Here are some common pests we deal with that you may come across in our realm of central Florida.
This post can also be used as a quick reference guide. Let's get started, shall we?
The earwig is a fierce looking insects. The earwig has a pair of forceps pincers on their abdomen called cerci and this is what gives it it’s fierce appearance. Earwigs rarely use their ability to fly even though they have membranous wings folded underneath short fore-wings. The earwig is mostly nocturnal (meaning they are active at night) and often hide in small, moist crevices during the day. They feed on a wide variety of insects and plants. They can damage foliage, flowers, and various crops. The can often be encountered on the inside of homes. Common pests Indeed.
Silverfish are a small wingless insect pest species best known for eating the bindings of books. Their name derives from the insect’s silvery light grayish and blue color. This is combined with it’s fish-like appearance and movements.Silverfish are particularly fond of carbohydrates such as sugars and starches. They are nocturnal and can live an impressive two to eight years. They prefer moist areas with high humidity. In homes they tend to be found in basements, attics, sinks, bathtubs, and showers. On of our most indoor common pests.
The mud dauber is a large, slender wasp that build their nests from mud. Mud daubers are not normally aggressive and stings are uncommon. The main problem with them is the nests they build on the eaves of homes, sheds, barns and other buildings. It is extremely hard to get the nest off the eve without leaving a stain. Although stings are uncommon, remember that they can sting if aggravated enough which can be very dangerous to those with allergies to insect stings.
Scorpions are an easy pest to recognize. They look similar to a lobster but have a tail with a menacing and fearsome looking stinger at the end of it. All scorpions have the capability of inflicting a painful sting, however, the species found in our range do not normally inflict a fatal sting unless the victim has an allergic reaction to the venom. They use their claws to hold their prey while their stinger finds it’s target. Their stinger is also used for defense. Usually when a person gets stung, it’s due to inadvertently coming in contact with them. They are usually considered an occasional invader and are known as somewhat common pests.
Common pests in our range that you are most likely to encounter
This roach is a smaller species of cockroach similar in size to that of the German cockroach. This cockroach can be identified by it’s two light-colored bands across the wings and abdomen that are partly covered by the wings. The males of this species appear to be more slender than females while females appear to have a more stout appearance. They can also be identified by leaving fecal smears and pellets along with ootheca’s which the roach will often leave behind. As with all cockroach species they carry a health risk when indoors by spreading bacteria and have the potential to spread virus’s such as norovirus when the roach is exposed to human matter and bodily fluids that they will readily consume. These now common pests are definitely on the rise.
Everyone's favorite, the wolf spider. One of, if not these most common pest spider we encounter on the inside. They are solitary hunters. Unlike their cousins, they do not construct webs to capture their prey. All spiders are carnivores and all spiders produce venom. In most cases a spider bite isn't a big deal. However, if you are allergic, or get bite by a widow spider it is a life threatening medical emergency. The person bitten should seek immediate attention from a healthcare professional. Wolf spider bites can be painful and itchy but they are usually not fatal. Still, if you have a negative reaction to a bite, you should consult a physician immediately.
The Australian cockroach is one of our most common pests and occasional invaders that we deal with at Meryl’s Termite and Pest Control. Although I’m tempted to call the Australian cockroach an occasional invader, this species of cockroach has been known to take up residency inside our homes for the long term. The Australian cockroach looks very similar to the American cockroach, and the two are often confused. You can tell these two roaches apart by the color of the thorax. The Australian cockroach has what appears to be large yellow sun glasses, while the American cockroach has a darker area on the thorax. The Australian cockroach is an invasive species.
Anyone living in Florida knows that the palmetto bug is one BIG bug! For those who may have moved to Florida from up north, do you remember the first time you saw one of our palmetto bugs? Were you shocked by the size these insects can reach? Indeed, the first encounter with a palmetto bug can be a memorable experience. Usually, if you have this insect living in your house, you may first notice the pellet-like droppings. Eventually, from there you will have an encounter with this large insect, usually when you get up to go to the bathroom at night. You turn the light on and there’s this huge bug quickly running for shelter from an open area.
The German cockroach is in a class of one of the worst pest species to plague man. It bares a similar appearance to the Asian cockroach which it is often mistaken for. In central Florida, we have both species, so the confusion between the two are common. The differences between the two are apparent through their behavior since the German cockroach infests the inside of the home while the Asian cockroach usually spends most of it’s time outdoors found under piles of leaves that have gathered around the house where moisture has collected. German Cockroaches are a serious problem and require a special clean-out service.
Ticks are blood sucking parasites that infest Florida. They are related to spiders and scorpions. We have several species of ticks in our range with the most common being the dog tick and the deer tick. Ticks carry all sorts of diseases including Lyme disease and Rocky mountain fever and yes, these diseases are present in our range. The Ocala National Forest is known for having heavy tick infestations in the rural areas. That doesn't mean only rural areas are plagued by these pests. Dogs often carry the common dog tick. Control of ticks can be trickier than fleas but the issue can be resolved with diligence.
No-see-ums, drain flies, fruit flies, and filth flies. A common pest call we get from new clients is related to the control of what they often call no-see-ums. Often they are so small they can even pass through screens on windows and doors. This pest can come on the inside of your home from the yard, especially when the grass is left high or if plies of leaves have gathered. Related to mosquitoes, their biology is very similar, as well as their treatment for control. If outdoors, wearing a product with deet will help deter them. Keeping lawns mowed and leaves picked up will help as a preventive method, but often once colonies are established the pest must be brought under control.
The red imported fire ant can leave a nasty sting. They also make huge, unsightly mounds for nesting site, have multiple queens, and occasionally invade the inside of homes. You have to be diligent with them but they're not the most intelligent or cunning ant species we deal with. They do, however, leave the nastiest stings and bites of all our ant species. If you get nailed by enough of them at one time they can leave scars. They most often will nest on the outside in large ant mounds. They also have been known to come inside to forage for food or water. Sometimes they will even nest on the inside of homes and buildings, especially in the winter. Be very weary of these common pests.