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Giant African Snail Isolated in Holguín Community

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caracol africano 4This snail is among the 100 most harmful invasive alien species (IAS) worldwide. Photos: Carlos Rafael
In Holguín, until Thursday, June 6, the Giant African Snail (CGA) had been detected in the community of Certenejas de Güirabo, where it was found for the first time in this northeastern province on last May 23 by local residents and confirmed its presence by specialists of the Plant Health System.
The CGA was found in areas of the Cooperative of Credits and Services (CCS) Ñico López, of the municipality of Holguín, and official information was immediately prepared for all the entities of the Agriculture sector and the government authorities related to this activity.
Nelson Pérez Turruellas, Plant Health specialist, explained that in the last days several places have been checked after the report by the population of the presence of snails, but with negative results.
He added that until June, people involved in the activity had collected and eliminated a total of 1,724 specimens, while continuing their daily searching and collecting for their elimination.
The specialist stressed that work has also been carried out in the training of personnel linked to agricultural production, sugarcane, forestry, as well as the population in general, with the aim of achieving their early detection and immediate elimination, in accordance with the measures of protection provided in these tasks.
Caracol africano 3The measures of elimination of this mollusk must be strictly complied with so that there is no danger of contamination.
In the case of the community of Certenejas, Pérez Turruellas said that from the sighting of the mollusk, they have been working in the collection of adult specimens, their grouping in nylon bags and in a tank, for their elimination through the following process:
1-Collection of snails with the use of gloves or nylon bags so that there is no contact with hands, an operation that is done, mainly, in the late afternoon or early morning.
2-A deep hole is opened and at the base a layer of lime is deposited covering its entire surface.
3-The adults of snails are deposited in the hole, as well as gloves or nylon used for the control and elimination of the snail, and lime is spread in all the area.
4-Proceed to pour another layer of lime to cover them completely.
5-Scatter enough soil to cover the entire hole opened.
6-To throw lime in the empty tank that served as the deposit of snails, to eliminate the negative effects that the mollusks may have left.
7-Once this operation is carried out, the hands are washed immediately, as well as the clothes used.
If these measures are strictly complied with, there is no danger of contamination, so none of these steps can be neglected each time the CGA is found and destroyed.
The Giant African Snail was found for the first time in Cuba in 2014 and has now been located in more than 10 provinces of the country.

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