The state of Florida has over 12,475 insect species. Many of them eat plants and some of them bite, sting or try to feed on human beings and pets. Most of the insects arrived in Florida by accident or were purposely introduced to the state. Many of them impact residents and the environment in a negative way.
The following is a list of the 10 most common bugs in Florida.
- Palmetto Bug – this is a large cockroach that can grow as big as 1.2-1.6 inches. It is most commonly found outdoors and likes to eat detritus and leaf-litter. They do occasionally like to sneak into houses.
- No-See-Um – there are 47 species which reside in Florida. They are so small that you cannot see them. They can be a nuisance to people that spend time near shorelines or wetlands. After they bite, they leave small red marks or welts.
- Yellow Fly – the peak season for the Yellow Fly is April through June. They are ferocious biters and the females need blood in order to develop her eggs after mating.
- Stable Fly – this fly originated in Asia, but can now be found worldwide. They are a biting fly that mostly attacks dogs and cattle, but they will also bite humans. They will congregate in large numbers in seaweed that has washed to the shoreline and attack humans that have ventured too close.
- Carolina Wolf Spider – this spider can get as big as 0.98 inches in size. Even though they look ferocious, they tend to shy away from humans. The female spider is known for carrying her young on her back. They are beneficial because they eat other pest for food.
- Red Fire Ant – a fire ant mound can be found in backyards all over Florida. They are native to South America but have become a pest in the southern United States. The ants give an annoying and hurtful sting that often times leaves an enlarged pustule on the skin.
- Formosan Termite – the Formosan termite arrived in Florida around 1980. These termites can do serious damage to a wooden structure in a little as 3 months. They are often nicknamed the super-termite.
- Citrus Leaf Miner – this moth entered Florida in 1993 and is an invasive species from Asia. The moth’s larvae mine its way into the leaves of citrus trees and can severely impact the citrus industry.
- Southern Mole Cricket – this insect is from South America and is between 1.2-2 inches long. It can be found all over Florida in years where turf-grass has been planted. They burrow beneath the grass and feed on the roots, causing damage to lawns.
- Yellow Fever Mosquito – this mosquito comes from Africa as it hitched a ride to the New World with the slave trade. The mosquito can spread dengue fever, yellow fever viruses, chikungunya and other diseases. Yellow fever was a real problem in the tropics and neotropics until an effective mosquito control was discovered after 1900. There was no vaccine for yellow fever until 1937.