Giant Invasive Snails are Trying to Take Over Florida

Written by Michael Graham Richard

Giant snail overlords?
About a month ago, we covered a close call in Australia; a species of large invasive snails that can eat pretty much anything and reproduce quickly was found in a port. Thankfully, the snail was discovered and destroyed before it left the port, but who knows if more than one individual found its way to Australia… Having no predators there, they could wreck havoc.

These snails, which are originally from Africa, are real globe-trotters, because they are also invading Florida.

The snails, thought to have been brought in from the Dominican Republic or Jamaica, are known to eat through just about anything including most plant life and even stucco, which means that a large number of houses in the U.S. State are in danger.[...]

The problem is that these giant snails have very few or no natural predators in Florida, meaning they have free rein to propagate across the state.

And propagate they do: the snails are known to lay 1,200 eggs a year, meaning the snail population can explode very quickly.

Now is probably a good time to remind readers to be careful when traveling.

“If you got a ham sandwich in Jamaica or the Dominican Republic, or an orange, and you didn’t eat it all and you bring it back into the States and then you discard it, at some point, things can emerge from those products,” Denise Feiber, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services told Reuters. (source)

The regulations about not bringing food and plants are there for a reason. You can’t always see invasive species; sometimes just bringing some eggs is enough. Please keep that in mind, especially if you’re going far away from home.

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.

 

Florida Department of Agriculture/Public Domain

114 comments

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing

Jane R.
Jane R.3 years ago

Scary situation. However if they are edible it could help solve the hunger problem in the U.S. Capture them, freeze dry them and put them in food banks. I'm sure they are a good source of protein, and probably taste okay when cooked with a sauce etc.

Tricia Hamilton
Tricia Hamilton3 years ago

It is 2013, we are smart people there has to be a way of stopping the reproducing and stop using poisons to kill them.
Shame on us people!!

alex l.
alex l.3 years ago

but the animals don't try to take anything over. they just try to live. it is people who screw up, and then the animals who pay for it - losing the only life they will ever have.
they are not evil, they don't try to ruin things - they are just animals taken unwillingly from their homes by people, and then killed by people because those other people took them from their homes.
it is crazy, and cruel.
please don't take it out on the animals - just be careful what you buy and take from place to place.

Edgar Zuim
Edgar Zuim3 years ago

Interesting. There are people who eat it.

Laura Saxon
Past Member 3 years ago

Huge snails! I hope the population can be brought under control.

Frank Mugford
Frank Mugford3 years ago

The ones we used to eat in Nigeria were quite a bit bigger than the one in the picture. They were sliced up and served in a chili sauce; good with lots (and lots) of beer.
They were referred to as 'Jungle snails' and were sold three, four or five on a string, depending on size.
Never had them with garlic like escargots.

Richard Hancock
Richard Hancock3 years ago

Thanks!

Pam B.
Pam B.3 years ago

about conch stew type recipe for these any suggesios

Catherine D.
Catherine D.3 years ago

BIG snails? Are they good to eat?
I love escargot. With white wine and lotsa garlic.
My cat does. too, sans the garlic.