Giant African Snails are taking over Florida. They are an invasive species slowly, but surely moving into residential areas of Miami-Dade County.
Able to fit in the palm of a person's hand, the Giant African Snails, also known by their scientific name Lissachatina fulica, are much larger than the normal, run-of-mill snails. They are able to reach sizes of 8 inches, but so far the largest found in South Florida has been 5 inches, reported the Miami Herald.
The snail infestation is damaging to the local ecosystem. They feed on 500 different types of plants and they enter people's homes .
We've been told that they like to eat the stucco off the sides of the houses because it contains calcium, and the calcium helps to build their shells, said Suzi Distelberg, a district inspector for the Florida Department of Agriculture, as reported by Physorg.com.
These snails also pose a health risk. They can carry parasites that cause meningitis in humans. They are multiplying at a fast rate as well. Investigators already discovered 1,100 snails.
We have gone back to some of these positive properties and cleaned up every one of these snails we have seen, Denise Feiber, public information director for Florida's Division of Plant Industry, told ABC News. We come back a few days later and we're collecting more and more.
This isn't the first time an invasive species has made its way into Florida. The government has a whole host of invaders.
Click through the slideshow to see what enemies Floridians must contend with to defend their local ecosystem.