The giant African land snail (GALS) is considered one of the top 100 invasive species in the world because each snail can lay more than 2,500 eggs a year, consume more than 500 species of plants, and is a known carrier of the rat lungworm parasite which can cause meningitis in humans and their pets.
Program specialists will be conducting inspections for the GALS and distributing outreach material in the City of Hollywood. Inspectors will be in Hollywood through the summer inspecting properties Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Specialists will knock on the front door and announce their presence prior to entering into the yard. As a measure of safety, all FDACS employees wear a department ID badge which must be presented to the property owner or resident upon request. Inspectors WILL NOT enter residences, however they will attempt to enter all accessible areas of the yard, including the front, side and back. On properties they cannot access they will leave an informational doorhanger. Inspections will continue through the summer but may be shortened or extended depending on weather and accessibility to backyards.
For this inspection/outreach campaign, inspectors will be focused on the general area between Hollywood Boulevard and Hallandale Beach Boulevard, the Florida Turnpike to the west and I-95 to the east.
If you suspect you have seen a Giant African Land Snail, or have other concerns, please call the toll-free helpline at 1-888-397-1517.
MORE ON THE PROGRAM
More than seven years after the discovery of the GALS in South Florida, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has made significant progress on the road to eradicating this destructive pest. Since GALS were first detected in Southwest Miami on September 2011, the GALS Eradication Program has collected more than 168,000 snails in 31 core areas of Miami-Dade County, and one in Broward County. Through a systematic, risk-based approach of inspections and treatments the program has decreased the live population of GALS by more than 95 percent. In fact, no live snail has been detected since December of 2017. These efforts led FDACS, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), to develop a plan to decommission core areas where no live snail has been detected in more than 36 months. To date, FDACS has decommissioned 22 sites in Miami-Dade County. However, the program remains vigilant and solicits the public’s assistance in combating this pest through continued public outreach in areas throughout the State where snails have not been detected.
Earlier this year, the GALS Eradication Program embarked on a campaign of focused inspections and outreach in areas where inspectors have not yet been and where we have identified at higher risk of possible snail infestation based on previous history of calls to division helpline. To date, the program has conducted more than 220,000 GALS inspections within the 32 core areas and an additional 40,000 in non-core areas. While a bulk of the inspections in non-core areas have occurred in unincorporated parts of both counties, coordinated campaigns have been conducted in Miami Gardens, Coral Gables, Pinecrest, Miramar, West Park, and Hallandale Beach.