NATIONAL

Steps to check invasion of Giant African Snails

Foreseeing a renewed invasion of the Giant African Snails in the State during the monsoon, invasive species experts have kicked off a pest eradication programme.

The invasive mollusc has independent populations across 126 locations in the State and comes out of slumber with the onset of the monsoon. The ferocious feeder eats anything from crops to ornamental plants and crawls all across walls and buildings. It was three years ago the presence of the mollusc was first reported in the State. T.V. Sajeev, who heads the forest division of the Kerala Forest Research Institute, Thrissur, felt that the State was on the threshold of a population explosion of snails. “It is for the first time established populations of the species have been identified at over 100 locations, and if not contained during this season, its management will become difficult,” he said.

Awareness material

Meanwhile, researchers have begun sending awareness material for eradicating snail population to all local bodies. In some cases, demonstrations on preparing Tobacco Decoction Copper Sulphate (TDCS) mixture and its applications are conducted. The Kerala State Agriculture Department has sanctioned a project for eradicating snails, Dr. Sajeev said. The dead snails should be safely buried, Dr. Sajeev suggested.