The invasion of these giant African snails is sending the southern part of Florida into a panic because of the potential damage and disease that could happen to the crops there. No one is even sure how these giant snails got here to the United States. These giant snails can measure up to 8 inches long.
There have been reports that the snails like to eat the stucco from the sides of houses. The calcium in the stucco helps the snails create their shells. The official name for this snail is Lissachatina fulica can live to be nine years old. In a single year, the snail can lay up to one thousand two hundred eggs. With this many eggs being laid, one snail alone can create enough snails to invade a whole neighborhood.
One local resident collected five hundred eighty-three of these giant snails in a week. Since the invasion started in September, the authorities in Florida have stated that they have caught thirty-five thousand snails. In addition to the damage it could do to crops and the stucco on the houses, there is another bigger concern. The mucus from the snails contains a parasite. This parasite can transmit meningitis, which is not fatal but could cause the person who has it to have extreme stomach pain.
In regards to the crops, they have been feasting on five hundred varieties of plants that include melons and peanuts. It they become established the agriculture in Florida could be devastated. To bring these giant snails into the United States you have to have a federal permit.