(CNN) Customs officers on the Detroit Metropolitan Airport made an uncommon — and probably harmful — discovery in a passenger’s baggage: Six big African snails.

The snails, which have been alive, have been discovered within the suitcase of a traveler who arrived in Detroit from the west African nation of Ghana, in response to a Friday information launch from US Customs and Border Safety.

The critters are thought-about a “prohibited organism” within the US as a result of they’ll trigger illnesses in people and may wreak important havoc within the surroundings if launched within the wild, in response to the information launch.

Regardless of this, folks around the globe eat the snails and maintain them as pets in some international locations.

“Our CBP officers and agriculture specialists work diligently to focus on, detect, and intercept potential threats earlier than they’ve an opportunity to do hurt to U.S. pursuits,” stated port director Robert Larkin within the information launch. “The invention of this extremely invasive pest really advantages the well being and well-being of the American folks.”

Native to east Africa, the snails can develop as much as 8-inches lengthy. Large African snails can carry a parasite referred to as rat lungworm that results in meningitis in people. As well as, they eat at the very least 500 several types of crops, and even eat the plaster and stucco off homes as a supply of calcium, which may result in environmental injury if they’re launched into the wild, Customs and Border Safety stated.

In July, a Florida county was positioned beneath quarantine after officers found a fast-growing inhabitants of the snails. The inhabitants was thought to have originated within the unlawful pet commerce.

A earlier inhabitants of big African snails present in Miami-Dade County took 10 years and hundreds of thousands of {dollars} and to be absolutely eradicated. The snails can produce as much as 2,500 eggs per 12 months, so the inhabitants is troublesome to manage.