Snails cause damage in citrus orchards by feeding on ripe and ripening fruit, leaves of young trees and young tree bark. Fruit damage appears as circular chewed areas in the rind (Figure 1). The brown garden snail (Cornu aspersum) is the most common species of snail causing damage in citrus orchards in the south west of WA (Figure 2). Other snails that might cause problems for citrus include the White Italian snail (Theba pisana), Vineyard or common white snail (Cernuella virgata) and small conical snails (Prietocella barbara).
Damaged leaves have large chewed areas along the margins. Snails can cause severe problems in citrus orchards, where no-till weed control and sprinkler and low-volume irrigation create an ideal environment for snail development. They can also cause issues with irrigation management by clogging sprinkler heads and irrigation systems.