Florida Battles Giant African Land Snail Infestation With Over 100,000 Already in the State

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by Jessica Montoya Coggins Daily Mail

     

The sunshine state has seen an invasion even peskier than those college spring breakers.

Giant African land snails have increasingly taken over South Florida with 117,000 being caught since September 2011, when they were first spotted.

The snails, which can chew through plaster, can grow as big as rats according to experts.

Denise Feiber, a spokeswoman from the Florida Department of Agriculture and COnsumer Services warned the state’s residents about the dangers their potential danger.

They can attack ‘over 500 known species of plants.’

And because they need to ingest calcium for their growing their shells, the snails harbor an infinity for stucco.

In the island of Barbados where the snails are more prevalent it’s not uncommon to see them cause blown-out tires.

Giant African land snails do carry a parasitic rat lungworm that can potentially lead to illness in human (mostly with meningitis) but no cases have been discovered yet in the United States.

A group of experts met in Gainesville, Florida last week for the ‘Giant African Land Snail Science Symposium,’ to find solutions for ridding the state of mollusks.

Feiber told the media that investigators were searching for where the infestation first occurred.

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