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Where is the Giant African Land Snail Found in Florida?

August 4, 2014

Giant African land snail currently confined to Miami-Dade County

The giant African land snail is an invasive species that has been threatening the environment in South Florida since September  2011, when it was found in Miami-Dade County. The snail is known to consume more than 500 plant species as well as stucco on buildings. It can grow as long as eight inches and as wide as four inches.

snailbucketThis species of snail poses serious health risks to humans and animals that come into physical contact with them. It is important to report them when you see them because GALS can multiply quickly by laying up to 1,200 eggs per year. They can  live up to nine years. They might be spread on cars or other objects, including plants, that are moved around thestate. The snail has been found in 26 different core areas of Miami-Dade County and has not been found elsewhere in the state.

A FDACS inspector looks for giant African land snails in Miami-Dade County.

A FDACS inspector looks for giant African land snails in Miami-Dade County.

Teams from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, with the cooperation of the public, have captured about 141,000 snails since the beginning of the eradication program. The giant African land snail can cause a significant amount of damage to crops, landscapes and human and animal health wherever it is found. It is illegal to import the GALS into the United States without a permit. If you suspect you have seen one  in your area, report it. Call the Division of Plant Industry Helpline at 1-888-397-1517. We here at DPI could not keep the state of Florida safe from GALS and other invasive species without the help of members of the  the public who call in when they  find a suspect snail. The vast majority of captures have been the result of the public reporting sightings of GALS. We thank you for your cooperation and your assistance in the eradication of the Giant African Land Snail.

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Here is a link to view a map of the core zones.

http://www.freshfromflorida.com/content/download/23824/485854/gals_press_release_8x11.pdf

 

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