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Giant African Land Snails by the Numbers

September 11, 2014

Division of Plant Industry

Division of Plant Industry

Giant African land snails (GALS) were found in Miami-Dade County neighborhoods in September 2011. As eradication efforts continue, officials say a significant decline in the snail population shows the program is succeeding. Surveys continue statewide, but the snail has not been found in any other county in Florida. The snails can grow to be eight inches long and attack more than 500 plant species. The snail can also damage structures by consuming stucco to obtain calcium to build its shell and are known to carry a strain of meningitis to which humans and animals are susceptible. Below are key numbers related to the snail eradication program.

9/8/11: Date the giant African land snail was discovered in Miami

500: Number of agricultural crops known to be consumed by the snail

8” x 4”: Maximum size attained by individuals of the species

Nine: Maximum years in the life span of individuals

1,200: Number of eggs an adult can lay in one year

141,000+: Number of GALS found between September 2011and August 2014

27: Number of core areas where the snail has been found in Miami-Dade County

648: Number of properties on which snails have been found

58,729: Number of properties within a one-half-mile arc of positive properties

Nine +: Number of years it took to eradicate the snail after it was found in Florida in 1966

17,000: Total number of snails collected in the 1966-1975 eradication program

$1 million: Cost of that eradication (in 1960s dollars)

One: Number of successful GALS eradication programs on record

2012: Year in which the rat lungworm was confirmed in snails captured in Miami

92: Percentage of cases identified due to calls from the public to the Helpline

1-888-397-1517: Number of the Division of Plant Industry toll-free Helpline

August 14 2014

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