A bug that Florida spent $23 million to eradicate in 2021 is still a problem today. Learn what it is.


The race is won by regularity and rhythm. In this case, however, slow and steady lazily obliterates Florida gardens. A state in the southern United States has again been invaded by the huge African snail, which could also be harmful to people.

Florida Department of Agriculture workers scavenge gardens in New Port Richey, a small town in Paso County on Florida’s west coast where the invasive species has been spreading, for about a month now, since the June 23.

One of the department’s biologists, Jason Stanley, told AFP that the snail “feeds on over 500 different species of plants” and that a single large African snail can lay up to 2,000 eggs per year. These facts, along with the snail’s huge appetite, could spell disaster for the state’s thriving agricultural sector.

“Another issue with this snail is that it carries the rat lungworm, which can cause meningitis in humans,” Stanley said, adding, “We are concerned that this is in our environment”.

Other parts of Florida effectively eradicated the large African snail in 1975 and again in 2021. The subsequent effort, which cost $23 million and was conducted in Miami-Dade County, spanned ten years. .

More than 1,000 gastropods have already been collected during the current “snail hunt” thanks to canids that smell like snails.

Florida authorities believe the East African snail was reintroduced to the state because someone brought it home as a pet.

The Florida Department of Agriculture has established a quarantine area in New Port Richey, where no plants or other vegetation can be destroyed, in an effort to try to prevent the snails from spreading further.

They also use metaldehyde, a pesticide safe for humans and animals, to eradicate giant snails.


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