Comparative Study of Cuban Slugs (Veronicella cubensis) Suppression Using Grazing Ducks, Neem (Azadirachia indica) Extract and Chemical Baits in the CNMI

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2008: $23,673.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Western
State: Northern Mariana Islands
Principal Investigator:
Alejandro Badilles
Northern Marianas College

Annual Reports


  • Vegetables: cabbages, cucurbits, peppers


  • Animal Production: free-range, manure management
  • Crop Production: windbreaks
  • Education and Training: technical assistance, demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, risk management, whole farm planning
  • Natural Resources/Environment: afforestation, biodiversity, hedges - woody
  • Pest Management: biological control, botanical pesticides, chemical control, cultural control, integrated pest management
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, sustainability measures

    Proposal summary:

    The economy of Rota, an island in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marina Islands, is vulnerable to slugs and snails that are populating the land and causing severe crop losses and a false image of the safety and heath of the environment. The high cost from current control measures, such as baiting, is prohibitive, so this Professional + Producer Grant will explore three cost-effective and sustainable control methods for slugs in vegetable crops. The first producer will use grazing ducks to eat the Cuban slugs (Veronicella cubensis), which also clear weeds and fertilize the ground. The second producer will plant rows of neem trees (Azadirachia indica) to use as windbreaks and for their pesticide properties. These trees are also known for their germicidal and medicinal purposes. The third producer will set up modified baiting traps on his farm that are safe and cost effective. This project will develop sustainable practices for the agriculture industry in Rota, decrease imported produce because of increased yields on the island and reduce the risks of harmful pesticides. Results will be shared in brochures, DVDs, field days and workshops.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.