Document Type

Honors Project

Publication Date

Spring 6-3-2015


In an attempt to stop the spread of invasive species, state governments have established decontamination procedures for use on contaminated equipment. However, different species can tolerate various procedures depending on their morphology and physiology. The New Zealand mud snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) is invasive to the United States and may alter the food web of streams due to the snail’s high reproductive ability, causing potential problems for native trout populations and local economies. We collected mud snails from the recently invaded Black Earth Creek, WI and tested their tolerance to decontamination protocols being considered by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Treatments included immersion in bleach (200 & 400 ppm), salt (35 ppt), full strength Formula 409, and the standard disinfectant Virkon (2.0%). We also tested effectiveness of spraying vs. immersion of Formula 409 and interference of mud with the cleaning procedure. Snails remained viable after immersion for up to 30 minutes in bleach and salt baths but exposure in Formula 409 baths killed all snails after 10 minutes. The effectiveness of spraying was more variable than immersion. However the percentage mortality in both techniques was significantly decreased by the presence of mud. These results provide a scientific basis for future invasive species management decisions.

Level of Honors

magna cum laude




Bart De Stasio