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Have you heard about the African Land Snail problem that south Florida is dealing with? Very interesting yet very disgusting at the same time.

South Florida residents are being warned to be on the lookout for one of the world’s most destructive invasive species: the giant African land snail, which can grow as big as a rat. (source)

Yuck.

African Land Snail vs Your Lawn Mower Blade

African Land Snail vs Your Lawn Mower Blade

The article goes on to mention that they are actively catching over 1000 each week! They can produce over 1200 eggs per year!

The problems that they cause are structural as they will feast on stucco and plastic (gaining nutrients for their shells) and they are also very fond of plants… anything green and they will destroy it. They also wreak havoc on tires on the road and become a projectile of shell, slime and excrement after lawn mowers suck them up and spit them out.

Double yuck.

I read this and thought about what we’d be dealing with as outdoor power experts if we had to work on mowers that were being subjected to the conditions of South Florida, but then I thought about it. Snails or not, we need to warn everyone to be aware of what is lurking in your grass and do your best to keep from damaging your blade and mower from foreign objects.

How many toys have you accidentally chopped up because you didn’t take time to walk the yard and clear all debris before cutting? How many jump ropes or water hoses have had short life spans because they were hidden from view in the grass? How many tree stumps,bricks or rocks have you encountered. How much mulch, pine straw, pinecones or fallen tree limbs do you ignore?

The impact may be powerful enough to shear the flywheel key. If it is really bad, it is possible it could bend your crankshaft. (We see it ALL THE TIME) Belts can become damaged. Gears and pulleys can become damaged.

Not to mention the fact that when you hit any object other than grass, the rough/hard object will most likely bend the blade. Your grass won’t look as good and you actually increase the chance of disease to your lawn from ripped grass clippings vs clean cuts.

So let the African Land Snail be a lesson to you. We don’t have to worry about them in Atlanta or North Georgia (yet), but there are many other dangers lurking in your lawn that can similarly do damage to your mower.

And if you did run over that landscaping paver and need a new lawn mower blade for your Honda mower, give us a call.