With every snail that is collected and destroyed you are helping to eradicate potentially 1,200 snails!
This is the word being sent out to communities across Barbados, as the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development prepares to embark on yet another Giant African Snail collection effort this Saturday, April 19, at 5:30 p.m. This time, it will be in the districts of Hoyte’s Village, John’s Plain, Holder’s Hill and Dairy Meadows, St. James.
“When a snail is mature, it can produce up to 1,200 eggs every year – so every one that you kill means that there will be at least 1,200 less down the road,” explained Entomologist, Ian Gibbs, who has underscored the invaluable effort which residents could make to the national effort.
“We rely on inputs from the District Emergency Organisations within the given districts, and also on the residents themselves – because they have a better idea of where the snails are in every nook and cranny of their districts, while we might have a better overall picture. So, that’s why it is absolutely necessary for the residents to take part in these exercises, by showing us first hand how the snail is distributed in their community,” he stressed.
In this regard, Mr. Gibbs said his department was looking forward to having as much participation as possible during this Saturday’s snail hunt.
“The assembly point is the St. John the Baptist Church Hall. We look forward to having as many people as possible out there to help to get rid of these snails. Come prepared with your gloves, your hats, your boots, your raincoats and your torchlights. Let’s all put our hand together in this national effort,” he appealed.
In speaking to the impact being made by residents within the various communities, the Entomologist stressed that while it could not be quantified, they were definitely contributing to the overall reduction of the snail population.
“At this point in time, it is a bit difficult to estimate the quantum of the dent – but one is being made. The community collections are also an effort to sensitise the general public as to the severity of the problem, because many people who come to these events say they never could have thought that the problem was so bad in those areas,” he added.