By The Editors
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. .
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.