Scientists with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Division of Plant industry (FDACS/DPI) have confirmed rat lungworm parasite, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, in samples of Giant African Land Snails (GALS) collected as part of the ongoing eradication program in Miami-Dade County.
“The confirmation that a small portion of the giant African land snails infesting Miami-Dade County contain rat lung worm is not surprising, however it is disturbing,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam.
Rat lungworm parasite can be found in snails or their “slime” (mucus), and if ingested may cause a form of meningitis.
Please, avoid handling the snails and instead call the Division of Plant Industry toll-free helpline at 888-397-1517 to report snail sightings.
State and federal agricultural agencies have been conducting an aggressive eradication program since the giant African land snail was identified in Miami-Dade County in September 2011.
(Click in the hyperlink to see the life cycle of this parasite) Lungworn parasite life cycle
- To date, more than 88,000 snails have been collected on 400 positive properties in 18 core areas of Miami-Dade County.
§ GALS has not been found outside of Miami-Dade County.
Remember: identify the pest you are dealing with!!!
If you have questions, contact you local UF/IFAS Extension office