Giant snails the size of rats eat houses in Florida

July 02, 2022

US Department of Agriculture says last time these snails were spotted, it took almost a decade and a million dollars to get rid of them

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Mary Yong Cong, a Florida Dept. of Agriculture scientist, holds a Giant African Snail in her Miami lab on July 17, 2015.—AFP


Snails, usually seen as tiny harmless animals, have sent a town of Florida into quarantine after growing up to eight inches, the size of a rat.

These gastropods belong originally to Africa and are carrying a parasite that causes meningitis in humans.

Daily Mail reported that the quarantine is to last nearly two years. However, this is not a lockdown like the one imposed for coronavirus. People are only not allowed to move plants, soil, debris, and building materials outside the zone they are kept in.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) settled in the north of Tampa on June 23, sending the town into immediate quarantine.

Not only to humans, the snail is also harmful to the environment with its love for over 500 plants and taste for concrete.

The US Department of Agriculture said that the last time these snails were spotted, it took almost a decade and a million dollars to get rid of them.

What is worse is that these creepy crawlies reproduce quickly, producing almost 1,200 eggs a year.

"Property owners inside the treatment area will be notified in person or by posted notice at least 24 hours in advance of the planned pesticide treatment," said FDACS.


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