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Giant snails that may grow as big as RATS put Florida town into quarantine

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Giant snails that may grow as much as eight inches long, the scale of a rat, have forced a whole Florida town into quarantine.

The invasive shelled gastropods, that are native to Africa, are carrying the parasite lungworm that results in meningitis in humans.

This quarantine will last for 2 years, but unlike the coronavirus lockdowns, residents are only prohibited from moving plants, soil, yard waste, debris, compost and constructing materials outside the zone. 

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) confirmed the creature had settled in the town of Port Richey, just north of Tampa, on June 23 and the realm was quarantined the subsequent day.

The snail can also be damaging to the environment, feasting on greater than 500 different plants, and has a taste for concrete, which is detrimental to infrastructure.

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Giant snails that may grow as much as eight inches long, the scale of a rat, have forced a whole Florida town into quarantine

The quarantine zone starts on the northwest corner of US Highway 19 and Ridge Road. Proceed east on Ridge Road, south on Little Road, west on Trouble Creek Road, north on US Highway 19.

Based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture, land snails were first spotted in southern Florida within the Sixties and it took nearly 10 years and $1 million to rid the realm of them.

These snails reproduce quickly, making about 1,200 eggs in a 12 months.

‘Each snail accommodates each female and male reproductive organs,’ the US Department of Agriculture said in a press release.

The quarantine zone starts at the northwest corner of US Highway 19 and Ridge Road. Proceed east on Ridge Road, south on Little Road, west on Trouble Creek Road, north on US Highway 19

The quarantine zone starts on the northwest corner of US Highway 19 and Ridge Road. Proceed east on Ridge Road, south on Little Road, west on Trouble Creek Road, north on US Highway 19

‘After a single mating, each snail can produce 100 to 500 eggs. 

‘These snails can reproduce several more times without mating again. They’ll generate clutches of eggs every two to a few months.’

The snails are also hard to eradicate because they should not have any natural predators. Each snail can live as much as nine years and grow to be eight inches in length, roughly the scale of an adult’s hand from tip of the finger to the crease under the palm.

Treatment to eradicate this pest began on Wednesday, June 29, 2022, which is using a pesticide called metaldehyde that is known for controlling snails and slugs.

This quarantine will last for two years, but unlike the coronavirus lockdowns, residents are just prohibited from moving plants, soil, yard waste, debris, compost and building materials outside the zone

This quarantine will last for 2 years, but unlike the coronavirus lockdowns, residents are only prohibited from moving plants, soil, yard waste, debris, compost and constructing materials outside the zone

Nonetheless, it’s approved to be protected for vegetable and decorative crops in the sector or greenhouse, on fruit trees, small-fruit plants, in avocado and citrus orchards, berry plants, banana plants and residential areas.

‘Available products will be applied as granules, sprays, dusts or bait pellets. Applications are typically made to the bottom across the plants or crops to be protected,’ based on the FDACS.

‘Property owners contained in the treatment area will likely be notified in person or by posted notice a minimum of 24 hours prematurely of the planned pesticide treatment.’

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