Citrus growers around the state are reporting problems with snails in the grove.
UF/IFAS researchers are alerting Florida citrus growers to be on the lookout for snails in the grove. Growers from several parts of the state are reporting problems with snails, Bulimulus sporadicus, in their groves, including eating tender leaves and twigs, clogging irrigation systems, and getting to young citrus trees under individual protective covers, according to a Citrus Industry article. Research and Extension agents are working on solutions, but advise growers to be on the lookout. Learn more below.
Snails in the Grove
Problems with snails in the grove have been reported in the Panhandle, in Highlands County, and in South Florida groves. “It sounds like the current population is spotty, but gets very high very fast, suggesting a quick reproduction cycle and high reproductive state. This, of course, requires data to confirm,” said Lauren Diepenbrock, an entomologist with UF/IFAS.
“The snails are actually chewing on tender leaves and twigs and causing some dieback where populations are heavy. They also get on the poly tubing, spaghetti tubing, the stake and the emitters of the irrigation system. When they get on the emitter, it can clog the emitter or distort and reduce the watering area of the sprinkler…One grower said that they are finding them on resets inside the individual protective covers (tree nets), and are struggling to get spray coverage through the net to control them,” shared Highlands County Citrus Growers Association President Jim Snively.
While researchers are “in the process of setting up lab-based screening assays to help determine what materials could have efficacy in the field,” options mentioned for control include spraying Imidan at the maximum allowed rate, weed management, maintenance of habitat for predators like ground beetles, and
bait with metaldehyde.
Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.