Florida Imposes Quarantine Over Giant Snails. Again

Uber-invasive giant African land snail just won't let up in the state
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2023 10:00 AM CDT
Florida Imposes Quarantine Over Giant Snails. Again
This undated photo provided by Scott Burton shows a giant African land snail.   (AP Photo/Scott Burton)

Florida continues its game of whack-a-mole, more like whack-a-snail, with a formidable opponent. On Tuesday, the state imposed a quarantine of sorts in parts of Broward County to try to contain the invasive giant African land snail, reports NBC Miami. Meaning, residents in the affected areas can't remove snails on their own, or even dispose of dirt or yard waste. Instead, the state is moving in to apply the pesticide metaldehyde, informally known as "snail bait," per USA Today. It essentially dries out the snails and kills them over the course of a few days.

If this sounds familiar, it's because Florida has been fighting the infestation for years. Last year, the same kind of quarantine was imposed in the New Port Richey area of Pasco County. The snail is prolific (one can lay 1,200 eggs per year), voracious (they eat at least 500 different kinds of plants and have been known to munch on homes' stucco), potentially dangerous (they carry rat lungworm, which can cause meningitis in humans), and a little creepy for those who don't like large, slimy creatures (they can grow to the size of a human fist). In short, "these snails could be devastating to Florida agriculture and natural areas," warns the state, per CNN. (More giant African land snail stories.)

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