Commercial molluscicides are widely used by rice farmers to control the golden apple snail (GAS) Pomacea canaliculata (Lamarck). Chemical control is an additional expense and a burden to rice farmers. In addition, misuse of these synthetic pesticides not only pollutes the environment but also poses hazards to applicators, farm workers, work animals, and other nontarget organisms such as fish, frogs, and beneficial arthropods.
In the experimental fields of PhilRice in Maligaya, Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, Philippines, we observed dead GAS after transplanting in fields with no pesticide. Farm interviews did not provide conclusive answers on whether farm implements (i.e., hand tractor) caused the death of GAS. Neighboring farmers claimed that, when applied before planting (soil incorporation), inorganic fertilizers reduced the GAS population and minimized damage, such as missing hills. We searched various literature databases and contacted snail researchers in the country and abroad but did not find published or unpublished information on the effects of inorganic fertilizers on snails.