People in Florida are being warned about the giant African land snail.
State officials describe the snail as “one of the most damaging snails in the world.” They say it consumes at least 500 different types of plants and has the ability to devastate Florida agriculture.
“The snails also pose a serious health risk to humans by carrying the parasite rat lungworm, known to cause meningitis in humans,” the Florida Department of Agriculture said.
A giant African land snail was recently discovered in Broward County, state officials said.
The state Department of Agriculture announced on Tuesday that a quarantine and treatment area was established for several blocks in the Miramar area.
Under the quarantine, people are not allowed to move the snail, plants, yard waste or debris without prior approval.
The state says the area will be treated with a pesticide to kill the snails.
Officials say the giant African land snail has been eradicated from Florida twice. The first time took ten years. The task was completed in 1969. The second eradication was deemed successful in 2021, following an initial sighting in 2011.
The Department of Agriculture says it’s illegal to import the giant African snail, but there are known cases of it being brought over on cargo and for educational purposes.