We evaluated the safety and effectiveness of chemical treatments for killing veliger and juvenile stages of the zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha attached to unionid mussels. Static toxicity tests were conducted on eight unionid mussel species with common aquaculture chemicals (benzalkonium chloride, formalin, hydrogen peroxide, calcium chloride, potassium chloride, and sodium chloride). The concentration and duration of each chemical treatment tested had previously been found to kill zebra mussel veligers and juveniles. Several species (e.g., Elliptio dilatata, Lampsilis cardium, and Lasmigona complanata) incurred less than 10% mortality in chloride salt treatments, while in other species (e.g., Obliquaria reflexa and Leptodea fragilis) mortality varied greatly among treatment regimes. Treatments with benzalkonium chloride, formalin, and hydrogen peroxide were less than 90% effective on juvenile stages of zebra mussels and, therefore, were ruled out after preliminary trials. Limited application of specific chemical treatments may be feasible for more tolerant species; however, effective disinfection of unionid shells will require the use of chemical treatment followed by a quarantine period to completely remove zebra mussel larvae and juveniles.
Additional publication details
Evaluation of several chemical disinfectants for removing zebra mussels from unionid mussels