Green Room

Run Jog Walk Stroll away from those giant snails in Texas

posted at 7:59 am on May 8, 2013 by

As monsters go, giant snails are on par with zombies — if you can walk, you can escape, right?  Unlike zombies, however, giant snails are real — and they’re in Houston for some reason at the moment.  Also unlike zombies, giant snails pose a real threat, carrying meningitis and a parasitic disease:

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Residents of a Houston neighborhood are being warned to stay away from giant African land snails after a woman found one in her garden and snapped a photo of it.

The snails, researchers warn, are potentially dangerous to touch, in part because they can carry meningitis. Scientists have warned anyone who comes in contact with them to wash their hands thoroughly.

“They also carry a parasitic disease that can cause a lot of harm to humans and sometimes even death,” Autumn Smith-Herron, director of the Institute for the Study of Invasive Species at Sam Houston State University, told NBC Houston affiliate KPRC.

A woman gardening in the Briar Forest neighborhood of Houston found the snail and notified workers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center who deal with invasive plants. It is the first reported sighting of the mollusk in Texas, and no one seems to know how it got there.

In other words, don’t pick them up and take pictures with them … like the people seen in the video. Call animal control instead, and perhaps zombie control just to be safe.

It’s too bad that legendary stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen passed away yesterday at 92 years of age. He would have made an awesome Giant Zombie Snail flick.

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It’s too bad that legendary stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen passed away yesterday at 92 years of age. He would have made an awesome Giant Zombie Snail flick.

you might be thinking of Roger Corman

RonK on May 8, 2013 at 8:18 AM

it was done ‘the monster that challenged the world’

RonK on May 8, 2013 at 8:20 AM

don’t pick them up and take pictures with them … like the people seen in the video. Call animal control instead

Just one word: Salt

Wallythedog on May 8, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Just one word: Salt

Wallythedog on May 8, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Oh, you mean the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty.

Yes, we’d be rid of the monstrous menace by now if we weren’t hindered by that treaty.

itsnotaboutme on May 8, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Someone call the French. I sense a culinary tsunami on the way!

Tom Servo on May 8, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Am I the only one who read “giant” “zombie” “horror flick” and expected them to be, well, giant? I was actually kindof disappointed when I watched the video to discover that these “giant” snails are simply just slightly-larger-than-usual snails.

kshoosh on May 8, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Just one word: Salt

Wallythedog on May 8, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Yup. And, then, maybe a little garlic butter or brandy cream sauce…

Fallon on May 8, 2013 at 9:17 AM

They had to close Texas’ largest outdoor pool last year, in the Davis Mountains, because of possible parasitic infections off regular snails that were causing swimmers to break out in rashes. Fortunately, that’s all the problem there was, and the pool didn’t have to worry about snail-borne meningitis.

jon1979 on May 8, 2013 at 9:24 AM

I’m sorry, I just flippin’ LOVE the caption at the end of that video, during a “man on the street” interview with a neighborhood resident now alerted to the health dangers of these critters: “Jack Fendrick — Wary of Snails.”

Priceless.

Esoteric on May 8, 2013 at 9:25 AM

This whole thing(and the news reporting) reminds of the MST3K episode “Horror at Party Beach”.

The answer to the problem is staring the characters right in the face, and they don’t see it.

So Mike and the crew sing a little ditty so help them out.

wearyman on May 8, 2013 at 9:29 AM

As monsters go, giant snails are on par with zombies

Brains….

giant snails pose a real threat, carrying meningitis

Brraaiiins…

This whole thing(and the news reporting) reminds of the MST3K episode

Uh… Best Brains

apostic on May 8, 2013 at 9:37 AM

I wonder if it would make good escargot?

Doodad Pro on May 8, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Ban all import and sales of non-native plants and animals?

Logus on May 8, 2013 at 10:32 AM

RonK on May 8, 2013 at 8:20 AM

How dare you bring that up before I could.

I wonder if it would make good escargot?

Doodad Pro on May 8, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Has there ever been any good escargot?

cozmo on May 8, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Just one word: Salt

Wallythedog on May 8, 2013 at 8:45 AM

I use Berryman’s B-12 Chemtool Carburetor, Choke, and Throttle Body Cleaner:

http://www.berrymanproducts.com/products/cleaning-degreasing/b-12-chemtool-carburetor-choke-and-throttle-body-cleaner/

Ward Cleaver on May 8, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Ward Cleaver on May 8, 2013 at 10:36 AM

What about a lawn mower?

