Giant African land snails aresetting up home in Broward
Giant African snail found in Davie.
(Courtesy, James Crum/Sept. 8, 2014)
By Staff writer
The enormous mollusks, which can reach a length of eight inches, carry a parasite that can cause meningitis, assault houses, eating plaster and stucco to refill their calcium shells.
They can also chomp through 500 plant species, which brings concern to the state’s agricultural officials because of Florida’s farms and orchards.
“This is a real threat to agriculture that could be detrimental to Florida and to the people who depend on Florida agriculture,” Department of Agriculture spokesman Mark Fagan said.
These snails are thought to have been brought into the United States from Nigeria and neighboring countries by those who practice Ifa Orisha, similar to Santeria a religion in which believers drink soup made from the snail.
Some progress has been reported in reducing the snail’s infestation by the Agriculture Department in Miami-Dade County by using a full-time workers to find and destroy them.
If you think you have these snails on your property, you can report it to the Florida Department of Agriculture at 1-888-397-1517.