Giant African land snail discovery in Florida prompts quarantine in Broward County

The Giant African land snail, which is known to devour hundreds of plant species and is considered one of the most damaging pests on the planet, has once again been detected in Florida prompting a warning from officials.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced a quarantine and treatment area in specific areas of Broward County after the voracious pests were discovered

The snails were confirmed in the Miramar area, which sparked more surveys and use of snail bait — metaldehyde-based molluscicide — to eradicate it, the department announced June 20.

A quarantine zone was also announced.

Giant African land snail, from
Pasco County. Photo: Nicole Casuso/FDACS-DPI

The quarantine zone makes it unlawful to move a giant African land snail as well as plants, dirt and other debris from the area.

“The giant African land snail is one of the most damaging snails in the world, consuming at least 500 different types of plants,” the department explained. “These snails could be devastating to Florida agriculture and natural areas as they cause extensive damage to tropical and subtropical environments.”

Giant African land snail, from
eradicated Miami-Dade County infestation.
Photo: Paul Skelley/FDACS-DPI

They can also harm the health of people.

The snails can carry the parasite rat lungworm, known to cause meningitis in humans.

The snails have been detected elsewhere in Florida include Lee County and Pasco County last year, but were eradicated, according to the department’s pest alert.

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Recovering newspaper reporter.

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