Giant African Land Snails Invade South Florida

Photo Credit: Andrew Derksen, Florida Cooperative Pest Survey Program

First we had snowbirds and alligators, then nematodes and mole crickets, followed by grubs and white flies and now giant african snails. Yes, that is right, snails. And they are eating everything in sight. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has positively identified a population of Giant African land snails in Miami-Dade County. The Giant African land snail is one of the most damaging snails in the world because they consume at least 500 different types of plants, can cause structural damage to plaster and stucco, and can carry a parasitic nematode that can lead to meningitis in humans.

The Giant African snail is one of the largest land snails in the world, growing up to eight inches in length and more than four inches in diameter. When fully grown, the snail’s brownish shell consists of seven to nine whorls (spirals) that cover at least half the length of its long and greatly swollen body. They can live as long as nine years and contain both female and male reproductive organs. After a single mating session, each snail can produce 100 to 400 eggs. In a typical year, every mated adult lays about 1,200 eggs.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says, “Enlisting the help of the public in the early detection of these pests and diseases is critical to containing and ultimately eradicating them in our state.” Anyone who believes they may have seen a Giant African land snail or signs of its presence should call the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services toll-free at 888-397-1517 to make arrangements to have the snail collected. To preserve the snail sample, Floridians should use gloves to put the snail in a zip lock bag, seal it and place it in a bucket or plastic container. They are advised not to release or give these samples away.

Keep your eyes open for the African Snail and if you find one call the toll-free number.

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City to issue tickets for parking trucks overnight

City To Issue Warning Notices
For Overnight Parking Of Trucks

Here we go again with local officials making it tough to do our jobs and make a living. For many people that live in the upscale town of Coral Gables, Florida, banning pick up trucks from overnight parking is not a big deal. But they have not stopped there. The City has also proposed banning leaf blowers. Yes, leaf blowers. That one is still being debated. Now the best one for last, officials are restricting working hours on golf courses in Miami-Dade County. City officials say that mowing falls under the section of construction and can not start until after 7:30 AM. That’s when many courses have their first tee time. Once the city takes a closer look into the courses they own, and how this change could affect their bottom line, I predict this proposed restriction will miraculously disappear.

Now back to the trucks.

The section below was cut and pasted from the City’s official E-news letter that comes out every few weeks.

Code Enforcement Officers will begin issuing warning notices for the overnight parking of trucks in Coral Gables residential areas. On October 28, 2010, the Third District Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of the City of Coral Gables Zoning Code pertaining to trucks parked in residential and commercial areas. The law prohibits the parking of trucks in residential areas unless parked in an enclosed garage. It also prohibits the parking of trucks, trailers, commercial or recreational vehicles upon the streets or other public places in the City between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. of the following day. Violators will first receive a warning notice with 72 hours to comply and then a citation if still not in compliance. This ordinance seeks to preserve the integrity of the residential areas and the unique aesthetic qualities of the City Beautiful. For additional information, contact the City of Coral Gables Code Enforcement at 305-460-5226.

I live and work in Coral Gables and thank God I don’t have a truck. Let us know if you have seen any of this happening in your town.

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