Re: AROID-L digest 949

At 10:03 6/11/97 -0500, you wrote:
>Snails (eduardo gomes goncalves <>)
>Re: Amorphophallus variabilis ("NAME \"Wilbert Hetterscheid\""
>Re: Upside-down amorphophallus - advice needed -Reply (Krzysztof Kozminski
>Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 08:49:01 -0500 (CDT)
>From: eduardo gomes goncalves <>
>To: Aroid list <>
>Subject: Snails
>Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.3.95.970611084852.18667A-100000@arachne>
>Dear Aroidelers,
>    I need some militar help: Is there any kind of efficient weapon
>against snails?  There is a gang of these disgusting molluscs trying to
>destroy my living collection! In the begining, they only attacked some
>young leaves of Anthurium, and I could easily control them. Now, they are
>also chewing the base of the petiole of some tuberous aroid, and the war
>was finally declared when they knocked down my only Gorgonidium plant (it
>was just a baby!). Too bad... 
>    I'm living in a tropical country and our winter isn't enough to stop
>their destructive activity. I'd like to hear from some of you, before to 
>try a H-bomb!!!

 I too battle snails (and their cousins the slugs) in a tropical
environment. Some people use "snail pellets" or "Slug bait," but this is a
nasty chemical. The most effective weapon against snails is a rock...or a
hammer. Many people are now using scissors to get rid of slugs, but I just
pick up a small stick and skewer the slimy little devils.

 Sounds like a hassle, walking around looking for the snails and slugs, but
it can actually be very easy. First I set a sophisiticated trap, consisting
of a few banana leaves (or any other big flat leaf, or even an old board)
thrown on the ground. That's it. They hide under there to get away from the
sun. I turn over the leaves, and stomp, poke, and hammer until they are gone.

 If you have a big garden, make several of these, since the enemy doesn't
travel far. Keep looking under the leaves every few days, and within a week
or two, the problem should be greatly reduced. If you keep up the raids, by
the time a month has passed, you will have decimeted the populations and
greatly disrupted breeding.

 Of course, if you really want it to be like military action, go on
night-time search and destroy missions. I use a small flashlight that I hold
in my mouth to keep my hands free, then look over my plants to find pests. I
stomp the snails and cut the slugs. They come out at night, and are easy to
get then. (I have to do this anyway to get a type of beetle that swarms on
taro leaves at night.)

 Some people here who grow wetland taro have big problems with apple snails.
They are too numerous and small to deal with by hand picking, and the ponds
are not the right environment to do this anyway. I have heard good news from
a couple people who are using geese and ducks, which patrol the ponds and
eat the snails.

 I have also heard that certain toads will eat enormous quantities of slugs.
Then again, I always heard that a bowl of beer catches slugs. In Hawai`i, a
bowl of beer catches lots of roaches. I would rather drink it myself.

 Anyway, all of these are ways to get rid of your problem without resorting
to pesticides. Ultimately, chemicals only create problems with the soil
chemistry and breed a race of pesticide-resistant creatures. I have yet to
meet a snail that has evolved a resistance to being smashed with a big rock.


The bosses said to add a disclaimer. So give them no credit or blame for my
Also be advised they may read anything you write to me at this address.
Maurice Major
Department of Anthropology		Phone:	(808) 847-8282
Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum	FAX:	(808) 848-4132
1525 Bernice Street
Honolulu, HI 96817-0196

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