I used to kill a fair amount of toads that’d be sitting in our yard and wouldn’t move while I was mowing.

I used to burn fire ant mounds in our yard. Pour a good dose of gasoline or better, mix it with something thicker like oil or diesel. I’d pour around the perimeter, then in the middle, light, stir occasionally and relight.

Hi PETA. Yes, I did it… twenty years ago. Bite me.

Logus on May 8, 2013 at 10:43 AM

What about a lawn mower?

I used to kill a fair amount of toads that’d be sitting in our yard and wouldn’t move while I was mowing.

I used to burn fire ant mounds in our yard. Pour a good dose of gasoline or better, mix it with something thicker like oil or diesel. I’d pour around the perimeter, then in the middle, light, stir occasionally and relight.

Hi PETA. Yes, I did it… twenty years ago. Bite me.

Logus on May 8, 2013 at 10:43 AM

I’ve read that if you hit them with a mower, the shell fragments make nasty shrapnel. With the B-12, you can hose them down, and if you want, light it.

Ward Cleaver on May 8, 2013 at 10:54 AM

I swear, I got meningitis from a giant snail!

rbj on May 8, 2013 at 10:58 AM

People will be shooting those monstors with .22s.

skspls on May 8, 2013 at 11:08 AM

What about a lawn mower?

Logus on May 8, 2013 at 10:43 AM

And we’re back to zombie movies.

apostic on May 8, 2013 at 11:13 AM

I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit.

It’s the only way to be sure.

CurtZHP on May 8, 2013 at 11:33 AM

We are never going to get Bishop down to Texas now.

Cindy Munford on May 8, 2013 at 11:50 AM

they have giant snails in Miami that’ll eat the stucco off your house and pop your car tires, so not so funny

tlynch001 on May 8, 2013 at 12:13 PM

CurtZHP on May 8, 2013 at 11:33 AM

It’s Houston, who would miss it?

cozmo on May 8, 2013 at 12:36 PM

They’re from Africa and an f’ing nightmare.

Crazy people think they’re “cut” because they seem to respond to people.

The shells are hard enough to burst tire treads.

Kill them all, but prepare for a massive mess.

budfox on May 8, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Send them back to the New Orleans Superdome where I’m sure they originated from during Katrina…

kirkill on May 8, 2013 at 1:13 PM

I’m sorry, I just flippin’ LOVE the caption at the end of that video…“Jack Fendrick — Wary of Snails.”

Priceless.

Esoteric on May 8, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Haha, I would never let a friend or family member live that down…

nextgen_repub on May 8, 2013 at 1:20 PM

I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit.

It’s the only way to be sure.

CurtZHP on May 8, 2013 at 11:33 AM

This. I hate snails. Disgusting creatures. Perhaps it is fear and guilt from killing so many of them. I worked for a landscaping outfit one summer and spent days weed-whacking a hillside. Sometimes I’d hit a nest and guts would explode everywhere.

The worst was a place we moved into in San Jose where apparently they had been permitted to get out of control. First rainy night, my Mom and I were out there picking them up by hand by the hundreds, coating the lawn and the shrubbery. Crush ‘em, boil ‘em, whatever it takes. Best thing to do is dig a hole and bury them. If you put a bag of dead ones in the garbage can, be prepared for the most nauseating odor imaginable.

Xasprtr on May 8, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Time to call in that favor from Godzilla!

squint on May 8, 2013 at 3:34 PM

Time to call in that favor from Godzilla!

squint on May 8, 2013 at 3:34 PM

Or Dr. Dolittle. Speaking of which….

apostic on May 8, 2013 at 3:52 PM

I say we offer Houston as a tribute to our new snail overlords.

We can feed them Sheila Jackson Lee first.

BKennedy on May 8, 2013 at 5:14 PM

I think this story is a big bag of barackobama. The snails are everywhere down here and I’ve never heard of a problem. Every wet pond around here is loaded with them. I think its because we now have 23 year olds seeing things for the first time posing as reporters that it makes the news.

Culmination of video games, YouTube and iPhones as life experiences.

DanMan on May 8, 2013 at 6:50 PM

We don’t have water here in San Antonio ever so the only animals I see here are buzzards and squirrels.

NoDonkey on May 9, 2013 at 2:46 PM