LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Apple snails - a non-native, invasive species of snail brought to the United States by pet trade - have been found in 29 parishes across Louisiana, including Cameron and Calcasieu.
Last year, a crawfish farmer in Acadia Parish had to cut his harvest short as a result of the apple snails.
“The amount of money to control these things on a statewide scale is way more than we have currently,” said Sean Kinney, biologist manager of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ inland fisheries division.
Kinney says the snails are toxic to humans, carrying a parasite known as a rat lungworm.
But apple snails are also dangerous for marine life.
“Apple snails eat aquatic vegetation which is a component of the fisheries habitat and they also eat detritus on the bottom," Kinney said. "It affects not only the habitat for fish to live in but also affects the quality of the habitat.”
Devin Moses found apple snails on her property last year. It is the only reported case in Calcasieu Parish.
“It’s frustrating but I feel like it was a blessing that it happened to us almost that way with me being a stay-at-home mom,” Moses said. “I’m able to come out here in my extra time and get the children involved.”
Kinney advises residents to get rid of the snails.
“If you see apple snail eggs, we advise you to knock those into the water and, if you see adult snails, we advise you to kill those by whatever measure you can, whether that’s by crushing them, or removing them from the water, taking care of that.”
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