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A giant African land snail
A quarantine zone has been set up along part of the Caloosahatchee River in Lee County to contain the spread of giant African land snails, the state Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services announced Thursday.
The quarantine limits moving snails or such things as plants, soil, yard waste, debris, compost and building materials.
Originally from east Africa, the snails pose threats to parts of the agriculture industry and human health. The Department of Agriculture said the snails eat at least 500 different types of plants and consume plaster and stucco off buildings. Also, they can carry a parasite that causes a form of meningitis in humans.
The snails were initially detected in December in Lee County, but the quarantine was announced after a survey found an increased number of snails, dead and alive.