Giant African land snails are shown to the media as the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announces it has positively identified a population of the invasive species. The Giant African land snail is one of the most damaging snails in the world because they consume at least 500 different types of plants, can cause structural damage to plaster and stucco, and can carry a parasitic nematode that can lead to meningitis in humans. An effort to eradicate the snails is being launched. The snail is one of the largest land snails in the world, growing up to eight inches in length and more than four inches in diameter. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Giant African Snail has been in the news lately as thousands of these things have invaded the New Port Richey area. According to FDACS, “The giant African land snail (GALS) is one of the most damaging snails in the world and consumes at least 500 different types of plants. These snails could be devastating to Florida agriculture and natural areas as they cause extensive damage to tropical and subtropical environments. The snails also pose a serious health risk to humans by carrying the parasite rat lungworm, known to cause meningitis in humans.”

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(Source FDACS)

So it’s not just plants, these things will eat the stucco right off your house. And grabbing one with your hands is a band idea, as they can cause meningitis. They’re so badly trying to control these things that they’ve set up a quarantine area around New Port Richey where  “It is unlawful to move the giant African land snail or a regulated article, including but not limited to, plants, plants parts, plants in soil, soil, yard waste, debris, compost or building materials, within, through or from a quarantine area without a compliance agreement.” If you’re not familiar, New Port Richey is along the coast just north of the Clearwater/Tampa area. These things have not been reported in our area and it’d be nice to keep it that way. Stucco eating snails? I just paid 3 grand to have my house painted, no thanks.

The Giant African Snail isn’t the only animal trying to destroy Florida. Ranker took a look at some of the animals that hate us living in this tropical paradise, and they want us out.

  • Lionfish

    florida (Getty images)

    It’s thought that someone may have released one into the wild back in the 80’s, and since a Lionfish can lay 2 million eggs a year, and they have no natural predators,  the population is skyrocketing. They feed on smaller fish and crustaceans, but when they can’t find enough food, they began to eat their own. Yep, Cannibalistic Lionfish. The FWC encourages divers, anglers and commercial harvesters to remove lionfish in Florida waters to limit negative impacts to native marine life and ecosystems.

  • Rhesus Monkeys

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    (Getty Images)

    Legend has it, the monkeys were released into the Silver Springs State Park around 100 years ago by an eccentric boat captain. Estimates now have the colony at around 400. And the monkeys all have herpes. Yes. Wild, herpes-infested monkeys running wild in a state park just outside of Ocala. And a simple scratch from a monkey or contact with a bodily fluid and you may get it too. Try explaining to your Mom how you get herpes from a monkey.

  • Peacocks

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    MIAMI, FLORIDA – Peafowl hang out together in a neighborhood in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

    But they’re so pretty! Yeah, but they’re large, leave a mess, and are VERY noisy. That squawking will get you out of bed. They’ll jump on your roof (and get stuck) and if your car is shiny they’ll peck at their reflection, chipping off your cars paint. Peacocks are also protected, so no second amendment right on this invasive species. If they invade your neighborhood you can pay to have them relocated to a farm.

  • Burmese Pythons

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    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis helps hold a python as he kicks off the  Python Challenge in the Everglades. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

    We’ve covered these things extensively since they’re so close to us here in Southwest Florida. They are wrecking the ecosystem in the Everglades, killing off the mammal population. Raccoons, opossums, and bobcats are all seeing dwindling population numbers. Except for the occasional crazy fight to the death between a python and an alligator, the only predator these monsters have are the insane Florida Men who track into the swamps to hunt them.

  • Iguanas

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    An iguana is seen as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission continues its efforts to try and control the invasive species. The commission has teams of people that are trying to eliminate the reptiles by killing them, which would prevent them from eating native plants and wildlife as well as disturbing the natural Florida habitat that they are living in. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

    And now one we’re even more familiar with. These things are all over South Florida trashing vegetation and landscaping. Mike Rowe even came down an did an episode of “Dirty Jobs”.

  • Alligators

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    :An alligator populates the Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach, Florida. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    I can’t really bash on alligators, since they were here first. As more and more people leave states like California to move here to Florida, the human/alligator altercations will probably increase. One thing I’ve noticed is that alligators seem to have completely lost their fear of humans.

  • Monk Parakeets

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    group of feral Monk Parakeets

    Brought here by the pet trade, estimates now have Monk Parakeets Florida population around 100,000. More and more are showing up in Southwest Florida at parks, beaches, and backyards. The main concern is that they out compete native birds for food and space. But they are cute. So…..

  • Vervet Monkeys

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    The original group of monkey’s dates back to the 1940’s. They were used by researchers for a polio vaccine. The 40 or 50 monkey’s escaped when an employee left a cage open. They have thrived and survived in the mangroves.

    This is a rare case when the invasive species is not only tolerated, but have become celebrities. They live near the Fort Lauderdale airport not far from the Seminole Hard Rock Casino.

  • Cuban Tree Frogs

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    An exotic and invasive Cuban Tree Frog gracefully poses and smiles at the camera

    He seems friendly enough, but Cuban Tree Frogs are incredible eaters, from bugs, to spiders, to other frogs, and lizards. They limit the resources of other frogs. We need to teach them to eat Bufo toads. Those are the real problem. My cat picked one of those bufos up in his mouth and I thought he was gonna die.

  • Nile Monitor Lizards

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    Portrait of a Nile monitor (Varanus niloticus),

    These things are a menace in Cape Coral. The Nile monitor is large, fast and hazardous, devouring smaller dogs, cats, and wildlife such as burrowing owls, sea turtles and birds. If they can’t get the population in Cape Coral under control it won’t be safe for children to play outside. 

  • Mosquitos

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    (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

    Not an invasive critter, but annoying. I took my dog for a walk at dusk and by the time I made it back to the house I was covered in bites. F those guys. Also, for those of you that have lived in Florida for awhile you remember the dengue fever and zika virus outbreaks we’ve had. 

  • Asian Clams

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    asiatic clam shells (Corbicula fluminea)

    Here’s what the FWC has to say about them: “Asian Clams cause widespread economic problems through clogging the pipes of many Electric and Nuclear Power Plants. Water currents from streams, rivers, and reservoirs deposit the larvae within raw service pipes and condenser tubes of the plan. Here they attach themselves and grow to full size adults, resulting in reduced water flow and decreased efficiency of energy generation. This harmful impact is referred to as ‘biofouling’ and results in estimated costs of about $1 billion USD a year nationwide, presenting a large problem to the nation’s energy industry. Additionally, Asian Clams are known to be found in concentrations high as thousands of individuals per square meter, resulting in elimination of native freshwater mollusk populations through competition for food.”

     

  • Wild Boar

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    According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, “the wild hog is often considered one of the more problematic wild animals in Florida,” especially considering that they are known to reside in every county throughout Florida, bringing with them a whole mess of problems. Very destructive to Florida vegetation and filled with diseases and parasites. The only good news I have here is wild hogs may be trapped, shot or hunted year-round with no fees, licenses or permits required. I knew a guy in North Fort Myers who killed one with a flathead screwdriver because his gun was back in the truck. Perhaps a Phillipshead screw driver would have worked as well, but this was what he had. 

  • Fire ants

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    “Fire Ants” instructions

    Fire ants made their way to Florida from South America in the 1930s and I’d love to slap the person who brought them here. Fire ants suck. I know someone who is allergic to their bites and can go into anaphylactic shock if he gets bitten. Dude should move to Alaska or something to be safe. If these things get on you they bite and bite and bite until you kill them. Have you been bitten? You’ll know.