The effectiveness of disinfectant and steam exposure treatments to prevent the spread of the highly invasive killer shrimp, Dikerogammarus villosus.


School of Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK. [Email]


Biosecurity protocols designed to prevent the spread of invasive alien species (IAS) are now an essential aspect of IAS management. However, the effectiveness of various biosecurity treatments requires further exploration. Killer shrimp, Dikerogammarus villosus, a notoriously high impact and ecosystem destabilising invader, has rapidly spread across Europe, and is of concern to invade Northern America. In this study, we examine the effectiveness of three commonly used, broad-spectrum disinfectants to cause mortality of D. villosus: Virasure Aquatic, Virkon Aquatic, and Virkon S. Immersion and spray treatments of 1%, 2% and 4% disinfectant solutions were examined for applications of up to 300 secs immersion and for up to ten consecutive sprays. Furthermore, we assessed the effectiveness of steam (≥100 °C) treatments for up to 120 secs. For all disinfectants, immersion in 1% solutions caused 100% mortality at ≥120 secs. At higher concentrations, shorter immersion times caused complete mortality: 60 and 15 secs for 2% and 4% solutions, respectively. Five sprays of 2% and 4% solutions resulted in 100% mortality, for all disinfectants. Direct steam exposure was highly effective, with complete D. villosus mortality occurring at ≥10 secs. Overall, brief exposure to broad-spectrum disinfectants and direct steam could be used to limit D. villosus spread.

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