Giant African Snail infestation causing quarantine in Pasco County

A Florida county is quarantining after discovering invasive snails.
A Florida county is quarantining after discovering invasive snails.
Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 11:19 AM EDT
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PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has ordered Pasco County to quarantine after invasive Giant African snails were found.

The snails were discovered in the New Port Richey area and pose a serious health risk to humans by carrying the parasite rat lungworm. The parasite is known to cause meningitis.

Officials believe this latest outbreak of the African land snail likely originated from the illegal pet trade.

This outbreak comes after an eradication in 2021 that captured 168,538 snails.

Giant African land snail is a federally regulated pest and both the USDA and DPI will continue to remain vigilant in their commitments to safeguard American agriculture through surveys, early detection, and rapid response. The public should continue to watch for the snails and report suspects to the FDACS-DPI hotline at 1-888-397-1517.

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