Feb 6, 2004
Giant African Snail found in WisconsinSource: University of Florida

The giant African snail has once again been discovered in the United States, in Wisconsin. The USDA- APHIS seized more than 80 specimens from two pet stores and a private breeder in November.

In 1966, three snails of this species were brought into Florida by a boy after a trip to Hawaii. His grandmother eventually released the snails into her garden and several years later over 18,000 snails were found, along with eggs on the shores. At that point they were eradicated at a cost of $1 million, which took approximately 10 years according to USDA-APHIS. This snail is now present on several Caribbean islands.

  The giant African snail is considered to be one of the largest and most damaging land snails in the world, as it is known to eat over 500 different types of plants. As part of a nationwide alert, the USDA will seize all live snails in the Achatinidae family.

For more information go to the UF/IFAS Pest Alert Web site at http://extlab7.entnem.ufl.edu/PestAlert/