New Zealand mudsnails Potamopyrgus antipodarum (NZMS) have been introduced into many continents and are easily transported live while attached to wading and other field gear. We quantified the relative attachment by different life stages of NZMS to felt, neoprene, and rubber-soled boots exposed to two densities of NZMS in experimental exposure totes. Attachment by NZMS occurred on boots of all surfaces, but the highest numbers of all life stages occurred on boots with felt surfaces. We found a 15–20-min bath application of 20 g/L Virkon Aquatic was a reliable tool to disinfect boot surfaces infested with NZMS and other aquatic invertebrates. Our studies support that spray application of this disinfectant was not reliable to provide complete mortality of attached adult NZMS or neonates. Wading gear surfaces exposed to repeated bath disinfections showed little deterioration. Our results provide strong evidence that bath disinfections with Virkon Aquatic are helpful to assure biosecurity in field and hatchery settings, but applications should be coupled with cleaning procedures to remove organic materials that can deactivate the reagent.
Additional publication details
Disinfection of three wading boot surfaces infested with New Zealand mudsnails