Giant Damage-Causing Snails Are Aggressively Invading Florida

Yeah, so giant African land snails are infesting southern Florida. They're the kind that can eat through plaster and stucco and they get as big as rats. When the rainy season ends in a few weeks the population will explode. It's a bad situation.

The same snails invaded in 1966 when a kid brought three back to Miami from Hawaii. The population grew to 17,000 in seven years and Florida had to spend $1 million to get rid of them over ten years. What is the deal with these snails?

One female can produce 1,200 eggs a year and they eat stucco like crazy because the calcium helps build their shells. Oh, and by the way they can spread a parasitic rat lungworm that can infect humans and even cause a type of meningitis. There aren't any cases of that in the U.S. right now, but come on. Between this, the sinkhole and the ongoing invasive python eradication challenge, you would think that Florida would be maxed out. But apparently that's not how snail karma works. [Reuters]