December 9, 2016
Types of Occasional Invaders: Part 2
There are lots of annoying little bugs that are known for being a problem only in certain months of the year, specifically, fall and winter when they… Read More
Florida’s global economy and tropical climate make it a perfect place for all types of pests; both exotic and native.
Field crickets are a black, 3/4” long, ground-dwelling, common cricket here in Florida.
Field crickets are most active in Florida in the summer months and are nocturnal creatures so they move around and ‘sing’ mostly at night.
Field crickets are attracted to lights and food sources like seedling plants and grass.
Field crickets are a nocturnal creature that feeds mostly on plants and grass but will sometimes chew through fabrics.
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.
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.
Scorpions are most active at night.
Scorpions are attracted to dark areas that provide them with a shelter as well as possible food from other insects like termites and spiders.
Scorpions like to hide under boards, rubbish, in crawl spaces, attics or other areas that give them protection.
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 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.
Silverfish are mostly active at night and tend to hide during the day. They are a year-round pest in South Florida.
Silverfish as attracted to food sources such as:
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.
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 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’.
Millipedes are nocturnal. After a heavy rain, they have been seen migrating in large numbers from places that have flooded.
Millipedes like dark and quiet areas, especially ones with a food source. They eat dead leaves, mulch and any dead and decaying plant matter.
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.
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.
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.
Pillbugs come out in the evening for feeding purposes.
Pillbugs are attracted to decaying organic matter for food and dark damp places to hide and rest.
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.
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.
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.
Sowbugs are nocturnal.
Sowbugs are attracted to their main food source: decaying organic matter.
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.
Sowbugs are not considered dangerous or destructive indoors. They can sometimes damage the roots of plants when they feed.
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.
Earwigs are mostly nocturnal.
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.
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 the soil
Heavily thatched lawns and mulched flower beds are among their most preferred day-time hiding places.
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.