We have met giant African land snails before. The super-sized snail is one of many invasive species plaguing Florida. State officials have evicted giant African land snails twice. They must not do it a third time, reports say.
The snails have been found once again and are now forcing quarantines, according to the NewYork Times The pests, which can eat paint and stucco, have been spotted again.
A section of Broward county is under quarantine, the paper said. People may come and go but they may not move the giant African land snails. They are also forbidden to remove yard waste or debris that may harbor them.
According to the National Invasive Species Information Center the snail is one of the most destructive of invasive species. Lissatachina fulica are sometimes kept as pets. They have been in the United States for between 50 and 60 years. The snails destroy up to 500 kinds of plants and crops. They also harbor a parasite that can cause meningitis in humans.
According to the center:
“The giant African land snail is a highly invasive agricultural pest, known to feed on over 500 varieties of plants. They also pose a risk to humans and animals by carrying rat lung worm, a parasite that can cause meningitis in humans. Both the USDA and DPI will continue to remain vigilant in their commitments to safeguard American agriculture through surveys, early detection, and rapid response. The public should continue to watch for the snails and report suspects to the FDACS-DPI hotline at 1-888-397-1517.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control:
“Angiostrongylus is a parasitic nematode that can cause severe gastrointestinal or central nervous system disease in humans, depending on the species. Angiostrongylus cantonensis, which is also known as the rat lungworm, causes eosinophilic meningitis and is prevalent in Southeast Asia and tropical Pacific islands. The recognized distribution of the parasite has been increasing over time and infections have been identified in other areas, including Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States.”
Florida is struggling with many different types of invasive species. Burmese pythons have been written about extensively, but the list of threats Florida faces is large. We have written about 7 potential threats and a variety of eel that seems to be moving out of control.