London - It may not be the most scientific approach to pest control – but throwing snails into next-door’s garden is the most effective way of getting rid of them, scientists have found.

The only catch – apart from the risk of angering your neighbours – is that you need to have a good throwing arm.

Gardening lore holds that a snail will always return to your garden, no matter how far it is removed.

But academics from the universities of Exeter and Queen Mary London suggest that a snail’s homing instinct is actually very limited. In fact, they rarely return from more than 20 metres, a study published in the journal Physica Scripta said.

But the researchers admitted it might be better for the local gardening community if you take the snails to a nearby wasteland, rather than shifting the problem on to the neighbours.

They found there was little advantage in killing snails, as they are generally part of a much larger, wider population coming in and out of the garden. - Daily Mail