Farmers in Antigua and Barbuda are being advised to utilize some of the alternative methods other than snail bait, Government to eradicate a pest that has been doing much damage to the local Agricultural sector, the Giant African Snails.
Despite years of fighting the plague, the destructive critter continues to spread across Antigua and Barbuda after being identified in the country nine years ago.
As a part of another measure to assist in killing the invasive pest, the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs has collaborated with the Extension Division to compile some useful tips and alternatives residents can use.
The pamphlet outlines the use of cheap and effective alternatives which can be used including the use of Scotch Bonnett peppers, to be boiled and the liquid sprayed on the snails. It also outlined how a salt, flour mixture and water which is expected to kill them instantly, can be used.
The most expensive yet effective of the alternative methods was the use of Beer of Fermenting Yeast which attracts the snails. Farmers are advised to place a plastic container halfway into the soil with the substance inside and watch as the scent of the beer attracts the voracious eaters.
The Giant African Snail is considered one of the most dangerous, damaging land snails in the world. They are known to eat at eats 500 different types of plants, including peanut, beans, peas, cucumbers, papayas, and melons.
According to the pamphlet, if fruits or vegetables are not available, the snails will eat a wide variety of ornamental plants, tree barks and even paint and stucco (stuck-o) on houses.