Your spinach leaves are decimated, the chilli seedlings are trying to fight back and the lettuce shimmers with the sleek trail of a snail.
A backyard infested with gastropods can be the cause of much angst for novice gardeners.
But there are a number of solutions to rid these pests from your patch.
Frances Michaels, co-owner of Green Harvest Organic Gardening Supplies in Australia, knows how to save plants from becoming dinner for a slug or a snail.
Here are her tips:
Take control of the snail harbours in your garden, Michaels says.
Snail harbours are the plants that snails hide among during the day or hibernate within during dry weather.
Popular plants are the Bird of Paradise and agapanthus, because they offer protection against predators.
"I always warn people that you've got to be careful cleaning areas like that out," says Michaels, who is based in Queensland where she also has to watch out for snakes.
Snails also hide under compost heaps and piles of timber.
Once you have reduced the number of snails in your garden, Michaels suggests using bait stations as a regular form of control.
Bait stations attract the pests to one spot, however they won't save seedlings if you have a big problem.
As a passionate supporter of non-toxic products, Michaels backs Multiguard snail and slug pellets.
The Australian product contains iron, which she says is an important soil micro-nutrient.
Organic baits also often claim to deter pets and wildlife because of their strong taste.
Some gardeners use copper to deter snails because it is highly toxic to snails, and if they try and cross it they get a reaction similar to an electric shock.
Some people make miniature snail fences out of copper and place them around the base of a plant.
Gardeners can also buy copper tape and create collars that can be placed around seedlings or under the rims of pot plants.
However these copper products are unlikely to work in wet subtropical and tropical regions, says Michaels.
Beer traps are another option and consist of pouring beer into a container that only a snail or slug can get into.
The pests are attracted to the smell of the yeast, and then fall into the beer and drown.
Michaels says sugar water is apparently more effective than beer, but adds that both traps need to be emptied regularly as once a dead slug decomposes the traps lose their appeal.
A number of materials can also be sprinkled on the ground around the stem of a plant.
One is Diatomaceous Earth, a form of silica, also known as sharp sand.
Snails can't easily cross it, Michaels says, because at a microscopic level it feels like razor blades.
Sawdust is effective because it irritates snails and slugs when they pick it up. Ash from home fireplaces works this way as well, and some gardeners swear by crushed egg shells.
But all of these methods only work if the weather is dry, says Michaels.
For families with young children, Michaels suggests an incentive scheme where parents pay 10c for every snail the children collect from the garden.