Life Lines

House-eating snails?

Image of a Giant African land snail from a Florida Department of Agriculture Division of Plant Industry handout.

Giant African land snails, like the one pictured above, are reportedly “one of the world’s most destructive invasive species” as they not only consume over 500 plant species, they can actually eat stucco (apparently a good source of calcium). Therefore, I am sure you can imagine the damage they are causing in South Florida where they can grow as large as a rat. Since 2011 when the snail was first seen, more than 117,000 have been captured in Miami-Dade County.

More problemmatic, with the growing infestation, is that the snails can carry a parasitic worm that can lead to a type of meningitis in humans, although there have been no confirmed cases in the United States.

Source:

Reuters

 

Comments

  1. #1 Russell
    April 18, 2013

    Great Scipio Africanus’ Ghost !

    Florida’s Lucullan gourmets shhould be hailing the arrival of the slowest and most expensive fast food in the history of Rome .

  2. #2 GregH
    April 18, 2013

    By my eyestalks, those are some good-looking molluscs!

  3. #3 JRunks
    Minnesota
    April 18, 2013

    House eating snails??? I sure hope they do not migrate to Minnesota. Are the dangerous to humans? What are they going to do to fix the problem? This seems like it could begin to be very dangerous.

  4. #4 RossM
    New Zealand
    April 19, 2013

    What are they like fried in butter with garlic?

  5. #5 Snail Bazzar
    April 22, 2013

    Snails in Miami/Dade? Yeah, I watch C.O.P.S

  6. #6 Jill S
    Minnesota
    April 23, 2013

    House eating snails?? How interesting. You would think that the stucco would also have chemicals that would be harmful to these snails. I wonder what would be some ways to prevent them from spreading to other areas.

  7. #7 Sondra
    April 24, 2013

    One of the nurseries i frequent has had a dead example of one of these critters so we can all be on the lookout for them.
    It seems they hitchhike in from Africa and other places in the pots that the imported plants come in. Possibly the animals themselves, possibly just the eggs.