Giant African land snails attack Florida as experts look to exterminate

Shells are so big they can puncture a car tire

Scott Burton/AP

One of the world’s most destructive invasive species, the giant African land snail, is munching its way through south Florida.

More than 117,000 snails have already been caught in the southeast part of the state since they were first discovered in 2011, with more expected to crawl out of hibernation as the rainy season begins, reports Reuters.

The giant snails can grow as big as a human hand. While their slimy trails can make it difficult to walk, their hard shells are more dangerous and can puncture tires and “turn into hurling projectiles from lawnmower blades.”

In addition to eating vegetation, the snails also enjoy stucco siding, which has the calcium content the snails need to build hard shells.

The report says that experts gathered in Gainesville, Florida last week to discuss a strategy to get rid of the pests.

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