Milk the snail, drink its juice!

Florida is once again dealing with giant African land snails; the Sunshine State is blaming some religious fanatics for the latest outbreak.

Tampa Bay Times reports that the super invasive species was spotted in Pasco County, and authorities are going haywire with damage control. So, why all the hubbub over a giant snail that can grow as large as a human fist?

Well, there are two big reasons. One is they’re incredibly damaging to the local ecosystem because of how quickly they consume plants. And if they have no beans, cucumbers, peas and other plants to munch on, they will literally eat the paint and stucco off people’s homes.

Second of all, they are known to carry the rat lungworm parasite that causes meningitis.  

If those two didn’t sound bad enough, these snails can also lay up to 1,000 eggs per year, so they are incredibly difficult to eradicate. But, Florida has managed to do that several times before — to the tune of millions of dollars.

In the late ’60s and early ’70s, Florida purged these invasive species and declared them eradicated after spending a million bucks to get every last one. Then, they resurfaced in Miami-Dade County in 2011 — and that took $24 million to fully get rid of these suckers. Authorities destroyed 168,000 snails and even more eggs before declaring them officially gone.

Now, these bad boys are back because some cult leader and his followers smuggled them into the states. Why?  Because they are supposed to drink the snails’ mucus. 

So, because Florida is once again dealing with an outbreak, authorities are baiting areas within a 600-feet radius of this new sighting in the New Port Richey area. Locals who spot these snails are encouraged to email a photo to