The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says they need the community's help to remove an invasive species.
Giant African land snails have been reported in Pasco County and are known to carry meningitis-causing parasites.
“Please do not attempt to handle them yourself,” a FDACS official said.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and consumer services urges people to reach out if they spot Giant African Land Snails.
“I would like to stress at this very moment how dangerous these creatures are,” Joyce Fassbender, FGCU Entomologist said.
They talked about how they plan to get rid of the unwanted visitors in Pasco County.
“Let me assure you, we will eradicate these snails,” FDACS Commissioner Nikki Fried said.
Officials say this marks the third time giant African land snails have been discovered in the state.
Fassbender says the chances of these exotic snails making it to southwest Florida is low.
“It’s something that we have to keep vigilance on. We have to pay attention constantly to make sure that they aren't spreading,” Fassbender said, “or that they haven't spread past that county.
FDACS says proper protection and sanitation are required if you spot giant African land snails.
“Our teams are conducting detection through inspection of yards, they're hand-collecting snails when they see them, and we started our treatment program,” FDACS said.
They say it could take up to two years to get rid of the sails.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has also implemented trained K9 dogs to help detect the pests.