What’s the size of a grapefruit, covered in runny mucus, and eats everything it touches? If you guessed “giant East African snail”, then you’re correct!
One of the largest and most damaging snails on Earth, giant African land snails (GALS) first invaded southern Florida in the 1960s. An eradication program that lasted nine years and cost $1 million killed 17,000 by the end of 1975.
Then, in September of 2011, a GALS was discovered in Miami. Since the comeback, the tally in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties has grown into the hundreds of thousands.
The massive snails feed on more than 500 species of plants, including agricultural crops. They also harvest calcium from the stucco and plaster to build their shells, damaging homes. What’s more, they are known to carry a parasite known as rat lungworm, which can cause a form of meningitis in humans and animals. Specimens with the disease have been identified in Miami.
The giant African snail have been found on 670 properties in from Homestead to Hollywood, Florida, but haven’t been spotted elsewhere in the state.
Listen below to our podcast to find out more with our special guest Julio Rodriguez,Staff Assistant Division of Plant Industry for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
If you think you could have these in your property, report them! However, any other invasive species or insect in your landscpae make sure to protect it properly and give us a call for a FREE Estimate. Our Integrated Pest Management (IPS) service will help with:
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