Local officials in Florida are desperately trying to find and safely get rid of the huge snails. Will they be Miami’s next exotic, dangerous threat?
Source: Miami Herald
According to the state Department of Agriculture, Florida has been invaded by the Giant African land snail. After the huge snails were found in Miami-Dade County, officials quickly launched an initiative to search out and destroy the slimy creatures.
The Miami Herald reported, 1,000 of the snails were found in a one-square-mile radius last Thursday. Although it is not clear as to how the snails came to be there, hundreds were found in one single backyard in Coral Gables.
The snails that were found and captured were transported to freezers where they were frozen to death.
Why should Floridians worry about the snails?
Consider this, these snails can grow up to 10 inches long and four inches wide. They eat at least 500 different types of plants, making them the most damaging land snails in the world. They love to reproduce:
According to the department, “Each snail can live as long as nine years and contains both female and male reproductive organs. After a single mating session, each snail can produce 100 to 400 eggs. In a typical year, every mated adult lays about 1,200 eggs.”
Not only that but, but these creatures carry a parasitic worm that can lead to meningitis in humans, for which there is no treatment for right now.
DOA is asking anyone who sees the snails to call 888-397-1517.