Kozhikode

African snails creep into Thrissur city

Though the snail threat has been reported from many areas in Thrissur, the city started facing the problem only recently and the situation is severe in Punkunnam, right: a poster campaign by the Kerala Forest Research Institute control snail infestation.

Though the snail threat has been reported from many areas in Thrissur, the city started facing the problem only recently and the situation is severe in Punkunnam, right: a poster campaign by the Kerala Forest Research Institute control snail infestation.  

Corporation begins preventive measures, Punkunnam hit

Many areas in Thrissur city are facing threat of African snails. The situation is severe in Punkunnam. The snails, which destroy crops including plantain and papaya, are posing a threat to agriculture.

Though the threat has been reported from many areas in the district, the city started facing the problem only recently. The Kerala Forest Research Institute, which had been on a mission to eliminate African snails, recorded their massive spread in more than 125 locations in the State in recent years.

One of the 100 worst invasive species in the world, the Giant African Snail (Achatina fulica) feeds on plants, including agriculture crops. They can live in aestivation for 2-3 years, according to scientists.

A single snail lays about 200-500 eggs and 80% of them survive. As they live in proximity to human habitations, they are an issue of concern. The major mode of spread of these snails is through timber, soil, and manure.

Containing measures

Tobacco decoction-copper sulphate mixture is used to kill snails.

Meanwhile, the City Corporation has started steps to eliminate the snails. Mayor Ajitha Jayarajan, who visited the affected areas, said the Health Department had already initiated steps. The authorities are spraying salt and bleaching powder in the affected areas.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 3:34:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/african-snails-creep-into-thrissur-city/article19894264.ece

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