Now is a good time to bait for snails and minimise egg lay
Recent dissections of small pointed (conical) snails collected from the Mount Barker area have revealed that the albumen gland is getting larger in these populations. This increase in size of the albumen gland means that snails will soon be laying eggs.
Remote camera monitoring at Scaddan has also revealed that round snail populations in Scaddan have become sexually active over the past 2 weeks, since a period of high humidity was experienced 2 weeks ago. Even though small conical snail populations in Scaddan and Gibson haven’t been observed mating, their gland size is increasing and egg laying is expected in the next fortnight.
Eggs laid now can contribute to snail numbers next year. Immature small conical snails do not readily feed on baits so consider baiting sooner rather than later to minimise egg lay.
Timing of baiting is important, to coincide with when snails are actively moving and feeding. Observations of snail movement under cameras has indicated that most snail movement occurs if temperatures are above 5°C and relative humidity on the ground is above 50%. Movement and feeding can occur even if there has been no rain during the day.
An even spread of baits across paddocks increases the chance that slugs and snails will feed on them, reducing the need for re-baiting. DPIRD’s SnapBait app assists with calibrating bait spreaders.
To check if snails are actively feeding growers can patch bait an area and check to see if there are any dead snails near the baits.
This snail update is courtesy of the WA Snail Mitigation Project funded by the Agribusiness Food and Trade Directorate, with assistance from regional agronomists funded by the GRDC regional agronomy project (DAW00256).
For more information on snails and their management visit;
- DPIRD’s PestFax 2019 Pre-season Issue Snails are active at Mount Barker and South Stirlings after recent rainfall article
- DPIRD’s Snail and slug control page
- GRDC’s Bash’Em Burn’Em Bait’Em: Integrated snail management in crops and pastures publication
- GRDC’s Snail baiting as part of an integrated pest management strategy video.
For more information on snails contact Svetlana Micic, Research Officer, Albany on +61 (0)8 9892 8591, King yin Lui, Development Officer, Esperance on +61 (0)8 9083 1119 or Sarah Belli, Development Officer, Albany, on +61 (0)8 9892 8409.