Snails as large as rats have invaded parts of Florida, and despite their appearance - these things are capable of some real damage!
Their official name is Giant African land snails, and more than 117,000 have been found since late 2011 - with over a thousand more found each week!
And unlike another problem Florida had in the past - you can't fix this one with a recount!
Here's what one concerned resident said:
"They're huge, they move around, they look like they're looking at you … communicating with you, and people enjoy them for that. But they don't realize the devastation they can create if they are released into the environment where they don't have any natural enemies and they thrive."
These snails destroy plants, and they aren't biased. Anything that's green is basically fair game for them.
Plus the slime that trails behind is extremely difficult to clean, so if there are hundreds inside your home - you may have a problem!
And if you're not scared yet, check out what these things carry inside them according to one expert:
"The snails also carry a parasitic rat lungworm that can cause illness in humans, including a form of meningitis although no such cases have yet been identified in the United States."
[Image via Wikimedia Commons.]
Tags: eating, florida, giant, house, snail, thousands