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Florida’s global economy and tropical climate make it a perfect place for all types of pests; both exotic and native.

Field Crickets

large black cricket in fl

What do field crickets look like?

Field crickets are a black, 3/4” long, ground-dwelling, common cricket here in Florida. 

When are field crickets most active?

Field crickets are most active in Florida in the summer months and are nocturnal creatures so they move around and ‘sing’ mostly at night.

What attracts field crickets?

Field crickets are attracted to lights and food sources like seedling plants and grass.

Where are you likely to find field crickets?

Field crickets are a nocturnal creature that feeds mostly on plants and grass but will sometimes chew through fabrics.

Are field crickets dangerous or destructive?

Crickets are really more of a nuisance pest. Their ‘singing’ outside of our bedrooms at night can be relentless.  However, they can destroy seedling plants by consuming them. 

 

Scorpions

small brown scorpion found in vero beach fl

What do scorpions look like?

Florida scorpions range in size from 1” to 4” and can be clear reddish brown or brown.  They have two claw-like pinchers attached to the end of their front legs which they use to hold their prey. Their distinctive and famous stinger at the end of their tail is usually curled and held up over their body.

When are scorpions most active?

Scorpions are most active at night.

What attracts scorpions?

Scorpions are attracted to dark areas that provide them with a shelter as well as possible food from other insects like termites and spiders.

Where are you likely to find scorpions?

Scorpions like to hide under boards, rubbish, in crawl spaces, attics or other areas that give them protection. 

Are scorpions dangerous or destructive?

Native Florida scorpions do not produce a fatal sting.  Their sting is actually a nerve poison and while it can be painful is has been compared to the pain of a bad wasp sting.  Scorpions rarely sting humans, except when they are pinned against them and have little to no choice.  Scorpions are not destructive to property or possessions. 

 

Silverfish

small silverfish found in a stuart fl home

What do silverfish look like?

Silverfish are small 1/2” to 3/4” long, tapered, silver-colored and wingless insects.  They have soft bodies that are covered with tiny scales.  They have a pair of long antennae on their head and three long filaments at their rear end.

When are silverfish most active?

Silverfish are mostly active at night and tend to hide during the day. They are a year-round pest in South Florida.

What attracts silverfish?

Silverfish as attracted to food sources such as:

  • Wallpaper paste

  • Paper products

  • Crumbs

  • Dead insects

  • Starch

  • Glue

Where are you likely to find silverfish?

Silverfish are most likely to be discovered in basements and attics inside of stored items but can also be found under sinks and around bathtubs.

Are silverfish dangerous or destructive?

While silverfish are not considered dangerous, they are destructive.  They can destroy stored items that they feed on and stain fabric and other soft items.

 

Millipedes

small black millipede in a west palm beach home

What do millipedes look like?

Millipedes are 1/2” to 3/4” long and have a worm-like appearance with several segments.  Most of their segments have a pair of legs.  When scared, they will coil up tightly and sometimes emit a foul-smelling fluid.  They are also known as “thousand leggers’.

When are millipedes most active?

Millipedes are nocturnal.  After a heavy rain, they have been seen migrating in large numbers from places that have flooded.

What attracts millipedes?

Millipedes like dark and quiet areas, especially ones with a food source.  They eat dead leaves, mulch and any dead and decaying plant matter.

Where are you likely to find millipedes?

You can find millipedes outdoors. Millipedes are usually found in and under wood piles, compost piles, mulch, and in potted plants.  Millipedes don’t usually enter homes, but when they do they will find your basement.  

Are millipedes dangerous or destructive?

While millipedes are not dangerous or destructive around a home, their mere presence can be a nuisance and invoke fear in many people.  When squished, they can leave a stain on some materials.

 

Pillbug

pillbug found in jupiter fl

What do pillbugs look like?

Pillbugs are small (approximately 1/2”), oval-shaped, and slate gray-colored insects that have a distinctive body with segments that resemble armored plates.  When disturbed or threatened they roll up into a ball.

When are pillbugs most active?

Pillbugs come out in the evening for feeding purposes.

What attracts pillbugs?

Pillbugs are attracted to decaying organic matter for food and dark damp places to hide and rest.

Where are you likely to find pillbugs?

During the day, resting pillbugs can be found under rocks, boards, decaying vegetation, trash or just below the soil surface.  If they are discovered indoors, this usually is a good indication of a heavy infestation outdoors.  Inside, they will hide away in dark and damp places like basements or crawl spaces. 

Are pillbugs dangerous or destructive?

Pillbugs are not considered dangerous or destructive pests.  However, they can damage the roots of green plants and inhibit or destroy the actual plant.  When they do wander indoors, they don’t inflict any damage. 

 

Sowbugs

large sow bug found in lake worth fl

What do sowbugs look like?

Sow bugs are very similar to pillbugs in size (approximately 1/2”), color (slate gray with an armored plate-look) and habits, except they have a small tail which makes rolling into a ball impossible.

When are sowbugs most active?

Sowbugs are nocturnal.

What attracts sowbugs?

Sowbugs are attracted to their main food source: decaying organic matter.

Where are you likely to find sowbugs?

Outdoors during the day they can be found resting in dark places: under rocks, trash, vegetation, boards or just below the surface of the soil.  If they come indoors, which is not a regular occurrence, they are most likely to be found in dark and damp areas like basements.

Are sowbugs dangerous or destructive?

Sowbugs are not considered dangerous or destructive indoors.  They can sometimes damage the roots of plants when they feed. 

 

Earwigs

small brown earwig found in south florida

What do earwigs look like?

Earwigs are long (approximately 1/2” to 1”), dark-brown insects that have short wings and a pair of pincer-like appendages at the tip of their abdomens.  While flying is not the most preferred mode of travel, they can fly for short bursts. They are extremely fast runners.

When are earwigs most active?

Earwigs are mostly nocturnal.

What attracts earwigs?

At night, earwigs are attracted to street lights, lighted windows, neon lights or similarly lit locations.  During the day, they are attracted to dark and protected areas so they can rest and hide.

Where are you likely to find earwigs?

At night, earwigs are most likely to be near a light source where they are looking for food and during the day they can be found hiding in places like:

  • In cracks and crevices

  • Under bark

  • Under rocks

  • Under the soil

  • Under debris

  • Heavily thatched lawns and mulched flower beds are among their most preferred day-time hiding places.

Are earwigs dangerous or destructive?

Contrary to an old unfounded wives’ tale, earwigs are not dangerous to humans.  Their pinchers are really not strong enough to hurt us. They are generally not destructive indoors, or out. 

There's A Solution For Occasional Invaders In South FL

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