are Mushrooms Bad for Snails

Are Mushrooms Bad for Snails?

Snails are renowned for their broad dietary habits, consuming virtually anything they encounter. These fascinating creatures have evolved to become true generalists, embodying roles as herbivores, carnivores, and detritivores. However, one might wonder, are mushrooms bad for snails?

Mushrooms are not bad for snails; in fact, snails enjoy consuming mushrooms as much as they do other food types. However, snails are also known for their selective eating habits, gravitating toward certain flavors. As such, it’s recommended to blanch or cook the mushrooms you feed them.

The remainder of this article delves into the health benefits of mushrooms for snails, proper methods of preparing mushrooms, and other nutritious foods suitable for snails. Please continue reading for valuable insights on snail feeding practices.

Do Mushrooms Offer Nutritional Value for Snails?

Contrary to certain misconceptions, mushrooms are not harmful to snails. Structurally, mushrooms are a type of fungi that adopts a plant-like form with a stem and a cap. Snails are recognized for their fondness for fungi, so a mushroom meal aligns perfectly with their diet.

Interestingly, snails can safely consume even the deadliest mushrooms that would be fatal to humans within minutes. This remarkable ability is credited to their unique digestive systems, which can efficiently neutralize the toxic chemicals found in these mushrooms.

The snail’s hepatopancreas, or digestive gland, produces special chemicals that break down food. This organ also assists in detoxifying compounds before they can reach other parts of the body, rendering the snail immune to poison.

Additionally, some snail species have evolved to become immune to certain mushroom toxins. To the best of my knowledge, there isn’t a variety of mushrooms that would be detrimental to a snail.

Mushrooms offer numerous health benefits to snails:

  • They are a low-calorie food source packed with various health-enhancing minerals, vitamins, and crucial antioxidants. Notably, mushrooms are rich in potassium, calcium, and phosphorus, vital in proper shell development. The antioxidants also support optimal immune function in snails.
  • Mushrooms provide sufficient energy for normal snail growth and sustained activity levels.

Therefore, feeding your snails a mushroom meal occasionally is a wise decision. When considering the next supplemental diet for your snails, mushrooms should be a priority.

Can Snails Eat Raw Mushrooms?

Indeed, snails can consume raw mushrooms. Having observed these creatures consuming plant leaves, stems, and bark, it’s clear that mushrooms present little challenge to them.

In fact, mushrooms, being softer and more flavorful than plant stems and barks, maybe even more appealing to snails. You simply need to chop the mushroom into smaller pieces and put it into the tank.

If your snails are accustomed to mushrooms, they’ll likely abandon whatever they’re doing to sample them. If they’re unfamiliar with mushrooms, they may initially display some hesitance, but eventually, you’ll observe them nibbling on the mushroom.

Can Snails Eat Cooked Mushrooms?

Indeed, snails can consume cooked mushrooms. Cooking enhances the flavor and palatability of the mushrooms, making them more appetizing to the snails.

If your snails seem uninterested in raw mushrooms, it’s worth considering cooking them.

  1. Start by thoroughly washing and chopping the mushrooms into smaller pieces.
  2. You can either blanch the mushrooms in boiling water for a few minutes or sauté them.

However, be sure to refrain from adding any spices or flavorings that could harm snails. When serving your snails this mushroom meal, begin with small pieces to gauge their interest.

Overloading the tank with too many pieces at once is not recommended due to the risk of causing ammonia spikes in your tanks.

Recommended Reading: Can Snails Live in High Ammonia?

What Foods Are Bad for Snails?

Foods Bad for Snails
Photo by Krzysztof Niewolny on Unsplash

While many foods are safe and enjoyable for humans, they can pose severe risks to snails through ingestion and simple contact. It’s crucial to educate individuals, especially children, about these hazardous foods.

I’ve observed instances where snails have been mistakenly fed harmful substances.

  • Salty Foods: Salt can be lethal to snails and slugs as it induces rapid external and internal dehydration. Since a snail’s body largely consists of water, contact with salt triggers a swift release of mucus as the snail attempts to combat dehydration, ultimately leading to its demise. As such, salty foods should be avoided at all costs.
  • Sugary Foods: While small quantities of sugar may not harm snails, larger amounts can be detrimental. Research indicates that sugar disrupts the absorption of calcium and potassium, thus posing health risks to snails. Instead of sugary foods, try increasing the proportion of vegetables in your snail’s diet. Snails should not consume cakes, bread, and dairy products.
  • Processed Foods: Processed foods often contain hidden sugars and fats. Additionally, the high starch content in these foods can complicate digestion, leading to bloating and water retention. Examples of processed foods to avoid include rice, pasta, millet, and crackers.
  • Citrus Fruits: Snails typically do not enjoy citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapes, lemons, and limes.
  • Chlorinated Water: Chlorine is harmful to snails, so you should avoid providing your snails with chlorinated water. If chlorinated water is your only option, pour it into a container and leave it uncovered overnight to allow the chlorine to evaporate.
  • Homegrown Foods Laced with Pesticides: Foods grown at home and treated with pesticides can be deadly to snails. Ensure that the foods you provide your snails are entirely free from pesticides.

What Is a Snail’s Favorite Food?

Primarily herbivorous, snails have a particular affinity for vegetables and greens, which should constitute the majority of their diet. They especially enjoy the following:

  • Kales
  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach

Other vegetables such as carrots, peas, potatoes, sweet corn, and zucchini are also favored by snails. These foods supply all the minerals and nutrients snails require for healthy shell development.

Calcium supplementation can be achieved through bones, cuttlefish, soil, and crushed eggshells. However, I recommend calcium supplements as they release calcium more readily.

An ideal option for a calcium supplement is the POPETPOP 12pcs Fish Tank Calcium Stone. These blocks dissolve easily, releasing calcium and other trace elements into the water. They are safe for all aquatic life and won’t pollute your tank.  

Recommended Reading: Can You Use Repti Calcium for Snails?

Closing Remarks

Contrary to some beliefs, mushrooms are not detrimental to snails. In fact, snails appreciate mushrooms for their softness and palatability.

Cooking the mushrooms can make them even more appealing to the snails. Remember to chop your mushrooms into small pieces before offering them to your snails. While preparing your snail foods, refrain from adding sugar or salt.

I hope you found this information helpful and enlightening. 



  • Paul Odoteh

    Paul Odoteh is an established writer and editor with nearly 10 years of experience in writing and editing. He holds a bachelor's degree in IT and has written for numerous publications and individuals. Currently, Odoteh is dedicated to expanding his blog,, which was inspired by his passion for owning an aquarium.

Leave a Reply