Huffington Post ORLANDO, Florida – South Florida is fighting a growing infestation of one of the world’s most destructive invasive species: the giant African land snail, which can grow as big as a rat and gnaw through stucco and plaster. More than 1,000 of the mollusks are being caught each week in Miami-Dade and 117,000 in total since the first snail was spotted by a homeowner in September 2011, said Denise Feiber, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Residents will soon likely begin encountering them more often, crunching them underfoot as the snails emerge from underground hibernation at the start of the state’s rainy season in just seven weeks, Feiber said. The snails attack “over 500 known species of plants … pretty much anything that’s in their path and green,” Feiber said. In some Caribbean countries, such as Barbados, which are overrun with the creatures, the snails’ shells blow out tires on the highway and turn into hurling projectiles from lawnmower blades, while their slime and excrement coat walls and pavement. “It becomes a slick mess,” Feiber said. A typical snail can produce about 1,200 eggs a year and the creatures are a particular pest in homes because of their fondness for stucco, devoured for the calcium content they need for their shells. The snails also carry a parasitic rat lungworm that can cause illness in humans, including a form of meningitis, Feiber said, although no such cases have yet been identified in the United States. Feiber said investigators were trying to trace the snail infestation source. One possibility being examined is a Miami Santeria group, a religion with West African and Caribbean roots, which was found in 2010 to be using the large snails in its rituals, she said. But many exotic species come into the United States unintentionally in freight or tourists’ baggage. “If you got a ham sandwich in Jamaica or the Dominican Republic, or an orange, and you didn’t eat it all and you bring it back into the States and then you discard it, at some point, things can emerge from those products,” Feiber said. Authorities are expanding a series of announcements on buses, billboards and in movie theaters urging the public to be on the lookout.
Fucking Florida! This just in, it’s warm enough in Florida for tropical species to thrive, so stop releasing non-indigenous species into the wild, because eventually two of them are going to run into each other and mate. This is what happened with pythons many Floridians bought baby snakes, then let them loose in their yards when they grew too big to care for, they started breeding, and now you are overrun by 15-foot long pythons. Plus you have lemurs on the loose in Miami and huge mosquitos invading this summer. Giant snakes, giant snails, huge mosquitos. Cancel that trip to Epcot Center and stay out of Florida this summer. Hey Floridians, buy pets you can take care of, and stop letting animals go in your backyard. I swear we are mere months away from a breeding population of king cobras in Florida, then Floridians will release mongooses to kill the cobras, and Florida will have a breeding population of mongoose on their hands.
Thus concludes another chapter of “Fucking Florida: Tales From America’s Most Fucked Up State” For More Click The “Fucking Florida” Tag On This Page.