In September 2011, green snail (Cantareus apertus – formerly Helix aperta) was detected near Cobram in the north of the state.
Businesses operating land where green snail has been detected, or land that has been linked to a green snail detection must follow quarantine measures to reduce the likelihood of the pest spreading further.
Some interstate markets have also introduced quarantine entry restrictions on the entry of green snail host material.
About green snails
Green snail is native to Southern Europe and North Africa and has been established in the Perth metropolitan area since the 1980s.
Mature green snails have an olive-green shell and white flesh. They are intermediate in size; between the smaller vineyard snail and white Italian snail, and the larger common garden snail. Green snail rarely exceeds 25mm in shell diameter.
Green snail is similar to both the white Italian snail and the common garden snail in that it remains dormant through the summer in dry situations. However, unlike the other snails, it burrows into the soil before becoming dormant.
Following autumn and winter rains, the snail reactivates itself. Mature snails lay eggs in the soil around May or June and the young snails appear in early winter. Green snails can breed very quickly, with up to 1000 young snails found per square metre.
How is the pest being managed?
Restricted areas have been declared in Victoria for properties that have had green snail detected on them. Restrictions are also in place for properties that are linked to a green snail detection, through processes such as sharing of machinery or other host material from infested properties.
The restricted area declaration can be found in the Government Gazette.
Restrictions apply to the movement from these properties of machinery and equipment and most plant materials, including pasture grasses, fodder (hay), vegetables, nursery stock and cut flowers.
Surveys of the affected properties will continue to ensure the pest remains contained.
What movement restrictions are in place?
Movement within Victoria
Properties with a green snail detection and properties linked to a green snail detection will be issued with a permit stating the requirements for moving green snail host material from the properties.
All consignments destined for interstate markets must meet interstate quarantine conditions prior to consignment.
For further information on movement restrictions, please contact your local officer on 136 186 or email email@example.com
What can I do to protect my crops?
Any chemical products used to control green snail must be applied, stored and disposed of according to instructions on the container label. In particular:
- Observe specified withholding periods.
- Ensure that pets and livestock are excluded from baited areas and chemical preparation areas.
- Do not contaminate waterways with chemicals or used containers.
Who should I contact if I think I have found green snails?
If you suspect you have found green snail, please contact an officer immediately on 136 186.
The green snail can be readily distinguished from other snails.
Juvenile green snail (top) and common garden snail.
(both of the above species are smaller than green snail).