Florida’s Influx of Giant Snails

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Enormous snail. Image via the Florida Department of Agriculture.

No, this is not the plot of a new Sci-Fi flick. Giant African snails the size of rats have invaded Florida and are destroying the local eco-system as they devour everything from plants to stucco and plaster. To put the situation into numbers, about 1,000 of these slimy creatures are caught each week just in the Miami-Dade area, and about 117,000 have been captured since they were first spotted in September 2011. As the Sunshine State moves into its rainy season, however, the snail’s are coming out of hibernation and growing in number. They have become a real problem not only just for those who step on them, but also as their shells can pop tires if driven over and the slime they release onto the pavement can be hazardous to pedestrians.

Photo credit: Florida Department of Agriculture.

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