Occasional Invaders in South Florida
Although you might only find certain types of bugs in your home on occasion, when you do, you want them gone as soon as possible. After all, Florida’s global economy and tropical climate make it a perfect place for all types of pests – both exotic and native – so you never know what might invade your home. If you discover occasional invaders around your home, contact us today to request your free quote. In the meantime, we can help you identify the pest with the list below:
What Do Field Crickets Look Like?
Field crickets are black, about 3/4-inch long, ground-dwelling, and a common cricket here in Florida. Field crickets move around and “sing” mostly at night, as they are nocturnal creatures. In Florida, they are most active in the summer months. Field crickets feed mostly on plants and grass but will sometimes chew through fabrics.
Signs of a Field Cricket Infestation
These crickets are attracted to lights and food sources like seedling plants and grass. They can consume and thus destroy seedling plants. However, they are really more of a nuisance pest – their “singing” outside of our bedrooms at night can be relentless.
What Do Scorpions Look Like?
Florida scorpions range from 1 inch to 4 inches in size and can be brown, reddish-brown, or clearish-yellow in color. They have two claw-like pincers attached to the end of their front legs, which they use to capture their prey. The distinctive, famous stinger at the end of their tail is usually curled and held up over their body.
Native Florida scorpions do not produce a fatal sting – the sting is actually a nerve poison and has been compared to the pain of a bad wasp sting. Scorpions rarely sting humans except when used as a defense mechanism, such as when they are pinned against them and have little to no choice.
Signs of a Scorpion Infestation
Scorpions are most active at night, though they are not strictly nocturnal. They are attracted to dark areas that provide them with a shelter, as well as potential insect food sources such as termites and spiders. They like to hide under boards or rubbish, in crawl spaces and attics, and in other areas that offer protection. Scorpions are also not destructive to property or possessions.
What Do Silverfish Look Like?
Silverfish are wingless, tapered, about 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch long, and – appropriately – silver in color. These insects have soft bodies that are covered with tiny scales and tapered at the end, and they also move in a similar manner to fish. There is a pair of long antennae on their head, along with three long filaments at their rear end.
Silverfish are most active at night and tend to hide during the day, as they are nocturnal and have an aversion to light. In South Florida, they are a year-round pest.
Signs of a Silverfish Infestation
Silverfish are most likely to be discovered in basements and attics inside of stored items. They can also be found under sinks and around bathtubs. Silverfish are attracted to food sources such as:
- Wallpaper paste
- Paper products
- Dead insects
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.
What Do Millipedes Look Like?
Millipedes are 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch 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,” although no known species has close to 1,000 legs.
Millipedes are most active at night, as they are nocturnal. After a heavy rain, they have been seen migrating in large numbers from places that have flooded.
Signs of a Millipede Infestation
You can find most millipedes outdoors in and under wood piles, compost piles, mulch, and potted plants. Millipedes don’t frequently enter homes, but when they do, they will likely find your basement first. Millipedes like dark and quiet areas, especially ones with a food source. They consume dead leaves, mulch, and any dead or decaying plant matter.
Although 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.
What Do Pill Bugs Look Like?
Pill bugs are approximately 1/2-inch long, oval-shaped, a slate gray color, and have a distinctive body with segments that resemble armored plates. When disturbed or threatened, these insects roll up into a ball – hence why you might have heard them called “roly polies.” Pill bugs mostly emerge in the evening for feeding purposes.
Signs of a Pill Bug Infestation
Pill bugs are attracted to decaying organic matter for food and dark, damp places to hide and rest. During the day, resting pill bugs can be found under rocks, boards, decaying vegetation, trash, or just below the soil surface. Discovering them indoors is usually is a good indication of a heavy infestation outdoors. Inside, they will hide away in dark, damp places like basements or crawl spaces.
Pill bugs can damage the roots of green plants and inhibit or destroy the actual plant. However, when they do wander indoors, they don’t inflict any damage.
What Do Sow Bugs Look Like?
Sow bugs, also known as woodlice, are very similar to pill bugs in habits, size (approximately 1/2-inch long), and color (slate gray with an armored plate look), except they have a small tail that makes rolling into a ball impossible. Sow bugs are most active at night, as they are nocturnal.
Signs of a Sow Bug Infestation
Sow bugs are drawn to their main food source: decaying organic matter. Much like pill bugs, sow bugs tend to remain outdoors. During the day, they can be found resting in dark places: under rocks, trash, vegetation, and boards or just below the surface of the soil. If they do come inside, they are most often found in dark and damp areas like basements.
Sow bugs can sometimes damage the roots of plants when they feed. However, when they do wander indoors, they don’t inflict any damage.
What Do Earwigs Look Like?
Earwigs are long (approximately 1/2-inch to 1-inch), dark-brown insects with short wings and a pair of pincer-like appendages at the tip of their abdomens. They are extremely fast runners, and although flying is not their preferred mode of transportation, they can fly in short bursts. Earwigs are mostly active at night, as they are nocturnal.
Signs of an Earwig Infestation
At night, earwigs are drawn to street lights, neon lights, lighted windows, or similarly lit locations. During the day, they are attracted to dark and protected areas to rest and hide. In general, they are attracted to moist areas around your home. In the dark, earwigs are most likely to be near a light source where they are looking for food. During the day, they can be found in hiding places like:
- In cracks and crevices
- Under bark
- Under rocks
- Under the soil
- Under debris
- Heavily thatched lawns
- Mulched flower beds
Contrary to an unfounded old wives’ tale, earwigs are neither destructive nor dangerous to humans. Fortunately, they will not crawl into your ears and lay eggs on your brain – or, at least, they’re no more likely to than any other insect! Their pincers might look menacing but are not strong enough to harm us. Rather, these forceps are used to fend off predators or capture prey. They are also used in earwig mating rituals.