The Slowest Invasion of All Time

Florida. A land of oranges, swamps, gators, old people, old gators, beaches, water, sand, dirt, gators, grass, some moss, those pointy seed things that get in your shoes, fish, Amish folks, gators, lizards and.. giant snails?

It turns out Giant African Land Snails set sail recently and landed ashore in South Florida. Now you might be thinking “I could be watchin’ videos of a cat ridin’ on top of a dog right now instead’a readin’ this crap.” But you might also be thinking “What’s the big deal, they’re just snails.” But you should know this is a very, VERY big deal! .. Ok?! .. Buddy?! Allow me to enumerate the ways in which these vile creatures are upsetting our Florida ecosystem:

1. They like to eat. A lot. Unfortunately they take a fine liking to Florida crops the most, as well as the very walls of your home! Really, they can digest stucco and plaster from walls and roofs just as easily as anything else they eat. Over 500 species of Florida plantlife (almost every kind of local flora they encounter) are also on the menu.

2. They can make you sick, bro. These snails carry strands of the salmonella bacteria along with meningitis in their mucus, making bare contact with them dangerous.

3. They’re gross. I mean look at them! Just look at ’em! S’gross. Blegh.

4. They have no natural Florida predators. Nothing in Florida wants to take a bite out of these guys, apparently. Given the shell and point 2 above, can you really blame them? This will cause them to spread unabated without human intervention.

5. One female can lay up to 1,200 eggs a year. This is gonna be a long war if they’re popping out that many slimy soldiers every year, unless they’re dealt with before they spread further north and get more of a foothold.. or uh.. slime-hold… whatever.

While notable strides have been made since 2013, the snails are still at large in the Southern and Central Florida area. So if you see a snail or two hanging around outside your house, wearing leather jackets while putting things in your mailbox and smoking cigarettes, inform your local wildlife pest control group to bag ’em and ship ’em off to snail-jail (they actually do just put the specimens in tanks, letting them live out there lives in relative seclusion).




4 thoughts on “The Slowest Invasion of All Time

  1. First of all, I really enjoy your writing style. This post was very fun to read. Second of all, I really had no idea about this invasive species in Florida. It would be interesting to read more about what the Florida Fish and Wildlife are doing to combat this program. And it’s incredibly terrifying to think of hundreds of snails eating your home.

  2. This is a great article, really funny to read but informative at the same time. I have never seen one of these snails and I can’t believe how dangerous they are. I can’t imagine coming home and finding giant holes in the walls of my home because snails ate them! and whats worse is that they have no predators and are extremely dangerous! I really hope there are ways to eradicate them before they cause any more damage to Florida ecosystems.

  3. Super entertaining read! I just looked up Giant African Snails on Google Images and OMG DO NOT WANT. I really don’t want to think of 1,200 of these things being born from *just one snail mama a year*. That is both ridiculous and terrifying. I really like my apartment walls intact.

  4. It is quite amusing how such small creature can cause such huge problems. Now you mention about these snails, I did google them to see how they looked and to find more information about them… and wow. Nope. I’m done with this world. I would not want one of them near me. I’m not a fan of snail also you has mentioned the ‘sickness’ it brings to us. Also the amount of food they might eat, that is quite fascinating. Having one female laying 1,200 eggs a year and calculating how much those 1,200 snails would be eating… that is like… Oh My Dear Lord. No. Since the only ‘things’ that would considering getting rid of them are ‘humans’ and since most of us do not want those near us they are going to cause problem to the Florida ecosystem and we don’t want that. Hope there are some solutions to these invasive creatures.

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