The Giant African Land Snail (Scientific name: Lissachatina fulica) is native to East Africa, but invaded Florida in the 1960s. It is enormous, growing up to 3 inches tall and 8 inches long while living to a maximum age of 10 years. South Florida unfortunately provides the perfect habitat for this snail that prefers to live in wet areas such as marshes, riparian zones, maritime forests, and agricultural areas. The snail is a threat to both human health, infrastructure, and agriculture. It has spread quickly, due to its lack of natural predators and its quick rate of reproduction. Every snail has both male and female reproductive organs, and can lay up to 1,200 eggs annually. It carries many human pathogens such as the nematode that causes meningitis. The Giant African Land Snail destroys fruit, vegetables, leafy-greens, and ornamental plants; agriculture of importance to the south Florida area. This snail has also been reported to dissolve bone, shells, and concrete to absorb the calcium for its shell. Many homes in south Florida are made of cement, making this snail a special nuisance. Molluscicides and Iron phosphate has been proven to control these snails, and many forms are safe for household use.
**For news relating to the latest USDA bust on Giant African Snails, click this link. http://www.nola.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2014/08/usda_seizes_more_than_1200_ill.html#incart_river