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It sounds wish a horror film. Night of the Elephantine Snails! Stucco-snacking, disease-carrying mollusks invade Everglade State in 3D! But it’s real. after the June 23 verification of the colossus African country snail (known as GALS) in Pasco County. 

Snails in superior general appear ilk slow, relatively harmless, plant-snacking animals, but the GALS is on another stage. The US Department of Agriculture Department describes the escargot as “one of the most invasive pests on the planet, causing agricultural and environmental damage wherever it is found” (). It seat get through to a greater extent than 7 inches (18 centimeters) in length, repose thousands of egg during its life and buns change of location by clinging to vehicles and rubbish.

Large snail with a conical shell sits on a gloved hand.

{Giant|Elephantine|Gargantuan|Jumbo|Colossus|Behemoth|Heavyweight|Titan|Hulk|Heavyweight|Whale|Goliath|Behemoth|Monster|Colossus|Giant star} {African|African|African} {land|ground|soil|dry land|earth|ground|solid ground|terra firma|domain|demesne|country|state|kingdom|realm|estate|landed estate|acres|demesne|nation|country|state|nation|country|commonwealth|res publica|body politic|Land|Din Land|Edwin Herbert Land|farming|set down|put down|bring down|bring|set ashore|shore|down|shoot down} snails bum harm farming crops and buildings.

Nicole Casuso/FDACS-DPI

In former badly news, the snail pot expect salmonella and a parasite known as bum lungworm that’s been known to get meningitis in humans. The Everglade State Department of Farming and Consumer Services, or FDACS, cautions that people must article of clothing gloves and pursue suited trade protection and sanitisation rules when handling the mollusks.

The quarantine for percentage of Pasco County calls for nurseries, substantial scourge facilities, trumpery haulers and landscapers to support by sure conditions, including coverage escargot detections, applying pesticides and allowing review of equipment. The precautions are intentional to forestall the circularise of the snails.

A snail with a shell about the size of a baseball crawls over a scientist's latex-gloved palm.

Blessed Virgin Yong Cong, a Sunshine State Dept. of Husbandry scientist, holds a Goliath African Escargot in her Miami laboratory on July 17, 2015.

Kerry Sheridan/Getty Images

The snails are sometimes kept as pets, though the importation or owning them. They rich person esurient appetites with a willingness to corrode more than 500 different types of plants. If that’s not hard-burden enough, the snails wish as well eat up stucco and concrete walls, as the in a 2013 PSA urging residents to composition sightings of the invaders.

FDACS is surveying the arena in Pasco County where the snails were set up and began treatment with a snail tantalise this calendar week. The governance is using metaldehyde, a pesticide that dehydrates the animals and kills them inside days.