There is no denying all of the advantages of living in this area – from Tampa to Sarasota, we love our tropical lifestyle. But along with all the gorgeous weather and blue skies come the insects and pests.
While these nuisances are not enough to make us leave our home in paradise, they can become annoying and bothersome. Here are the top 5 spring Florida pests to keep an eye on as the rain returns and the climate heats up.
Spring Florida Pests
While mosquitoes are prevalent in many U.S. regions, they are especially prolific in south Florida. Not only do mosquitoes breed in the swamps and lakes which are common in every community, but the return of heavy rains in the spring lends to the issue.
Every container, puddle, and accumulation of water becomes the perfect mosquito nursery – and the warm weather makes everything even more swampy.
Mosquitoes can carry diseases, but the buzzing and biting is enough to make us crazy.
Here’s a Tip: Citronella and bug spray are the standard ways to fight these pests. However, mosquitoes are poor fliers. So if you are sitting outside, set up some fans blowing away from you and they should not bother you. <li>
Newcomers to the area will squeal when they encounter the “biggest roach they have ever seen.” And indeed, the Florida Palmetto bug can be impressive in size. They can grow to an inch and a half, and actually spray a foul smell when threatened.
This variety of cockroach is generally slow, and prefers to live outdoors in damp areas – of which Florida has many! Dead leaves, rotting logs, and shady trees are perfect habitats for the Palmetto bug, but as the urban sprawl continues in South Florida, they are increasingly seen in buildings and homes – especially attics.
Like most roaches they can crawl through very small breaches in structures. <li>
As their name indicates, mole crickets spend most of their time tunneling underground. And while they do damage your grass and turf by feeding on plant roots, stems and leaves, it is their tunneling which causes the biggest headaches for Florida homeowners.
Their movements push the ground up in ridges, which maximizes surface evaporation. They also eat or disturb germinating grass seed, and damage the roots of all types of seedlings.
These crickets can be up to 2 inches long, and have thick bodies, beady eyes, and strong, forelimbs which act as shovels. Because they hibernate in the winter, springtime is the season to keep an eye out for evidence of mole cricket presence. If you suspect they are burrowing under your grass or garden, saturate the area with warm, soapy water. This will flush them out without minutes.
The Southern Chinch Bug:
If your lawn consists of St. Augustine grass and turf, you are likely well aware of the damage that chinch bugs can do. This minuscule black insect, rarely measuring over 6 mm in length, can be identified by their white wings with a black spot. This tiny creature literally cost homeowners millions of dollars per year, as homeowners seek to control outbreaks with insecticides. Often, entire areas of grass will have to be replaced. You can identify a chinch bug infestation by discolored, circular patches which appear in areas of your lawn which may have been water-stressed – along the edges of the lawn, or where the grass is growing in full sunlight with little irrigation.
No matter the pest, and no matter the challenge – you will find the best answers and solution s to all of your lawn care and gardening problems at Big Earth Landscape Supply. Stop by one of our 4 Tampa Bay locations, or shop online today.