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Nature & Environment

Giant snails put Florida town into quarantine

By T.K. Randall
July 3, 2022 · Comment icon 1 comment

These mammoth snails are bad news for the region. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Grzegorz Polak
An invasive species of giant snail has resulted in restrictions being placed on the area.
Capable of growing up to eight inches in length, the Giant African land snail is a notorious invasive species that can actually prove dangerous to humans due to its tendency to carry a type of lungworm that can cause meningitis.

When an infestation of the creatures was recently confirmed in the Florida city of Port Richey, therefore, authorities moved quickly to establish a quarantine on its residents which forbids the movement of plants, soil, debris and building materials to or from certain zones.

The snails are known to reproduce quickly and have a penchant for eating various types of plants and even concrete - making them a menace to both the wildlife and the local infrastructure.
When they showed up in Southern Florida in the 1960s, it took ten years to get rid of them.

"Each snail contains both female and male reproductive organs," the United States Department of Agriculture said in a statement. "After a single mating, each snail can produce 100 to 500 eggs. "

"These snails can reproduce several more times without mating again. They can generate clutches of eggs every two to three months."

A lack of any natural predators in the area is also serving to exacerbate the problem.

Source: Mail Online | Comments (1)

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Comment icon #1 Posted by Still Waters 2 years ago
More than 1,000 invasive giant African snails captured in Florida Agriculture officials say they've captured more than 1,000 giant African land snails from Pasco County since the invasive pest—"one of the most damaging snails in the world"—was first detected around New Port Richey in late June. "Let me assure you: We will eradicate these snails," Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried told reporters at a news conference Thursday. They've been found on 29 properties, officials said. About 900 have been collected alive, while nearly 150 were dead. Agriculture officials said the main pl... [More]

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