Citizens urged to help manage spread of the giant African snail

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    The Agriculture Ministry is calling for all hands on deck to help manage the spread of the giant African snail.

    The species was first detected in Diego Martin in 2008, and while it was restricted there for a while, it can now be found in 35 areas including San Fernando, Valencia, and St Augustine.

    The snails have spread via floodwaters, in contaminated soil and even via vehicles, as they sometimes attach themselves to tyres.

    According to Agricultural Officer 1 Sharon Bedassie-Joseph the snails can do great damage to crops, and also pose a health risk as they harbour the rat lungworm, which can cause meningitis.

    She says the eradication method is very straightforward.

    Audio: Bedassie Joseph Disposal 20 11 18

    Farmers though may have a tougher time, and will be required to use chemicals.

    Audio: Bedassie Joseph Chemicals 20 11 18

    Ms Bedassie-Joseph is also urging persons to dispose of the right snails as opposed to all snails, since some garden snails are beneficial to the environment.

    To do so, she says persons should become familiar with what the giant Afri
    can snail looks like.

    Those wanting more information can call 646-6284 or send an e-mail to snailreport@gmail.com.