They look like soft, sweet, light pink berries, growing in your garden or on your pond plants. Or you might spot near a body of water in the wild. Can you eat them? Will they taste good?

No, and you definitely shouldn't put them in your mouth.

These clumps (pictured below) are a cluster of Golden Apple snail eggs. Eww! Not only are they almost certainly not delicious, but they are also dangerous to handle.

The eggs have a surface neurotoxin that can irritate your skin and eyes if handled and pose a risk to kids and pets. They are also the vectors of a dangerous parasite, rat lungworm, which can cause serious brain infections in humans.


If you spot a clump of these eggs on your property, put on safety gloves, grab a couple pieces of cardboard, and get to squishing. Seriously, don't feel bad about it, these things are a problem.

In addition to being a skin irritant and possibly giving you a brain disease, Golden Apple snails are an invasive species established here in Texas. They do a lot of environmental damage.

They degrade the habitat of other animals and compete with native, and much less dangerous, snails. They are voracious eaters of aquatic plants. Not only will they ruin your pond plants, but they are also hindering efforts to restore Texas wetlands.

Gold Apple snails began their Texas reign of terror in earnest in 2000 when they were found to be established in Mustang Bayou and American Canal. They have since spread rapidly throughout other Texas waters.

Large-scale management practices have proven difficult, and the only known Texas predator of Golden Apple snail eggs is the raccoon.

The best things we can do as individuals are to squish these when we see them (with hand protection) and to never, ever dump an aquarium tank into a body of water or down the toilet.

If you need alternatives to dispose of your tank or the animals/plants in it, here is a great set of guidelines from 

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