The Global Fool

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The Giant African Land Snail (Achatina fulica) Goes Global

By The Editors

photo by Grzegorz Polak (Wikimedia Commons)

photo by Grzegorz Polak (Wikimedia Commons)

Using all types of human transportation, the giant African land snail has been spreading all around the globe for the past few centuries.  It originated in coastal East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania), where the first sightings occurred before the 1800’s.  It then spread throughout East Africa into Ethiopia, Somalia, Mozambique, and Madagascar and was first spotted in the US in the late 1940’s around San Pedro, California.  As pets or pests, giant African land snails are now present on all continents except Antarctica. 

In Florida, the giant African land snail population is growing rapidly.  These snails consume breadfruit, cassava, cocoa, papaya, peanut and most varieties of beans, peas, cucumber, melon and more (even stucco and plaster) — not hard to understand why they’re considered pests.   .  

South Florida is battling a growing infestation of the giant African land snail.

What to do, then?  Of course, awareness of the problem comes first, and Florida officials are mounting an aggressive campaign to warn residents about them.



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Author: AnnaJosephine

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1 Comment

  1. 1,200 eggs a year! No wonder there’s too many of them. Of course too much of anything can be disastrous. I never thought they can be as bad as termites, eating through walls and houses. They look cute to have as a pet if they didn’t have the potential to carry parasites.

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