After suffering countless sleepless nights, people have declared war on giant African snails that have invaded two coastal villages near here in Kerala.
Dominic Presentation, a former Congress minister, said the snails were causing enormous problems in Palluruthy and Mattanchery villages.
"The snails are chewing up the entire flora and fauna. Anything green in colour is eaten up in a few hours. Now the snails are invading kitchens and bathrooms," said Presentation, who hails from Palluruthy.
"This is certainly posing a serious health risk since the snails not only eat leaves but also anything that is in a state of decay. They also consume rat droppings," said Anotonia Roselyn, who heads the college's zoology department.
This is the second time in 15 months that the snails have caused havoc in the state.
In July last year, villagers of Azhiyoor village near Vadakara in north Kerala burnt almost 30,000 snails every day by pouring kerosene. These snails were created havoc for more than two months in the village.