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article imageGiant snails in South Florida sliming their way to new locations

By Carol Ruth Weber     Apr 17, 2014 in Odd News
Miami - Since 2011 there has been an aggressive ongoing war between humans and the Giant Land Snails in Miami-Dade County. The shelled creatures are keeping the battle going as they slowly make their way to new locations.
In an exclusive interview with an anonymous source, working for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, it has been revealed that the slimy shelled Giant African Land Snails, known as GALS, may be making their way into South Florida’s Broward County. In the effort to eradicate the snails the Florida Department of Agriculture has spoken at schools educating the public to the snail’s dangers. Through this endeavor, this source says, school parents have told the Department of Agriculture spokespeople of GALS sighting in nearby Broward County. As reported by The University of Florida IFAS Extension the recent snail sightings Florida first occurred in Miami-Dade County in September of 2011. It has previously been believed that authorities have worked to keep the snails’ population from growing beyond the Miami-Dade County borders.
The publics’ assistance has been a vital element in the battle to eradicate the snails.
Outreach programs to inform the public have proven to be a huge resource in finding the snails locations in order to exterminate them. Public sightings have resulted in guiding the Department of Agriculture to specified locations in order to destroy the monstrous snails. According to the reliable source, who personally works to find and destroy the Giant African Snails, “In two and a half years 139,000 snails have been hand collected.” He went on to explain “Parents from schools have reported seeing the snails now in Broward County.”
According to the source, in order to confirm the Broward sightings the people seeing the Giant African Snails must report their finds directly to the Florida Department of Agriculture Division of Plant Industry in order for the department to send out officials to confirm the sightings and proceed to eliminate the creatures. Along with the public’s help the Florida Department of Agriculture continues to train and bring in dogs to assist in sniffing out the creatures. The dogs are specifically being trained to sniff out the foul smelling GALs.
Beware of these snails that destroy buildings and carry decease.
Originating in East Africa the invasive species of Giant African Land Snails have invaded South Florida. The Giant Snails can live up to nine years and each adult can produce as much as 1,200 eggs in one year. GALS destroy nature with their huge appetite eating at least 500 different types of plants that keeps them growing up to as big as eight inches long. Not only are they lovers of vegetation but the humongous snails are destroying buildings by snacking on plaster structures in order to supplement the calcium needed to build their large shells. As with other types of snails and slugs, GALS are known to pass on a parasite that can cause a type of meningitis when transmitted to humans and animals.
Armed with its armor of its sturdy shell, the battle continues against the Giant African Snail. Hopefully with education and the help of the people living in South Florida humans will win the war before the snail crosses boundaries to take over more counties and locations.
More about giant snails, giant african land snail, Florida's agriculture, Snails
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