The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has issued out a warning to people living in Florida United States of America (USA) to be wary of a deadly snail which has made it way back to the state.
According to FDACS, one of the most damaging snails in the world which was recently spotted in a Florida city has forced a quarantine in parts of the city.
The giant African land snail, which can grow to the size of a fist and carry a parasite that causes meningitis, was declared eradicated from South Florida last year after a decade-long battle of people versus pests.
Meanwhile a giant African land snail was found again by a master gardener on June 23 in the New Port Richey area, FDACS said.
Although snails may seem harmless, this particular specie pose high health risk to humans because it carries parasite rat lungworm which causes meningitis in humans.
The snails grow up to between 8 and 10 inches and about the standard size of a coffee mug.
According to the FDACS, the snails also consume at least 500 different types of plants, posing a threat to Florida’s natural areas.
The quarantine area spans nearly six miles and it doesn’t prohibit residents themselves from traveling, but it does prohibit any movement of plants, soil, compost or yard waste in the area without permission from the Florida Department of Agriculture.
The FDACS’s Division of Plant Industry has already started treating the area with metaldehyde-based molluscicide, or snail bait.
This isn’t the first time these snails have been found in Florida. According to the FDACS, they’ve been eradicated twice before. This is the third time they’ve become reacquainted with the state.
FDACS warns that any resident who comes in contact with the snails shouldn’t touch them or wear a mask before doing so.
Lissachatina fulica is a species of large land snail that belongs in the subfamily Achatininae of the family Achatinidae. It is also known as the Giant African land snail. It shares the common name “giant African snail” with other species of snails such as Achatina achatina and Archachatina marginat