Scary Facts About Common South Florida Pests

Scary Facts About Common South Florida Pests by Petri Pest Control in South Florida

This Halloween, let’s explore some of the scariest facts about South Florida’s most common household pests, as well as some of the most destructive insects found in the Sunshine state. Florida’s wide variety of insects and other pests can make almost anyone scream in horror. Here are some of South Florida’s scariest and most destructive bugs and the horror they create:

Giant Water Bug

Lethocerus griseus, more commonly known as the giant water bug grows to a length of about 2 inches and is found throughout the United States, including Florida. The giant water bug often called a “toe biter,” is one of the largest insects in the United States. It is a predator and eats small fish, tadpoles, snails, insects, and other invertebrates by catching them with its powerful front legs and then injecting them with a toxin to immobilize or kill them. As their name suggests, they live in ponds and swamps and feast on minnows, tadpoles, and other aquatic insects.


Whiteflies are destructive and every gardener’s worst fear.  They can cause two types of damage to a plant. The first is considered to be “direct” damage. Whiteflies can seriously injure plants by sucking juices from them, causing leaves to yellow, shrivel, and drop prematurely. If the numbers of whiteflies per leaf are great enough, it could lead to plant death. The second, which is known as “indirect” damage, is caused by whitefly adults. They can transmit several viruses from diseased to healthy plants through their mouthparts.


South Florida’s scariest insects because their bite can be deadly, mosquitoes, according to the WHO, continue to be the deadliest animals on the planet, responsible for around 725, 000 deaths from mosquito-borne illnesses. Malaria still affects 200 million people, with an estimated 600,000 dying from the disease. These vampires also transmit the Zika virus, West Nile virus, dengue fever, yellow fever, several types of encephalitis, and dog heartworm disease among other pathogens. At peak breeding season, mosquitoes outnumber every other animal on the planet except ants and termites, according to the BBC.

Bed bugs

Another blood-sucker on the scary list: Bed bugs! The bed bug creep factor rises even higher when you consider the fact that bed bugs hide out in your bed, under your mattress, waiting for you to fall asleep, so they can come out at night and feast on your blood. Due to a numbing agent, victims aren’t woken up when bed bugs bite them but can feel the red, itchy welts these vampires leave on their arms and neck, in the morning. Even worse, did you know, when you suspect you might have a bed bug issue, professional pest control companies, such as Petri Pest Control Services recommend not moving into another room in your home and spreading your bed bug infestation. However, a bed bug infestation pales in the light of rodents living in your home.

Sod Webworm

This tiny bug can slip right under your nose, almost unnoticed! The sod webworm can be a destructive insect, particularly on lawns or in parks. Damage first becomes apparent in spring or early summer as small, dead patches of grass in an otherwise healthy lawn. By midsummer, large sections of the lawn may be destroyed by the sod webworm caterpillars, which prefer sunny areas. Webworm damage is particularly severe in droughty conditions, in part because the turf is less able to recover from caterpillar feeding. Damage is usually most apparent in July and August, when temperatures are highest and cool season grasses are not growing vigorously. Affected areas recover slowly from webworm feeding, and often are overrun by weeds.

To protect your home from pests during any season in South Florida, Petri Pest Control Services offers baits and treatments that stop pests where infestations begin – at the perimeter of your property. Serving South Florida from our Pompano and Boynton Beach locations, we want to be your local neighborhood pest control company. Offering affordable and effective solutions for home and business owners, come rain or come shine, contact Petri Pest Control for a FREE pest inspection!

Scary Facts About Common South Florida Pests in South Florida

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