The giant snails, which can grow up to eight inches long and the size of a rat, made a whole Florida city in quarantine.
Invasive armored gastropods found in Africa carry a parasitic lung worm that causes meningitis in humans.
This quarantine will last two years, but unlike coronavirus of the self-isolation regime, residents are simply forbidden to take plants, earth, yard waste, garbage, compost and building materials outside the zone.
Florida Department of Agriculture and Human Services (FDACS) confirmed that the creature settled in the city of Port Richey, north of Tampa, on June 23, and the area was quarantined the next day.
The snail is also environmentally damaging, feeding on over 500 different plants, and has an addiction to concrete that damages infrastructure.
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Giant snails that can grow up to eight inches long, the size of a rat, have put an entire Florida city on lockdown.
The quarantine zone begins at the northwest corner of U.S. Route 19 and Ridge Road. Drive east on Ridge Road, south on Little Road, west on Trouble Creek Road, north on US Route 19.
Land snails were first sighted in southern Florida in the 1960s, and it took almost 10 years and $1 million to rid the area of them, according to the USDA.
These snails reproduce rapidly, laying about 1200 eggs per year.
“Each snail contains both female and male reproductive organs,” the USDA said in a statement.
The quarantine zone begins at the northwest corner of U.S. Route 19 and Ridge Road. Drive east on Ridge Road, south on Little Road, west on Trouble Creek Road, north on US Highway 19.
“After one mating, each snail can produce between 100 and 500 eggs.
“These snails can breed a few more times without mating again. They can lay eggs every two to three months.”
Snails are also difficult to eradicate because they have no natural predators. Each snail can live up to nine years and grow up to eight inches long, which is about the size of an adult’s hand from fingertip to the crease under the palm of your hand.
Treatment to eradicate this pest began on Wednesday, June 29, 2022, using a pesticide called metaldehyde, which is known to fight snails and slugs.
The quarantine will last two years, but, unlike the quarantine due to the coronavirus, residents are simply forbidden to take plants, soil, yard waste, garbage, compost and building materials outside the zone.
However, it is approved as safe for vegetable and ornamental crops in the field or greenhouse, fruit trees, small fruit plants, avocado and citrus orchards, berry fields, banana trees, and residential areas.
“Available products can be applied in the form of granules, aerosols, dusts or bait granules. According to the FDACS, applications are usually applied to the ground around plants or crops that need to be protected.
“Property owners in the treatment area will be notified in person or by mail at least 24 hours before the scheduled pesticide treatment.”