This invasive species was found in a suitcase coming from Africa – again

Not for the first time smugglers are trying to import Giant African snails to the US.

Back in 2021 the Border Patrol agents “caught” 22 Giant African Snails during a baggage examination of a U.S. man who arrived on a flight from Ghana. On March 9th, six Giant African Snails, an invasive species in the US, were seized by agriculture specialists at US Customs and Border Protection at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Giant African Snail (GAS) is one of the most damaging snails in the world because it consumes at least 500 types of plants. It threatens U.S. agricultural resources and causes extensive damage to tropical and sub-tropical environments. It also causes structural damage to plaster and stucco structures. GAS reproduce quickly, producing about 1,200 eggs in a single year.

The highly invasive Giant African Snail also poses a serious health risk to humans because it carries a parasitic nematode that can lead to meningitis. In Ghana, the snails are often enjoyed as pets and also eaten as food.