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These snails carry a parasite that poses a health risk and can cause meningitis

Animal infestation is one of the worst nightmares of tenants, whether it is from rats, cockroaches or any other type of insect, owners should carry out a thorough cleaning of their home, as well as periodic prevention strategies to avoid the spread of pests. appearance of any type of pest in your home. 

Even so, as much as an individual takes great care in this type of prevention, if his neighbors promote the appearance of pests with their actions, disaster is inevitable. As has happened in Pasco County, Florida, which has been forced to quarantine the entire territory due to a plague of giant snails. 

These snails carry a parasite that poses a health risk and can cause meningitis

 Own

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) confirmed the presence of these snails in the New Port Richey area, in Pasco County, on June 23 and two days later ordered the entire territory to be quarantined. to avoid risks. 

“These snails pose a health risk to humans because they carry a parasite called rat lungworm that can cause meningitis,” Christina Chitty, director of public information for FDACS, explains to CNN , adding that “They are capable of producing up to 2,500 eggs per year, so the population is difficult to control.”

These giant African land snails are illegal as pets in the United States

 Third parties

For this reason, the authorities have been forced to quarantine the area, preventing residents from moving the snail or related items, such as plants and soil, inside or outside the designated area so that the plague does not spread further and does not entail a danger to no one.

The origin of these pests is in the illegal possession of these snails as pets

Although these giant African land snails are illegal as pets in the United States, some exotic pet owners still have these invasive pests. If abandoned in the wild or accidentally lost, they can quickly establish themselves, feeding on more than 500 different plant species, consuming house paint and stucco as a source of calcium. A series of factors that make its eradication exhaustive and extensive, can even last for years.

In fact, it is not the first time that Florida has faced the giant African snail, last year Miami-Dade County finally managed to eradicate a plague of these animals that had been in the population since 2011.

Florida Eradicates Harmful Giant African Land Snail

The authorities of the state of Florida (USA) announced the eradication of the giant African land snails, considered one of the most harmful animals in the world, capable of causing meningitis in humans.

“This is truly an exciting day for our state and for our country,” said Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried.

The announcement, made by Fried in a Coral Gables city park, comes after a decade of trying to get rid of the mollusk.

According to data provided today, since the first snail was found in 2011, the state has collected more than 168,000 specimens with the help of a team of snail-detecting dogs.

In 2012 alone, a year after the presence of these animals was detected in Miami-Dade County, the state entity itself reported having trapped some 78,000 giant African land snails, which also cause structural damage to buildings.

The Lissachatina fulica is one of the largest land snails in the world, reaching 20 centimeters in length and more than ten in diameter.

About 1,200 eggs a year

Each specimen, which can live up to nine years, contains reproductive organs of both sexes and in one clutch they can produce up to 400 eggs, so that in a normal year each one lays an average of 1,200 eggs.

It is native to East Africa and has become established throughout the Indo-Pacific basin, including the Hawaiian Islands.

This invasive pest has also been introduced to the Caribbean islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Lucia, and Barbados.

The last living giant African land snail was reported from Florida in 2017, officials said.

For a species to be eradicated, three years must pass since a living individual is found, the experts detailed during the press conference. 

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