MIRAMAR, FLA. (WSVN) - In response to the detection of giant African land snails in Miramar, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and its Division of Plant Industry have announced the establishment of a quarantine and treatment area in specific regions of Broward County.

The quarantine prohibits the movement of giant African land snails or regulated articles within, through, or from the defined quarantine area without a compliance agreement. Regulated articles include plants, plant parts, plants in soil, soil, yard waste, debris, compost, or building materials.

The designated quarantine area starts at the intersection of Pembroke Road and South University Drive, proceeding south on South University Drive to Northwest 215th Street. From there, it moves east to Southwest 62nd Avenue, then north to Pembroke Road. Finally, it heads west on Pembroke Road, concluding at its intersection with South University Drive.

The giant African land snail is notorious for being one of the most destructive snail species globally, devouring over 500 different types of plants. As a result, they pose a significant threat to Florida’s agriculture and natural areas, causing extensive damage to tropical and subtropical environments.

Vivian, a Broward County resident, told 7News she came across a giant African snail on her property without realizing how dangerous it could be.

“I just assumed it was a big snail. Not thinking anything of it,” she said. “I was a little bit scared, like, ‘Where did they come from?'”

Workers with FDACS are looking for these giant African snails. Crew members on Wednesday searched in moist soils in Miramar where snails have their hiding spots.

“We are going to survey first, we are going to look first,” said a worker from FDACS.

FDACS will be employing a metaldehyde-based molluscicide, commonly known as snail bait, for the treatment of the giant African land snails. This treatment methodology has been approved for residential use and will be utilized to combat the infestation.

“This is a threat to not only agriculture but to human health,” said Trevor Smith with FDACS.

In addition to the agricultural and environmental concerns, the snails also pose a serious health risk to humans. They are carriers of the rat lungworm parasite, which can cause meningitis in humans.

Officials said it is imperative to contain and eradicate this invasive species swiftly to prevent further harm.

“We accidentally stepped on one of the snails, and I was like, ‘What is this?'” said Miramar resident Kiwana Jones. “And then we kind of turned around and there is like a whole area over there with snails.”

Two months ago, Jones posted the snail pictures found at her home on her social media platforms wondering what they were.

“Like the size of your wrist, like literally,” said Jones.

When Jones reached out to the FDACS, officials informed her that it could be dangerous for humans and even pets.

“I have a dog, I have children, I have a neighbor next door who does a lot of gardening, and I kinda look out for him, and he is always digging,” said Jones. “My first thought was safety.”

The FDACS urges residents and businesses within the quarantine area to comply with the regulations and cooperate with authorities to prevent the further spread of these destructive snails.

Giant African land snails are illegal to import or possess in the United States without a permit.

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