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Snail fall-off

Heather-Lynn Evanson

Snail fall-off

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THE BOUNTY on the heads of Giant African Snails as well as predators that developed a taste  for what’s inside the shell have been credited  for the massive decrease of the pests islandwide.
And while there are still pockets of colonies holding out in some areas, the island’s top entomologist feels Barbados is winning the battle against the creature that was first seen here more than ten years ago.
Entomologist with the Ministry of Agriculture, Ian Gibbs, who was speaking to the Daily Nation while conducting a sick plant clinic at the Barbados Horticultural Society’s Annual Flower Show at Balls Plantation Christ Church on Sunday, said there  were three factors behind the apparent disappearance of the snail from the lawns, yards, walls and even garbage piles across the island.
These were the ministry’s highly successful bounty programme which had been implemented in 2009  after the snail was discovered in the early 2000s;  the fact that rats, cattle egrets, blackbirds and even centipedes had turned out to be natural enemies  of the snail, and that community-spirited Barbadians had come out at night and in the early morning to bait, pick and kill the pests.