Florida once again has a giant African land snail problem

Florida is facing an invasion of giant African land snails which pose a threat to agriculture and the environment.

Current situation: The state has declared a quarantine and treatment area in Broward County after a giant African land snail was spotted north of Miami.
* Two other quarantines are already in place in Lee County and Pasco County.
* The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has warned that the snails are highly destructive to tropical and subtropical environments.

Reproduction and risks: These snails contain both male and female reproductive organs and can lay up to 500 eggs at a time.
* They can grow up to 8 inches long and almost 5 inches in diameter.
* Giant African land snails can carry rat lungworm, a parasite that can cause a rare form of meningitis in humans.

Past invasions: Florida has previously eradicated the invasive snail twice, with the most recent eradication effort costing over $23 million.
* The current eradication process in Miramar will involve repeat applications of molluscicide and surveys, including detection by a trained dog, before the quarantine can be lifted.

View original article on NPR

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