Researchers from the Sari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University in Iran assessed whether or not mineral oil was effective in suppressing damage by citrus white snails (Helica candeharica) on commercial citrus orchards. Their findings were published in the journal Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica. Section B — Soil and Plant Science.
For their studies, the researchers compared the effectiveness of mineral oil in fighting H. candeharica infestation against molluscicide baits such as metaldehyde and iron phosphate, as well as a snail-repellent paint.
The researchers conducted two studies where they applied mineral oil, molluscicides and snail-repellent paints to citrus trees in a commercial orchard and the number of snails on the trees.
In each study, the number of snails on the citrus trees was monitored and counted 10 days after the application of the treatments, and at an interval of 6 to 8 days up to harvest time.
In the first study, conducted over the course of 30 days, mineral oil and snail-repellent paint treatments reduced the number of snails best.
In the second study, directly comparing metaldehyde with a mineral oil barrier, the mineral oil barrier still reduced snails the best.
The researchers calculated the cost per hectare of each treatment with mineral oil found to be the most cost-effective at $55 per hectare ($/ha), compared to 153 $/ha for iron phosphate, 124 $/ha for snail-repellent paint and 120 $/ha for metaldehyde.
In sum, the researchers found that mineral oil is an effective alternative to chemical compounds for reducing access by H. candeharica to citrus trees in both efficacy and cost.
Sepasi, M.; Damavandian, M.R.; Besheli, B.A. MINERAL OIL BARRIER IS AN EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE FOR SUPPRESSION OF DAMAGE BY WHITE SNAILS Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B — Soil & Plant Science,69:2,114-120, DOI: 10.1080/09064710.2018.1510026