Pests in Florida
Most of the residents and visitors in Florida are very familiar with the mosquitoes and flies that bite residing in the state but fail to recognize the large numbers and different types of insects that reside in the state. Though some of these insects do not cause critical problems, they automatically cause inconvenience, medical threats, and become unwelcomed occupants of certain homes and businesses.
Florida is a native habitat to different pest and insects that become serious threats for homeowners dwelling in different parts of the state. Through their association with filth insects such as flies and cockroaches bring health concerns. Others, like mosquitoes, have the ability to spread disease through their bites. From stinging and biting pests to insects capable of inflicting physical damage to your house, many insects increase in the year-round hot and cold weather.
Nuisance Insects Found in The Sunshine State
Regularly cockroaches and ants invade homes in Florida through their search for new food and shelter sources from the elements. While inside, these pests can cause destruction and contamination to food stores. Also, cockroaches have the ability to spread disease, their feces and shed skins can also lead to allergic reactions and asthma attacks. Most of these ants actually become problems when their colonies outdoor commence their search looking for food inside a structure or grow too large, building nests behind walls, under structures, or in yards and gardens.
Certain flies cause inconvenience because of their fertile breeding habits and their general connection with dirt. House flies and bottle flies occasionally lay eggs in rottening organic matter and can transmit various illnesses to residents due to this purpose. While, black flies, midges, and mosquitoes cause grief to residents of Florida or life-threatening disease through their bites. Finally, warm, humid Florida springs and summers routinely attracts other pests such as hornets, yellow jackets, and wasps. These social insects defend their nests fiercely and sting at will.
Destructive Pests in Florida
Residents also encounter pests that are responsible for damages done to the structure of their homes and businesses. For example, Florida serves as a home to different termite species. Eastern subterranean and Formosan subterranean termite colonies can outnumber the millions of individuals and go undetected for years, and countinue feeding on wood structures damaged by moisture. Homeowners in Florida also encounter great numbers and occurrence of carpenter ants. Although sometimes they are confused with termites due to their similar appearance (winged reproductives called swarmers), these pests don’t necessarily feed on wood, but instead tunnel inside to make their nests.
Types of Florida Termites
While termites act As nature’s way of assisting in the decomposition of woods, generally they cause financial burden when they consume the wood in homes and businesses. Residents who suspect a termite infestation should contact the Orkin termite specialists immediately and make an inspection request.
Generally in Florida, eastern subterranean termites have great numbers, while Formosan termites cause more destruction. One of the reasons is due to the size of their colonies, which is capable of containing millions of termites.
The pests also produce secondary colonies capable of almost surviving anywhere as long as there’s moisture, such as around plumbing leaks or other sources of damp wood. Therefore, Formosan termites have the ability to destroy homes within some months.
Other important termites found in Florida are drywood and dampwood termites. As implied by their name, actually dampwood termites infest wood with moist from water leaks or due to their contact with soil. However, dampwood termites do not reside and rummage in the soil like subterranean termites.
Wood in contact with the ground, wood around leaks in the roof, wood siding, and wood that shows evidence of fungal decay are all capable of being infested.
Frequently florida’s dampwood termites are mostly discovered in the subtropical woodlands, mangrove forests, and urban settings of the state. One interesting thing about dampwood termites is that they are attracted to lights that are left on at night.
Drywood termites, often called powderpost termites, prefer dry wood. One of the most common signs of an infestation is the piles of fecal pellets that gather below the wood which they are feeding on. These fecal pellets have the resemblance to that of grains of sand.
Unlike subterranean termites, colonies of drywood termites take time to develop and grow slowly which could take five years or more to get to maturity stage. Even when conditions are conducive to colony growth, the pests reproduce slowly.
Unfortunately, effective methods for getting rid of drywood termite infestations are whole or partial fumigation, heat treatments, or injections of control products into damaged wood.
When Do Termites Swarm in Florida?
Different termite species swarm throughout the year because Florida is warm and humid. The swarming habits of the most common species in Florida are described below.
- The eastern subterranean termite swarms basically in daylight between October and February. (In other states, this species swarms from February to May.)
- The dark southeastern subterranean termite begin their swarms in daylight between March and June.
- The light southeastern subterranean termite swarms mostly in daylight from December to April.
- The Formosan termite swarms at night during the late spring.
- From April through July the tropical rough-headed drywood termite swarms at night.
- The tropical smooth-headed drywood termite can swarm any time of the year. Most colonies begin their swarm in the afternoon between March and May.
- The western drywood termite has been identified during the day along both coasts in Florida. There has been monthly reports of swarms in Florida except December.
- The southeastern drywood termite swarms at night, typically in the spring.
- All three Florida dampwood termite species swarm at dusk or at night. Neotermes castaneus tends to swarm in the late fall or early winter. The other two Neotermes species swarm in the late spring or summer.
More Information about Termites in Florida
According to Termite Infestation Probability Zones (TIP Zones), Florida is located in TIP Zone #1 (very heavy), meaning that the ability for termite damage is considered possible. Areas that have high tendencies for termite activity demand for more termite control measures to meet International Residential Code building standards for new homes than areas with less frequent activity.
The tropical rough-headed drywood termite (Cryptotermes brevis) regarded as one of the most destructive drywood termite species in the U.S. Key West, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, St. Petersburg and Tampa all have great populations of this species. This termite is referred to as the West Indian drywood termite.
Termites are very active and have great numbers in states like Florida, providing essential maintaintance for an effective termite prevention and control program is important. If you have a home in Florida, speak to your termite control expert concerning methods capable of protecting your home from termite infestations and damage.