Florida homes are no stranger to pests, and some can be more problematic than others. Learn to identify these pesky black bugs like a pro, identify where they hide in your Florida home, and get some quick fixes for eliminating them quickly.
Weevils, midges, carpenter ants, drain flies and silverfish are some of the most common indoor pests you’ll encounter in your home. These five black bug species can be just as irritating and hazardous to your family’s health as mosquitoes if left unchecked.
Midges are tiny black insects that can make you itch terribly, especially if you suffer from allergies. They’re a common pest around Florida homes and often lurk in parks, beaches, gardens and along waterways.
They can be especially annoying in camping and hiking areas. Since these insects prefer warm-weather areas, you’re most likely to see them during spring or early summer. However, a warm and wet autumn with an early approach of winter could extend their life cycle and cause them to remain a nuisance well into autumn as well.
These microscopic flies belong to the family Diptera, meaning “two wings.” They’re commonly known as biting midges due to their tendency to suck blood and spread diseases such as yellow fever and malaria.
Adult midges measure about 1/16 of an inch long with one pair of wings. There are two varieties: non-biting midges and biting midges.
Female biting midges are larger in size and have a saw-like mouthpart for sucking blood. Their bites typically do not cause pain or itching like mosquito bites do, however.
It is best to avoid walking in open areas where midges are active, and if possible cover yourself with light clothing. Midges cannot penetrate fabric so taking steps can help protect you from being attacked by them.
They tend to be most active during low light conditions, so it’s best to stay indoors in the dark when out and about. You can use a flashlight or torch to illuminate areas where they tend to congregate and quickly eliminate them from your environment.
These insects reproduce during the summer months, mating and laying eggs in damp boggy areas or ground vegetation. The eggs hatch within 24 hours and pass on to larvae which grow within soil water films. After winter, these midges pupate for a short period before emerging as adults. However, any disruption to this water-soaked habitat by humans or animals could disrupt this delicate life cycle of midges.
Tiny black bugs often evoke images of unsanitary pantry areas and make homeowners uneasy. Fortunately, these insects do not carry diseases or pose any danger to humans; however, they do damage foods stored in cupboards or pantries.
Grocery shoppers should inspect all purchased foods for weevils before bringing them home. Doing this helps prevent infestations and ensures you don’t accidentally bring weevils into your house on other food items.
Weevils can be found in a variety of grain products, such as flour, corn, wheat, oats, barley, rye and rice. Furthermore, they have been known to inhabit dried fruit, nuts and seeds.
Weevil larvae feed within grain kernels until they pupate, then bore a hole out of it and emerge as adults. Female weevil larvae lay between 36 and 254 eggs, usually one per kernel of cereal.
These weevils are commonly found in grain storage facilities, processing plants and whole-food markets. They may be found in cereals, flour, rice, beans, sunflower seeds and dry corn.
Pest control expert Wang emphasizes the importance of inspecting all dry foods for weevils before storing them in your pantry. Furthermore, keeping your pantry clean will help prevent weevils from getting into your food and damaging it.
Weevils typically enter homes through cracks or openings around windows and doors. They may also gain access to damaged screens on attic vents or crawlspace vents.
In addition to inspecting your food for weevils, freezing dry goods in the freezer will help kill any adult weevils that might be hiding there and prevent them from laying eggs. While this process takes about four days, it is a cost-effective and reliable way to prevent weevil infestation in your pantry or cupboards.
Weevils do not spread disease but they can cause extensive destruction to foods, particularly grain products. As their life cycle is long, it’s imperative to identify and eliminate the infestation as soon as possible.
Carpenter ants are a common pest in Florida and can do extensive damage to wooden structures. These ants, which can grow up to 1/2 inch long, tunnel through wood to create galleries and nests for themselves.
They’re usually found outdoors, in tree cavities or stumps; however, they can also be observed indoors in wood that has become weak due to moisture or termite damage. They are attracted to decaying wood as well as houses, sheds, and lumber piles.
Carpenter ant colonies typically consist of a queen, her brood, workers and other adult ants. The queen and brood live in a parent nest which is typically situated in moist wood while the rest of the colony – called workers – live in satellite nests.
Ants commonly travel along well-established trails between nest sites and feeding areas, which may be up to 100 feet away. They feed on flowers, shrubs, trees and landscape plants infested with plant-sucking insects such as aphids, scales and mealybugs.
Their favorite foods include sugar, honey and syrup. In addition, they feed on floral nectars and fruit from shrubs and trees.
At night, you may spot them foraging around, particularly after sunset. They could be looking for new nesting sites or simply traveling in search of food.
Additionally, they may be trailing along wires or cables attached to buildings. These provide ants with easy access points into attics or other above-ground spaces.
The initial step in controlling a carpenter ant problem is to identify whether there is an active nest somewhere in your home. Once identified, it’s essential that you locate and treat the location with professional pest control services. They will be able to pinpoint exactly where the nest is and suggest the most efficient removal methods. Once determined, they’ll create a treatment plan that eliminates all ants while preventing future outbreaks.
Silverfish are tiny black insects that often live in moist, humid areas of homes. They move quickly and crawl along in long curving lines as if they were swimming; unfortunately, these pests don’t bite nor carry disease; however they can cause extensive damage to fabrics and paper products.
Omnivores refer to animals that consume a wide range of foods. Their favorite treats are high protein and starch items such as flour, cereals, dried meat, dead insects and glue.
Silverfish’s voracious appetite can be a major issue in the home, as it means you could potentially face an extensive infestation if there are plenty of items they can consume. To prevent this, seal up all dry food and pet foods in airtight containers or use plastic storage boxes that can be vacuumed out regularly.
Maintaining a clean home can help reduce pest infestations, as it provides you with an early warning of any issues. Maintain a regular dusting and vacuuming schedule, using a vacuum with a HEPA filter which will capture all of the dust particles produced by silverfish.
You can also eliminate piles of wet leaves and wood near your house, which will serve as a deterrent for silverfish. Furthermore, make the basements and attics less inviting by caulking up cracks, gaps, and holes.
Are you worried that silverfish may be present in your home? Contact EcoTech Pest Control Solutions today for a free inspection and assistance. Our professionals can help prevent future infestations and address any existing ones that are present.
If you have silverfish in your home, it is imperative to get rid of them ASAP. Silverfish can be highly destructive and their droppings and skin molts may cause itching, respiratory issues and allergic reactions in some people. Professional pest control is the best way to handle a silverfish issue as an experienced and trained technician will be able to locate all hiding places where these bugs hide and treat them accordingly.