Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Trying to Eradicate the African Invaders

NPR Radio reports:
Agriculture specialists confirmed that the creatures with dark brown stripes were indeed giant African snails — a prohibited, invasive breed that the U.S. diligently has worked to eradicate from the country for more than 50 years.

While they appear harmless, these land snails — usually the size of an average adult fist — are considered voracious pests that can feast on more than 500 types of plants and produce, including peanuts, beans and cucumbers. When those are not available, they will consume flowers, tree bark and even the paint and stucco off of houses.

Giant African snails also are known to carry parasites that can lead to meningitis and other diseases in humans. And they reproduce quickly, laying as many as 1,200 eggs in a single year. ...

Over the years, the animal has stubbornly reappeared in the U.S. — partly because they are a local delicacy in West Africa. When cooked properly, these snails can serve as finger food or bar snacks, Miami member station WLRN reported back in 2013. They're also sometimes kept as pets, the USDA says.

Finger food? Bar Snacks? Pets? No thanks.

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