Monday, 23 July 2012

What you're about, I'm upon

Something had been munching on my Duke of Tuscany jasmine.  I felt for the poor thing. It must be quite frightening not to be able to move and get away when you are being torn apart. I had searched previously but could find no sign of the culprit. 
No tell-tale droppings, no eggs, no slimy trails,.... nothing.
Whatever it was, came in the night and assaulted Mr.Duke and was gone by morning light......I checked.

I sprayed Mr.Duke and hoped for the best.  The rains came and washed the spray off, so the culprit came a visiting again.
I thought about applying snail pellets around the plant, but then with Brownie around, this was not a safe thing to do.
What should I do?
Checked around again.
That's when I found the culprit, and that's putting it nicely....GAS had invaded my garden.

Giant African Snail (Achatina fulica) making its way home for the day after a night of gluttonous foraging, and assaulting my Mr.Duke.
Here on the island, we have been invaded by these pests since 2000, when it is believed they arrived via cargo at the Bridgetown port.
Our government has tried to implement methods for its eradication, from bounty programs to pick and burn exercises to handing out free snail bait.
Even though the metaldehyde bait kills efficiently, it is the leading cause of death among pets.
These snails are nocturnal feeders and they eat everything, from crops to ornamentals to garbage and faeces.
The snail has a large turban-shaped shell and is brown with reddish brown streaks...sounds like an exotic dancer from Morocco, but don't be fooled.
It is a hermaphrodite, and can reproduce asexually, no need for  a partner, and is capable of producing hundreds (yes, I said Hundreds) of eggs per year.
One of the most damaging snails in the world had decided to come pay my garden a visit......WHAT????
This was friendly warfare either.....the real HAD to go.
Reason I could never find him before was because they are very good at hiding. They bury themselves underground when the weather is hot, and resurface when the weather is damp and rainy to create havoc. 
I keep a stash of the eco-friendly snail pellets for baiting outside my garden wall, but with this guy/gal I had to make sure it had  a good sendoff.  I will spare you the photo of its demise, but suffice to say that since they are capable of repairing their shells from the inside, I made sure his shell was well broken.
These pests can transmit meningitis and other diseases through their mucous, so I was very careful with its disposal.

GAS = 0               Virginous One  =  1

What you're about, I'm other words, whatever you are up to, I am way ahead of can not outsmart me.
My mum used these words with me quite a lot when I was growing up.


  1. Very nasty creature. Let's hope he doesn't have any friends nearby.

  2. Good for you. I don't have a snail problem here thank heaven.

  3. Missy, I am in "search and destroy" mode constantly, especially in the rainy season now.

  4. GB, you are extremely lucky to not have this problem to deal with.....believe me.


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