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FDACS Setting Traps for the Giant African Land Snail

October 9, 2012

Teams from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services have been looking for and capturing giant African land snails in Miami-Dade County for more than a year. Recently they have begun a 90-day special operation, placing traps on 36 of the most heavily infested properties in five of the the 18 mile-wide core areas where they have previously found snails. The traps supplement other eradication efforts that include removing snails and their eggs by hand and applying environmentally friendly bait that is specific to the GALS.

The traps contain non-toxic, people- and animal-safe bait that has the consistency of cream of wheat. Teams have placed them in or on the ground in areas that have little or no sunlight, record the locations and check them periodically. They are using two kinds; the Snailer trap and the Bucket trap (see photos).  So far, the results from using the traps are encouraging.

Teams have captured more than 88,000 specimens since the snails were discovered in Miami-Dade in September 2011. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has dedicated 44 employees to the eradication effort.

The giant African land snail feeds on more than 500 plants and extracts calcium from concrete on the sides of houses. It can grow up to eight inches in length and can live for nine years. Adults typically lay up to 1,200 eggs annually, so populations can quickly grow to the tens of thousands.

Bucket Trap

 

Snailer Trap

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One Response to “FDACS Setting Traps for the Giant African Land Snail”

  1. Nicola Mears Says:

    Hello,
    here in Ecuador, we have a terrible problem with the snails… can you tell me how effective the traps were and how i can get them for the African snail. Anyone interested to come and work on solutions for organic farms?


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