10 Common Florida Bugs to Look For in the Summer


August 10, 2018 - Brian Reynolds

What makes you think of summertime? Is it swimming? Summer vacation? Maybe you think of ice cream or watermelon. But do you think about bugs? Probably not. But the amount of bugs, especially in Florida, is astronomical during the summer. If you’re not careful, they’ll quickly become the one house guest that stays too long. It’s not too late though. Learn to recognize these pesky critters, and you may be able to avoid the infestation. Read on for the 10 most common types of Florida bugs to look out for this summer.

mosquito sitting in the dirt

Termites

Termites can destroy a home if you don’t take care of them as soon as possible. On average, it takes 5 to 8 years for termites to demolish a home. But these critters can cause permanent damage in months. Because termites work slowly, call experts if you suspect an infestation. You may be able to stop them before damages become expensive to repair.

Mosquitoes

Mosquitos are simply annoying. When nature’s vampires ruin outdoor parties, try using basic bug repellant. If you’ll be outdoors for some time, try adding some candles or lanterns to detract mosquitoes. If the situation becomes too bad, you may need to contact an expert. Mosquitoes often breed in unexpected places that only a professional will see.

Chinch Bugs

Chinch bugs are another common pest you’ll have to deal with this summer. They are bigger problems for farmers because they eat wheat and corn fields. Even still, you may have some lurking in your backyard. They are hard to find because they only grow to 4 millimeters. If you recognize they damage or see one, you can easily rid yourself of them with pesticides. If you have a small or heavily shaded yard, chinch bugs may leave you alone.

Whiteflies

Whiteflies are called whiteflies because… Well, you know why. These insects are another threat to farmers and gardeners. Unlike cinch bugs, they don’t simply destroy crops. Instead, whiteflies will leave honeydew after feeding on plants. Honeydew can create a fungus that kills plants. Getting rid of or scattering whiteflies only takes a strong water hose. The bugs may come back, but soaking your leaves will give you the time you need to save your plants.

Fire Ants

Don’t bother calling 911 for this type of insect. These red warriors bite and inject venom into its victim. You can usually treat a fire ant bite at home unless you are allergic to the venom. Left untreated, though, a fire ant bite can be fatal. Like other ants, these live in colonies, and they can appear in your backyard. Getting rid of them is not always so easy.

How to Remove Fire Ants

  • One of the most popular ways to remove fire ants is through bait. Here’s how it works:
  • Sprinkle bait around the ant hill. Be careful when doing this. Fire ants will attack as a colony
  • The worker ants will take the bait to their queen. The queen’s main job is to reproduce fire ants.
  • The queen will die, and the bait will infect and kill other ants who ate the bait.

  • In about two weeks, those not affected by the bait will die off because of their short lifespan. Without a queen, the colony will die out.

Cat Flea

Cat fleas get their name from what they attack. Humans and dogs can get the same type of tick. For small animals, unless they are allergic to the tick, will only become dehydrated by it. An animal allergic to the tick’s saliva may get flea allergy dermatitis. Ticks often carry parasites and other diseases. These can pass from animal to animal, human to human, human to animal, or animal to human. If you find one on an outdoor animal, make sure to clean the surrounding area. It may have infested other places.

Spiders

You don’t have to be an expert in Florida spider identification to notice these two types of spiders.

Black Widow Spiders

You can identify black widow spiders by the red hourglass shape on their back. Contrary to popular belief, these spiders are rarely fatal. In fact, they only bite humans when startled or scared. Plus, people with black widow bites do not always seek professional medical help.

Brown Recluse Spiders

Brown recluse spiders are a bit more dangerous than black widow spiders. Victims do not usually feel a brown recluse bite for six to eight hours. Like black widows, they are not aggressive. Usually, they only bite if they feel threatened.

Hookworms

Hookworms recently made Florida news. They infected a teenager at a beach after his friends buried him under the sand. Signs of hookworms are usually seen in a person’s stool. Symptoms include stomach pain, diarrhea, and fatigue. Seek professional medical treatment if you think you have hookworms.

Lovebug

People started calling lovebugs by their name when studying their mating. These bugs combine with their mate and fly coupled for days at a time. While lovebugs don’t bite or sting, they do have an acidic body type. A dead lovebug can leave small carvings on a car if not removed. Hundreds of thousands of lovebugs fly at one time in South Florida. During this five to six week period, presence of lovebugs can become quite annoying. Many will die in the air, and if you are driving fast, they may get stuck on your car. Check your automobile after driving on highways to make sure you don’t catch any.

Palmetto Bugs (a huge misnomer)

Palmetto bugs are roaches. To be clear. a cockroach of more than 300 species. People commonly refer to similar types of cockroaches as a palmetto bug. Because “palmetto bugs” are so small initially, it is very easy for them to enter a home, but then they become huge and can fly in your hair, and they are grossly attracted to licking around peoples mouths while they are sleeping. Make sure to close off all small spaces to avoid letting them inside. There are plenty of ways to get rid of cockroaches on your own. But a Clemson University professor suggested calling an exterminator whenever you feel uncomfortable.

Next Steps

If you have too many Florida bugs crawling in your house, it may be time to call an exterminator. Visit our homepage for a free estimate on your pest needs.

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