Richard Ha writes:
From the May 27th Hawaii Tribune-Herald: “Ingesting a parmarion martensi, a brown slug that can reach about 2 inches in length, can be harmful because the mollusk is a known carrier of a disease-causing parasite, a nematode called angiostrongylus, or rat lungworm, that can cause meningitis, pulmonary disease or gastrointestinal illness.”
There have been reports of people ingesting this small slug on homegrown lettuce and becoming ill.
We first heard about this when it was reported in the newspaper three years ago. It has been found in lower Puna, and in isolated spots in Waimea and Kona.
We are not aware of it being found in Hamakua. But just to be cautious, we do have a first line of defense—we apply slug bait. Also, we feel confident we’d have an easier time spotting the slug, if it did show up, since we do not grow our lettuces in the ground.
We are starting to think of other control strategies in case it reaches our location. We will make a wide, weed-free barrier around our lettuce operation. We are also planning to put down cinder as a barrier around the perimeter.
We take these kinds of stories seriously and try to plan ahead—sooner, rather than later.
On another topic: We're at 44 percent of goal in our grass roots "adopt-a-class" campaign and have almost covered the whole school for the first semester. But the first graders still need a sponsor, and we still need contributions toward a couple other classes.