If you thought Florida’s strange invasions of giant pythons and “mega mosquitoes” were all of the creature horror stories that we’d be treated to this year, you were dead wrong, brothers. With the snakes and bloodsuckers likely moving to other states out of the fear of being shot, Florida is now dealing with an infestation of giant African land snails, which are not only potentially harmful to human health and plant life, but they also like to feed on the stucco and plaster of houses.
Officials said they had collected 128,000 of the snails since the start of an aggressive extermination campaign. They can grow as big as rats and devour plants as well as stucco and plaster in a hunt for calcium they need to grow their big shells. In large numbers, the snails can cause extensive structural damage to buildings.
“We see a lot of strange things in Florida and this one makes the top of the list,” said Florida agriculture commissioner Adam Putnam. “It is a very serious pest.” (Via The Guardian)
The snails also carry a form of meningitis, which is one of the worst –itises there is, and while there haven’t been any cases reported in the U.S., us Floridians ain’t want to be dealing with that nonsense, okay? So we’re bringing in the big guns to handle these snails.
That’s right – Labrador Retrievers trained in sniffing out the snails and “disposing of them.” I assume that means they find them and their human counterparts pour salt on them or whatever, but it might also mean that the dogs eat them. Whatever. Just get them out of here.
I’ll give my home state some credit for finding an adorable solution to a disgusting problem, but still…