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Florida reports success in invasive snail eradication effort

Posted September 11

— Agriculture officials say efforts to rid Florida of a destructive, parasite-carrying snail have been so successful that nearly half the core areas under surveillance can be dropped from the program.

In a statement Friday, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam said over 164,000 giant African land snails have been eliminated since the invasive species was discovered in Miami-Dade County in 2011.

The snails eat over 500 kinds of plants as well as plaster and stucco. They also can carry parasites that can cause meningitis in humans.

Agriculture department staff and dogs trained to sniff out the snails have been routinely surveying 31 infested areas in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. According to Putnam's statement, no live snails have been detected for over a year in 15 of the core areas.

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