Gains Made In Giant African Land Snail Battle

Aug 29, 2013

Credit Sonel.SA/Wikimedia Commons

MIAMI (AP) — Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says they're making great strides in the fight against the Giant African Land Snail.

During a news conference in Miami Thursday, Putnam said Florida sees a lot of strange things, but these snails are at the top of the list.

Since making their first appeared in 2011, the state has vanquished nearly 130,000 of the pesky snails, which eat not only shrubbery and produce, but also stucco — an essential building material for Florida homes and offices.

Among those on the frontline battling this plague are the canine detectors, who sniff out the mollusks for their human partners. Officials have also started using stronger pesticides.

In addition to destroying buildings and crops, the giant snails, like all mollusks, can also carry a parasitic worm that causes meningitis.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.