Compared to the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) there has been little research carried out on the biology, ecological requirements and tolerances of quagga mussels (Dreissena bugensis (Mackie & Claudi, 2009). Indeed most research on the control of mussels has focused on D. polymorpha (McEnnulty et al., 2001). However it is thought that most of the control methods would also apply to quagga mussels (G.L. Mackie, pers. comm.; Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, 2005).
Prevention: Studies suggest that humans are responsible for most introductions of zebra and quagga mussels into new areas. The best way to prevent and manage dreissenid invasions in open waters is thought to be prevention through public outreach and education. Examples of this include public signage and wash stations at boat launches and other potential introduction points (Frischer et al. 2005).
Detection: One of the most important criterions for successful eradication of a species is early detection allowing control measures to take place while the incursion is still relatively small. Detection relies on monitoring and education. In Lake George, NY zebra mussels were detected in 1999 while the population was relatively small. Control efforts between 1999 and 2007, mainly using physical means and SCUBA, were successful in eradicating zebra mussels from the lake (Wimbush et al. 2009).
Chemical control is one of the most common methods for control or eradication. Chlorination is often used; D. bugensis is more sensitive to chlorination than D. polymorpha. Thus chlorination programs currently in use to combat D. polymorpha are more than sufficient to simultaneously control D. bugensis. Another alternative has been potassium permanganate, especially for drinking water sources, even though chemical controls are not environmentally sound solutions. D. polymorpha was recently eradicated from Millbrook Quarry, Virginia using 174,000 gallons of potassium chloride solution over a 3 week period in 2006 (Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, 2005). Other chemical control options include chlorine dioxide, sodium hypochloride, ozone, mollusicides and polymers (D’Itri, 1996).
Decreasing water levels of water bodies to cause desiccation of D. bugensis is an effective, readily applied and environmentally neutral technique. It would be most effective in raw water systems such as navigation locks and water intake structures, which are designed to be periodically dewatered for maintenance. This is a particularly attractive method of control because it could be utilized to mitigate fouling not just by D. bugensis but also mixed populations of this species and D. polymorpha (Brady et al., 1996; Ussery & McMahon, 1995). Other physical methods include manual scraping, high-pressure jetting, antifouling coatings and mechanical filtration.
Biological Control: Research is currently underway to test the effectiveness of the CL145A strain of the bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens which produces a toxin that destroys the digestive system of Dreissena spp. (Molloy & Mayer 2007).
Other: A variety of other control methods in use or being developed are oxygen
deprivation, thermal treatment, radiation, molluscicides, ozone, antifouling coatings, electric currents, and sonic vibration (D’Itri, 1996; Mackie & Claudi, 2009). Fears and Mackie (1995) investigated the use of low-voltage currents for preventing settlement and attachment by D. bugensis by using steel rods and plates with the current running through them placed near the intake of a pulp and paper plant. Complete prevention of settlement was achieved at 8 volts/in with steel rods on both wood and concrete surfaces (Fears & Mackie, 1995).