BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Knock it off! That is what you should do if you see an Apple snail.
“Apple snails are an invasive species in Louisiana,” according to the LSU AgCenter.
So what should you look for and where can you find this “invasive species?”
LSU AgCenter says, “They lay bright pink egg masses on structures and plants emerging from the water.”
“Apple snails reproduce rapidly and are known for reaching high population densities in freshwater habitats,” according to the LSU AgCenter.
That means residents in the state could find them in places like rivers, bayous, ponds and swamps.
So what is the best way to get rid of this “invasive species?”
The best thing to do is to destroy the eggs by removing the masses from any place they are attached to above the water.
Apple snails can not hatch in the water.
Do not use your hands to remove the egg masses.
According to the LSU AgCenter, “Skin exposed to apple snail eggs should be washed immediately.”
So, why do you need to wash your hands?
The LSU AgCenter says, “The eggs contain a protein neurotoxin called PcPV2, which has been shown to be lethal to mice and it can cause irritation of the skin and eyes of humans.”
Despite Apple snails being harmful to humans in these ways, you can eat them.
The LSU AgCenter advises that if you are going to eat an apple snail, please you caution when preparing the meal.
“The snails are edible when thoroughly cooked and properly cleaned by removing all intestinal material,” according to the LSU AgCenter.
If you don’t prepare a meal of apple snails correctly, you could die.
The LSU AgCenter says, “Raw or undercooked snails can contain rat lungworm, a parasite that can cause potentially fatal eosinophilic meningitis.