Madikeri: With the coming of the monsoon, the African Giant Snails have reappeared in the district. Of late, the invasive species have been a curse for the farmers as they eat the leaves and destroy the coffee plantations. Controlling the infestation and spread of these giant snails has become a headache for the farmers here.
Native to the Eastern parts of the African continent, the giant snails were first sighted in India as early as 1847. These snails are active during the night hours and hide during the day under the dry leaves of the undergrowth. They can infest and destroy more than 500 species of plants including pepper, coffee, banana, arecanut and so on.
In 2015, the foreign invading snails were found for the first time in Madikeri at Somwarpete taluk. The Coffee Research Board has advised farmers to use "catch and kill" method and/or use insecticides for controlling the spread of these highly invasive species.
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