- The Washington Times - Monday, April 15, 2013

Snails that grow as large as rats and have an appetite for plants, plaster and stucco are wreaking havoc in Florida communities.

More than 1,000 of the African land snails are being captured each week in Miami-Dade alone, Reuters reported.

The mollusks attack “over 500 known species of plants. … [They eat] pretty much anything that’s in their path and green,” and are capable of nibbling through even stucco and plaster, said Denise Feiber, a spokeswoman with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in the Reuters report.

Florida has a history with the snails. In 1966, the state faced a similar infestation of the species — it took $1 million and a decade to defeat them, Reuters said.

An African land snail produces about 1,200 eggs each year. They have a taste for stucco: It provides the calcium they need for their shells, Fox News reported.

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