These giant creepy crawlers have been spotted near San Antonio, Texas, and could be slithering their way further into the Lonestar State this spring and summer.

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Where Can Apple Snails Be Found in Texas?

Imagine the surprise of officials in San Antonio when they were draining the river last month and found and collected over 2,000 giant invasive apple snails. Reportedly, the snails made the San Antonio River home back in 2019 and have been a menace ever since. An interesting fact is that San Antonio has been draining the River Walk section of the river periodically since the 1980s to keep the site clean, natural, and attractive for visitors.

What's an apple snail and why are they so destructive?

First off, giant apple snails are invasive because they're not native to the area and as a result, they tend to 'overpopulate and steal resources from native species, disrupting natural ecological processes,' according to Because of the large quantities of plant material they require, they damage habitats for native fish and wildlife. And not only do these guys reproduce quickly, they get huge, like in as big as a baseball big.

Many abbreviate the species name to CAS which stands for 'Channeled Applesnail' and they are illegal to import, transport, or own in many states. Their official name is Pomacea canaliculata. Experts think the snails made their way to Texas via flooding and/or being dumped by aquarium owners.

Are giant apple snails dangerous?

Yes, giant apple snails are dangerous if ingested according to If eaten raw or if they are undercooked, they can transmit a deadly parasite called rat lungworm to humans and other animals. Unfortunately, pesticides haven't been successful in killing the snails. The snail's eggs can also cause a toxin that can irritate your skin and/or eyes.

Unfortunately, we don't know what officials in San Antonio are going to be able to do to eliminate or better control the issue.

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