It's difficult to keep invasive species out of the water in Texas.

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The latest offender has been multiplying quickly in the San Antonio River, and it can lay up to 2,000 eggs at one time.

Dangers of Invasive Species in Texas

If you look at the walls of the San Antonio River, you'll probably see what looks like bunches of chewed pink bubble gum. According to the San Antonio River Authority, those wads aren't gum, but egg casings laid by invasive Giant Apple Snails. They have been a problem in the area for a while, but are getting worse.

Are Apple Snails Illegal?

Apple snails are banned from entering the United States, but they are protected when identified. Native to South America, they are on the list of 'invasive, prohibited, and exotic species,' according to Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Some people may consider snails a delicacy, but if eaten raw, they can transmit a deadly parasite called Rat Lungworm to humans and other mammals. Rat Lungworm is just as bad as it sounds, and can cause a serious infection that may be fatal, even with treatment.

Where Did Apple Snails Come From?

According to KSAT, the San Antonio River Authority keeps finding non-native species from fish to snails causing major issues with the river's ecosystem. Many of these creatures are former pets of aquarium hobbyists, who buy them and throw them in the river once they outgrow their tanks.

What if You Find an Apple Snail?

When egg masses are found, they should NOT be scraped into the water, but removed and crushed, according to Texas Invasives.

Never Dump Your Tank has more information about the dangers of putting aquarium pets in public bodies of water.

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