Should you be concerned about Giant African Snails if you live in Florida?
They say that bigger is always better, but perhaps it’s time to rethink that a bit since Florida is having such a huge problem with Giant African land snails. The invasive snails are eight inches long – and they’re coming for your trees and plants!
Okay, perhaps that was a little dramatic. That being said, this is definitely a threat that Florida residents should be taking seriously. These giant snails don’t belong in our state and have the potential to upend the delicate ecosystem. The giant African snail invasion is a real-life threat in the state of Florida and it’s important that citizens are aware of what’s going on, what’s being done to stop it, and how you can help.
Florida’s History of the Snails’ Eradication
It really seems like you can’t keep a bad snail down, much to the dismay of Florida residents. These giant African land snails were first found in Southern Florida in the 1960s. The eradication program took approximately 10 years to complete and cost taxpayers a total of $1 million dollars.
The problem was solved for a long time, but these snails were reintroduced into Florida in 2011, with eradication efforts taking 10 years once again. It didn’t last very long, though, with more of these land snails showing up toward the end of June of this year. Therefore, eradication efforts have kicked back into gear.
Why Giant African Snails Are Dangerous
Any time a non-indigenous animal is introduced into an environment, there’s a risk of upsetting the existing balance. Although giant African land snails might not be as harmful to the ecosystem as the invasive lionfish (which are also a problem in Florida), they do threaten to destroy plants and trees, especially due to their size. Plus, they’re dangerous to humans because they sometimes carry a parasite that transmits a rare type of meningitis.
Please Do Not Eat the African Giant Snails
If you’re a fan of escargot, then having a giant snail on your plate may be an attractive culinary option. However, it’s important that you absolutely do not try to eat one of these snails. While this may seem like common sense, this is an issue the government is making people aware of.
Your best option is to stay as far away from this snail species as you possibly can. It’s important that you don’t touch the snails if you see any in your backyard or elsewhere. Instead, report the snails to the authorities by calling this number 1-888-397-1517.
How the Government Is Responding to the Snail Invasion
Since this is the third time that Florida has been forced to eradicate the giant African land snail, the government has developed an effective system. They rely on these three methods:
- Snail Hounds — Yes, just like with drugs and practically anything else, there are dogs that can sniff out these giant snails.
- Metaldehyde — The primary method of killing the snails involves the use of metaldehyde, which kills snails and slugs, with the process taking approximately 18 months.
- Quarantine — There is now a quarantine area within New Port Richey whereby plants and other vegetation may not be removed from the area to help prevent further spread.
ProHealth Pest Control for Your Other Pest Control Needs
The idea of giant African land snails in Florida isn’t a new one, but it’s one that must be taken seriously. While ProHealth Pest Control cannot help get rid of any of the snails, we can help with other pests that are found on your property, including bed bugs, termites, mosquitoes, ants, and rodents. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, reach out by calling (727) 888-6253 today to schedule a free consultation.