A huge African land snail capable of transmitting meningitis to people and “devastating” agricultural crops has been discovered in west-central Florida. In Pasco County, Florida, a gardener discovered an African land snail on Tuesday, prompting a quarantine of a small region. Snail resurgence caused state officials to issue quarantine orders for inhabitants of Pasco County, Florida, a region north of Tampa on the Gulf Coast.

Authorities acted when a Port Richey community gardener confirmed the presence of a highly destructive mollusk species known as the gigantic African land snail. After the quarantine rule was put in place, a pest control division of Florida’s Department of Agriculture began to monitor the region for new snail sightings, according to the agency. Tuesday was the first day when the control unit began applying baited pesticides to the area.

The huge African snail has been dubbed “one of the most destructive” gastropod species in the world by Florida’s agriculture department. Since it has a voracious appetite for at least 500 different plants and the materials that make up paint and stucco, it can swiftly invade the surrounding region due of its extremely big size and capacity to produce vast numbers of offspring. A snail can lay millions of eggs at a time when it is four months old, and each egg can grow to be 8 inches long when it is an adult.