State agriculture officials continue work eradicating invasive snails in Pasco County

Florida has removed more than 1,300 Giant African Land Snails from 29 of the nearly 500 properties surveyed so far. This comes as the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) continues to work to eradiate the invasive species. 

Jay Pasqua, who runs a small lawn mower repair business in New Port Richey, said he's become quite familiar with the Giant African Land Snail. He's said he's seen more than 100 snails. 

The invasive species can range in size from a few inches to up to eight inches long. They can also cause extensive damage to soil and plants and pose serious health risks to humans, including causing meningitis

RELATED: Invasive snail that loves damaging plants, living in humidity found in Pasco County

They were first reported in Pasco County in late June. The state embarked on an eradication campaign to rid the area of the disease carrying species. Crews are using a pesticide known as Metaldehyde. 

Pasqua said it seems to be working so far. 

"They've been here on two occasions, putting down some snail bait, which is, from what I've seen, has been very effective," he said. "I'm seeing a lot less. I'm seeing mostly dead. And I think that's a great thing," he added. 

The snails have mostly been found around the northwest corner of U.S. Highway 19 and Ridge Road. That area is considered to be under quarantine.