While it has been reported that Giant African Land Snails are on the decline, they have not been entirely eradicated and can be a big problem.
What makes these pests so pesky?
The obvious reason is that these giant snails consider your landscape a buffet out of your landscape as they will feast on more than 500 types of plant species. As large as 8 inches long and 5 inches in diameter, these snails can do a lot of damage.
Research has shown that these snails also carry a parasitic worm that can cause meningitis.
How did these snails get here?
As if to only feed South Florida’s fondness for quirky events and folklore, the Giant African Land Snail has two introductions to our area. First in 1966, when a boy smuggled three Giant African Snails into Florida from Hawaii. His grandmother later released the snails into their backyard. After ten years and $1 million dollars, the snail was eradicated only to be re-introduced in 2011 by a religious leader from Hialeah smuggling them into the country and made his followers drink the snails’ mucus. They have also been known to be imported illegally by individuals for classroom exhibits, as pets or for food. (source: Hungry Pests)
How do I get rid of them?!
Application of a snail bait can be used to attract the snail to eat. Physical removal should only be done with a gloved hand. In fact, as tempting as it may be, it’s better not to touch them at all to avoid disease.
Nanak’s Landscaping provides complete plant healthcare service that includes pest and disease control. For more information about Giant African Land Snails and other pests, be sure to contact Nanak’s.