#3. Angry Wild Turkeys
As children, our parents warned us of the dangers of abandoning our pets when we are sick of them. For some reason the story always focused on alligators flushed down the toilet and thriving in the sewers. That lesson was flawed, because the only thing we learned from the story was that people are allowed to own alligators, which are way cooler than whatever shitty pet we were trying to get rid of. If parents really wanted to get the lesson to sink in, they would have told us about an ugly, mundane pet being abandoned and then quickly overpopulating entire towns; they should have told us about the wild turkeys of Staten Island, New York.
It's like a gang of ugly monks.
Over a decade ago, some miserable person decided on turkeys as pets, and then naturally realized that was a terrible idea and set them all free. While she likely assumed that the nine turkeys she released would all die, they started multiplying instead, and now the town of Ocean Breeze is overrun by the only bird with a testicle sack for a neck.
More troubling, the turkeys are getting smarter and more aggressive. They attack cars and children, and they know which houses to go to for the best chance of food.
"Don't worry, dude, I totally saw the nut roast leftovers. We got ourselves some wusses."
The problem has gotten so out of control that residents are now afraid to leave their houses. And since turkey hunting is against the law in Staten Island, people aren't really sure what to do, especially considering that the turkeys are basically daring people to kill them.
The Department of Environmental Conservation has left it to the city to decide how to deal with the birds, but in the meantime, the only weapons residents have at their disposal are hoses and their ability to shoo really loudly. Still, people are constantly attacked in Ocean Breeze, and running away from birds that naturally look like they have some sort of face disease is a special kind of humiliation.
"Yeah? Drive off, asshole. You got nothin'."
#2. An Emergency-Scale Caterpillar Explosion
Caterpillars, like zombies, are slow-moving hunks of flesh with a single-minded goal of consuming. Alone they are harmless, but when they number in the millions, they are terrifying and inescapable. The difference, however, is that zombies are fictional, while caterpillars are real enough to cause a national emergency for an entire country.
The African armyworm has devastated crops, poisoned water supplies and presumably forced survivors onto the roofs of malls with only one gun. Already considered one of the most destructive pests on Earth, now that their numbers are swelling at such an astronomical rate, it's caused Liberia to issue a state of emergency.
It's not like they have other, more pressing things to attend to.
The biggest problem is that the adult moths can lay around 1,000 eggs in one lifetime, and they can migrate hundreds of miles, essentially making the outbreak an airborne crisis. They are also good at avoiding pesticides by burrowing into the ground before pupating. As a result, there are tens of millions of them ravaging entire fields of crops, all moving together in unison to new food sources ... kind of like an army.
These are just the ground troops.
The infestation has spread to over a hundred villages and towns in Guinea, Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast, infesting more than 50 villages in less than a week. With that kind of speed, they could devastate entire sections of a country in an alarmingly short amount of time. And the armyworms have already been spotted in the United States.
The wormocalypse, coming to an everywhere near you.
Researchers have been working on a biological pesticide with a natural virus in it that will hopefully only affect the armyworms. To be clear, that's an experimental virus released on a massive population. Does that sound familiar? It might be time for scientists to step out of the lab for a night and actually watch a zombie movie or two.
#1. Hordes of Giant African Snails
From a completely unscientific perspective, snails are just snot in a shell. They're slow, slimy and filled with diseases. You probably don't spend much time thinking about them until you hear that sickly crunch under your foot while walking down the sidewalk after a rainstorm. But that's because you haven't encountered the giant African land snail, which eats the walls off of houses.
On the other hand, they make great wallpaper paste.
The Department of Agriculture has declared Miami "ground zero" for a giant snail invasion that's causing problems for thousands of residents. An average snail is only a few centimeters long and goes unnoticed, but the giant snails in Florida can grow up to 18 centimeters long, and they eat just about everything. The snails' diet can include about 500 different types of plants, which is causing hell for agriculture in Miami. Aside from vegetation, the snails are also partial to stucco, so they are just as likely to destroy a garden as the exterior wall of your house.
And then shit all over it.
It's proving tough to get rid of the things, too: Each snail can lay up to 1,200 eggs a year. Florida's Department of Agriculture's solution to the problem? They're going door to door and picking up the snails in people's yards. That's it. They're just collecting them in plastic bags and putting them into a "deep freeze" because ... we have no idea why. Maybe in case we ever need to thaw them out in the future to stop Wesley Snipes in some Demolition Man scenario?
Salt those bad boys up and you could take the French junk food industry by storm.
Still, there's no way the Department of Agriculture can keep up with the breeding of the snails. So, to reiterate, we have an infestation that causes meningitis, and eats crops and houses. And it's spreading.
"Hey, I demand citizenship!"
Maybe we should just cover Florida in salt and call it a day.
For more species we need to kill with fire, check out 6 Animals Humanity Accidentally Made Way Scarier and 5 Species That Seem to be Trying to Take over the Earth.
And stop by LinkSTORM to discover the best way to exterminate a hobo infestation.
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