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Latino Daily News

Monday April 15, 2013

Giant Snails Eating Through Miami Homes

Giant Snails Eating Through Miami Homes

Photo: Giant Snails Invading Eating Through Miami Homes

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Florida is being invaded!!

…by enormous snails.

More than 100,000 Giant African Land Snails have been caught in and around Miami, but not before some have they gnawed their way into residents’ homes.

The invasive species is able to and has gnawed through stucco and plaster used on many homes in southern Florida. In the last year roughly 117,000 of these large snails, with about 1,000 being caught each week in Miami-Dade County.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) says residents will likely start seeing more of the mollusks as they should be coming out of hibernation for the Florida’s rainy season.

The snails are considered one of the world’s most invasive and destructive species, attacking more than 500 species of plants. Giant African Land Snails also threaten humans as they carry a parasite called rat lungworm, a potentially deadly form of meningitis. No captured snails have been found with the parasite and no human cases have been reported.

Ecuador and Caribbean nations like Barabados have faced these invaders as well. Though FDACS say the problem is substantial, it is currently isolated to the Miami-Dade County area.

Giant African Land Snails reproduce very quickly and can produce up to 1,200 eggs per year. Each can live up to nine years, with some growing to be the size of rats. It is believed they either hitch rides in/on travelers’ luggage or are brought to the states by people wanting to keep them to the as pets only to release them unto the wild.

Between anacondas and giant snails Miami-Dade is being overwhelmed by invasive creatures.