preparing mystery snails for shipping

Shipping Mystery Snails Safely

How to Ship Mystery Snails Safely

People ship snails in many different ways and I am not saying this is the only way it can be done safely. It is the method that I feel gives the snails the best chance of arriving to their new homes, alive and well, with as little stress to them as possible.

  1. Fast (don’t feed) snails for 24 hours prior to shipping. Snails are much more likely to die if forced to sit in their own waste while in transit.
  2.  I have specially ordered cups that have air holes in the lid. I prefer using these because the snails DO NOT bounce around which results in less stress for them and there is no risk of cracked shells.

    Snail shipping cup lid with air holes
    Snail shipping cup lid with air holes
  3. I place two wet paper towels folded in quarters in the bottom.

  4. I Gently place the snails upright on top of the paper towels and then place two more wet paper towels on top of them so that the towels fill the entire container.

    Mystery snails placed into cup prior to shipping
    Mystery snails placed into cup prior to shipping
  5. I then tip the container slowly so that any extra water pours out and place the lid on it.

    Snail shipping cup with air holes in the lid
    Snail shipping cup with air holes in the lid
  6. I have a priority box that has been prepared by lining it with styrofoam panels on all sides.

    insulated shipping box for snails
    A priority USPS mailbox lined with styrofoam panels on all sides.
  7. If a cold pack is necessary, I place it in the bottom of the box and place a piece of styrofoam over it so that the snails are not touched by it. If a heat pack is required the snails go in the bottom and the heat pack will be taped inside the lid so that it also has no direct contact with them. I use 72 or 96 hour heat packs most often. I find my shipments can often be delayed an extra day so the 4 day heat packs work best if it will be cold for the entire duration of the trip.

  8. I wrap the cup or cups of snails in paper towels or newspaper (if it is very hot or cold I may also use foil bubble insulation) and add more cushioning/insulation around them such as: cellulose insulation, shredded paper, newspaper or paper towels around them so that the cup doesn’t bounce around any more than necessary during the shipping process.

  9. I suggest to each buyer that if they will not be home at the time of delivery that they allow the package to be held at their local post office for pickup as sitting out in the heat or cold at delivery is the most common time for snails to perish. Most mail moves through the postal system in early morning and evening when the temperatures are lower.

  10. I put Fragile and Live Fish  on the outside of the box on every side. If the postal employees don’t know there is something alive in the box, why should they care if the package is left out in extreme temperatures? Perishable would also work but because I ship bettas as well, it is just easier for me to use Live Fish at the time I make up the boxes. While it will probably happen eventually, so far I have not had one snail die out of all the shipments I have made this year.

  11.  It gets rather tricky when it’s hot here in Florida but cooler other places. If the temperatures conflict, I poke a few small holes in the top styrofoam panel to allow a bit more of the heat to escape. If it’s cold in my state but hot where they are going, I may start the heat pack early so that it hopefully runs out before reaching the warmer location.

 Acclimating Mystery Snails After Shipping

Upon receiving the snails, people are asked to have a container of room temperature dechlorinated water waiting. once the snail cup(s) reach room temperature, people can put the snails in the water at one end of their container and a food wafer at the other end. With this shipping method, the snails are usually up and moving within minutes to a few hours. I have had snails shipped with other methods to me, personally, that have taken days to recover from shipping and become active. This is what works for me anyway 🙂

3 thoughts on “Shipping Mystery Snails Safely”

    1. Mystery snails can breathe air, I haven’t found any documentation yet saying that rabbit snails can and most people seem to ship those in water… You may want to do more research before trying to ship them this way as I do not know if it is safe for them.


      1. I am still looking into this for rabbit snails. I have seen rabbit snails crawl out of the water occasionally and still appear to breathe fine. Seems like most people ship in water for them but I have received 5 yellow poso and one chocolate rabbit snail shipped in wet paper towels that arrived alive and well. More research needed.


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