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Giant African Land Snails By the Numbers

February 24, 2015

Numbers show state is winning battle against GALS

Giant African land snails (GALS) were found in Miami-Dade County neighborhoods in September 2011 and in neighboring Broward County in September 2014. As eradication efforts continue, officials say a significant decline in the snail population shows the program is succeeding. Surveys continue statewide. But to date the snail has not been found anywhere else 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, as of January 30, 2015, related to the snail eradication program.

GALS Billboard2

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

155,202+: Number of GALS found between September 2011 and February 13, 2015

28: Number of core areas where the snail has been found

666: Number of properties on which snails have been found

60,111: 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 FDACS scientists confirmed the rat lungworm in snails captured in Miami

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

1-888-397-1517: Number to call to report a suspect snail (Division of Plant Industry toll-free Helpline)

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