The Giant African Snail ‘Achatina Fulica’ is a plant pest that has made a recent reappearance in Trinidad and Tobago. It was first contained in 2012-2013 but has since spread to 45 different areas across Trinidad.
The snails eat garbage and rat faeces and should never be consumed as it carries a parasite called the rat lungworm, which is a vector for meningitis in humans. To test for the rat lungworm, every three months samples are collected from the snails to test for it by the Ministry.
The Giant African Snail has been eradicated once, but now it seems with this unknown introduction, more have started to reproduce at a faster rate. The snails are nocturnal and have been known to wipe out crops in one night. Tropical countries have felt its effects as it can be found in urban areas, agricultural areas, forests, wetlands, and gardens.
Two methods of removal involve a pesticide called ‘Metaldehyde’, which can be mixed with kitchen scraps and sprinkled on the ground. It is used to kill snails and slugs. Another is using two cups of salt or two cups of bleach to one gallon of water, before covering it. This will kill all snails and eggs after 24 hours.