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Ag Officials Make Strides Against Meningitis Carrying Mollusks

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Giant African Land Snail (Source: CBS4)

Giant African Land Snail (Source: CBS4)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — South Florida is gaining ground on the large, slimy Giant African Land Snails that first appeared in the region two years ago.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said, Thursday, 128,000 of the snails have been destroyed, but there is still work to do to prevent the snails from spreading.

The Giant African Land Snails are known for eating more than 500 species of plants and they even eat stucco which helps to build their shells according to agriculture officials.

In addition to being a threat to agriculture, the snails can carry a parasite that causes meningitis in humans.

State officials said the snails have no natural enemies and reproduce rapidly.

Commissioner Putnam said a group of  snail sniffing dogs is designated as the “snail detector dog team” and assists finding the pesky mollusks.

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