Bad news: giant African land snails that cause harm to humans and wildlife have invaded a Florida county.
The creatures can grow to the size of a human fist and are very ugly. Take a look:
A Florida county is under quarantine due to the discovery of a fast-growing population of invasive giant African land snails.https://t.co/jqW1hx49Xf
— CNN (@CNN) July 4, 2022
Looks like something out of Stranger Things.
Per the experts, these are the most dangerous snails in the world, feeding on at least 500 different plant species. The snails pose a threat to humans by carrying the rat lungworm parasite, which can cause meningitis.
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services confirmed to CNN the detection of these snails in the New Port Richey area of Pasco County on July 3.
Various reports say the arrival of the vile snails caused a quarantine in the country, but state spokeswoman Christina Pushaw says there’s only a restriction on bringing products out of Pasco County.
“FACT CHECK: Nobody in Florida is under quarantine or lockdown due to Giant African Land Snails. The snails were found in one area of Pasco County,” Pushaw tweeted. “People cannot bring soil, plants, and building materials out of that area because of the snails, but people are free to move.”
Christina Chitty, a public information director at FDACS, says the arrival of the pests in the country is likely the result of illegal pet trade. While African land snails are illegal to own as pets in the United States, some exotic pet shop owners keep them illegally.
Blame these people accordingly.
The process of eliminating the slimy giants includes spraying a snail bait called metaldehyde-based molluscicide, says FDACS’s Division of Plant Industry.
Eradicating these snails is no simple task as they can lay 2,500 eggs per year. Researchers first identified this type of snail in 1969 and did not eradicate them until 1975. Similarly, the snail-type re-emerged in 2011 and was not eradicated again until 2021.
If it’s not a pandemic or culture war, it’s freaky-looking giant African land snails.