ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Authorities have stopped collecting Giant African Snails and are instead focusing their efforts entirely on baiting in an effort to suppress proliferation of the pest.
Until now, part of the control measures have been to collect the snails for counting and other analyses before they are destroyed, in order to determine the extent and density of infestation.
But Plant Protection Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture Dr Janil Gore-Francis said the numbers of snails now being encountered are just too much to handle.
“We still continue as far as possible to apply bait when we do have it, working along with farmers in those areas that are affected, where there is agricultural activity going on. We provide bait to them as well, but as we know, during the wet season it becomes more of a challenge because that’s the time when most of the snails come out, and you have a lot more damage to crops in the infested areas,” she said.
She also disclosed that snail infestation at Cooks has spread beyond the initial zone.
“We have been trying to deal with that in terms of applying bait to the new areas so that is what has been taking up most of our time recently.”