Integrated pest management (IPM) is a holistic approach to pest species control in which multiple practices are implemented throughout the growing season. IPM programs strive to monitor pests and identify them accurately, so that appropriate control decisions can be made in conjunction with action thresholds. Scouting and early detection are crucial for the success of such programs because once established, invasive species are extremely difficult to eradicate and can cause not only ecological disruption, but economic problems, as well.
For many of the most economically important insect pests in agriculture, artificial lures have been developed. As a standard IPM practice, traps using these lures are a quick and convenient ways to monitor the populations of such pests.
Current control methods for exotic apple snails are not preventative, but expensive, and either ineffective (handpicking) or environmental harmful, blunt instruments (high rates of copper sulfate). Our environmentally-sensitive Snail Busters Apple Snail Trap (patent pending) not only greatly facilitates early detection of the presence of exotic, apple snails but also traps the initial infestation for removal. These traps can also be used to prevent the rebound of snail populations after a molluscicide treatment.
The Snail Busters Apple Snail Trap (patent pending) is constructed of High-Density PolyEthylene(HDPE), a recyclable material that is light-weight but heavy-duty – - resistant to corrosion and UV radiation. In short, it is designed to provide many years of service in the harsh aquatic environment.
This trap is most affective when baited with the proprietary Snail Busters Apple Snail Bait (patent pending), a non-toxic lure that Pomacea insularum simply cannot resist. In an area with a heavy snail infestation, hundreds can be captured overnight in each trap.
The baited trap is placed in shallow water (1’-1 ½’ deep) in an area protected from wave action and near aquatic vegetation. Anchored with PVC pipes, the traps should be placed no more than 50’ apart along the shoreline.
If the traps are checked daily, the optional floating grate may be unnecessary. The grate is essential, however, if traps are monitored and baited on a schedule that exceeds 3 days.
In areas currently free of exotic Pomacea, the traps can be used near boat ramps and incurrent streams for early detection. The apple snails appear to prefer to lay eggs on PVC pipe. The bright pink eggs of the exotic snails on white PVC can be easily spotted. As soon as eggs as observed the traps should be regularly baited and monitored.
Unlike funnel traps, incidental “bycatch” of fish, turtles, snakes, etc. is not problem because of the trap’s unique design. Because the trap and bait are non-lethal, native apple snails (Pomacea paludosa) can be sorted for release in areas where both the native and exotic snails exist.
Remember to use gloves when removing the apple snails from the traps. The edge of Pomacea insularum is sharp enough to cause a laceration.
For more information on obtaining the Snail Busters Apple Snail Trap and Bait (patents pending), please respond in the “reply” area below, or directly contact us directly at 850/893-4652.