Readers’ Questions – Snail Out Of Hibernation But Not Eating

I recently had 4 emails from different people saying that their snails had woken up from hibernation but were not eating or moving around much, so this is clearly a common concern.

Hi there, my snail woke up a week ago from hibernation but this time I’m worried about him. He’s not eating, drinking or moving around the tank like normal, he’s just sat in the corner. Is this normal or should I be worried? Any advice would be great, thank you.

Hi, my snail woke up from hibernation a week ago & he’s hardly moved around the tank, eaten or drunk anything. He’s just sat in the corner of the tank. He’s never done this before after hibernation, is this normal or should I take him to the vet?

My giant African land snail has come out of hibernation this week but despite water, fresh food and clean tank he hasn’t eaten at all and now looks like he is trying to hibernate again. Can you help?

My giant African snail has just woken up from the winter but is not eating anything – it has been nearly 4 days now. Can you help?

If you are having the same trouble with your snail(s), my advice is to give them a bath to try and wake them up. You can do this by placing them in a shallow dish of warm water, making sure it doesn’t cover their mouth or breathing hole. If your snail is large, you can also shower them using a very light dribble from the tap. You can find more details on bathing snails here.

In my experience, this usually perks them up a bit and kick-starts their appetite. If not, continue feeding your snails as normal and give them some time, as they might just be adjusting to the new weather.

This worked for Susan, who emailed me back to tell me how her snail was doing :)

Hi, Thank you so much for getting back to me, you were so right! The day after your message my snail had a good feed & drink. I’m so glad I emailed you, thanks again! Susan xx

Hope that helps, and if you have any other snail questions then email me on and I’ll try and get back to you as soon as I can.

Comments (3) Write a comment

  1. Hi,
    I recently purchased my 1st gals (tiger). She’s the size of a garden snail and think she’s around 3-4 months old.We’v only had her less than a week but she isn’t feeding and just buries under the soil.I’v tried placing her a couple of times on the food but she just leaves! I’v got a heat mat,a humidity and temp gauge and give her fresh food every day.I know I probably shouldn’t disturb her but just worried! Any advice would be gladly received!
    Thank You,
    Sharon x


    • If she’s only been with you less than a week it’s likely that she’s just taking some time to settle in. Avoid disturbing her for a while and keep giving her fresh food and she should become more active soon. Let me know if you’re still worried after a week or two though.


  2. Hi, I just purchased my snail yesterday, and since I got back from a trip he just sits at the top of his tank, and doesn’t move. I keep thinking he’s dead but he doesn’t smell, so I honestly don’t know what’s wrong with him. I feed him lettuce and small plants and he is kept in a moist tank and is kept wet and fed. He also has started bubbling which also scares me. Can you help? He has been at the top of his tank for 7 hours now.


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