Parts of South Florida city under quarantine due to giant African land snails

'We're going to need a bigger bo … uh, salt shaker'

Miramar is under quarantine due to a Giant African Land Snail incursion - Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Miramar is under quarantine due to a Giant African Land Snail incursion
South Florida city Miramar has been placed under quarantine due to an incursion of giant African land snails.

As noted on the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website, FDAC has placed parts of Miramar under quarantine as of Tuesday after to try an prevent this invasive species from spreading any further afield in Broward County.

A 3.5-mile swath of Miramar will be treated with a "metaldehyde-based molluscicide"in hopes of killing off any snails in the area. One was apparently discovered in Miramar earlier in June.

A 2022 story on NPR about earlier efforts to eradicate these snails, which can grow up to eight inches in length, in Florida summed up their rather unique set of skills:

The snail is a native to Africa and "they are considered serious agricultural pests in the United States." In addition, they carry a rat lungworm, which is a parasite that causes meningitis in humans. And when they don't consume enough calcium from the soil, they munch through plaster and stucco structures.

Under the quarantine, Miramar residents will be able to move about freely but cannot transport any plant-based supplies ("plants, plant parts, plants in soil, soil, yard waste, debris, compost or building materials,") that could that could harbor the snails' eggs.

The giant African land snail, or achatina, has been a recurring problem in Florida, dating back to 2010. This is the third large-scale effort in the state aimed towards containment and eradication.

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