Look out they may be back- the giant African snail!
They are an enormous pest that lay up to 1200 eggs every year and are the size of a cricket ball! They can survive all sorts of extreme temperatures, some carrying meningitis that can affect and kill humans. These huge snails are in plague like proportions in the US and are transported around the world in shipping containers!
Nothing really controls them, but maybe we might have a solution, certainly for the more commonly found Australian snails that we suffer from we have….
The most common are the little white Italian snail (Theba pisana) and the garden snail (cantareus aspersus), these are the species that cause major havoc in Australian vineyards. In autumn eggs hatch in as little as 2 weeks if conditions are right and snail populations build very rapidly soon after that. In spring and summer, they seek shelter usually around the base of posts etc were they stay relatively inactive until the cooler milder weather.
The timing of traditional snail baiting is critical, however most traditional pellets are affected by rain and need replacing often several times a season. These pellets are expensive and can be dangerous to wildlife and domestic pets etc. However, if left un-controlled they can cause all sorts of problems by eating and destroying young fresh tissue and buds this is particularly apparent at “bud burst in vineyards. Another major problem is that they interfere with irrigation systems and can clog sprinkler heads, this causes vineyard owners a great deal of expense and effort.
AJs Products together with our chemist have found a solution- our product DESTROY A SNAIL is a liquid that kills common snails on direct contact, the product is non-toxic to wildlife and pets and is environmentally friendly it is made up of different substances including an irritant that is easily absorbed by the snail and death results. This product is not affected by heat and can be applied to all surfaces, including wet areas, but its best applied during dry weather when the snails are most active. The product will not affect grape vine buds or new shoots and can be used commercial by tractor or domestically by hand spray equipment.
Do not apply during windy weather, best used during calm dry conditions, best applied by “mister’ equipment rather than conventional equipment as larger areas can be covered. Best used alone commercially at 20 litres per 230 litres of water, do not mix with other farm plant chemicals or fertiliser solutions. 50m litres of spray should cover 1 Ha.
This article is written and produced for educational purposes only by A J Products Blackwood SA 5051