Some might argue that springtime is the most wonderful time of the year! Flowers are blooming, the temperatures are increasing, and, of course, the “occasional invaders” Return. Residents of West Florida know these unwelcome guests all too well. These creepy, crawly creatures emerge from their winter hideouts to seek shelter inside our homes during the warming spring and summer months. Pests like earwigs, millipedes, centipedes, and silverfish are common all across West Florida, and while not necessarily harmful, they are certainly a nuisance to deal with.
The origin of the name “earwig” is certainly unsettling (the myth states that earwigs make their way inside human ears and lay eggs inside their brains). Perhaps even more unsettling is its appearance, as they possess a long torso with a pair of pinchers at the end. Despite its threatening look, earwigs don’t pose a threat to humans. They usually spend their time in places like piles of leaves, mulch, or outdoor wood. During Florida dry spells, however, you’re likely to find them making their way inside your home in search of places that harbor moisture, such as bathrooms, basements and kitchens. An infestation of these little guys can cause a very unpleasant odor in the affected area, so make sure to call in an expert to take care of it for you.
Millipedes & Centipedes
Floridians are no strangers to millipedes and centipedes. These alien-looking pests tend to live outside in damp areas, such as under mulch, compost, flowerpots, and other moist areas. Similar to earwigs, they seek out sources of water during drought seasons, or they may mistakenly find their way into your home when heavy rains force them to search for shelter.
There are a few primary differences between millipedes and centipedes. The first you might notice is their body structure. Millipedes have two sets of legs per body segment and are smaller than centipedes. They tend to be dark brown or black in color, with some species that have orange or red markings. They also don’t bite, and, despite their numerous appendages, they move very slow in comparison to their speedy cousins. Lastly, millipedes tend to travel or migrate in large numbers – which means if you’ve seen one, it’s likely there are more hiding out somewhere.
Centipedes also tend to hang out around moist, outdoor habitats, similar to their smaller relatives. Rotting logs, leaves, tree bark, and underneath stones are all ideal hiding places for these multi-legged creatures. Typically, if they find their way inside your home, chances are they’re just looking for shelter. One thing that can make centipedes quite alarming is their speed – thanks to their dozens of long legs, they move incredibly fast and can be difficult to catch. While millipedes tend to feed on decaying organic matter, centipedes are carnivores, and will inject their prey using their venomous modified legs in their first body segment. They will also bite humans if provoked, although it usually isn’t life-threatening.
One of the top Florida pests, silverfish, seek out damp, cluttered areas. This means you’ll often find them in places like bathrooms and basements. They maintain quite a creepy reputation, and can damage clothing, books, carpet and other common household things. Although they don’t bite and are not vectors of disease, they are still a nuisance that can cause some nasty damage to your home. In the humid Florida weather, these creepy pests can find their way into just about anything, so a dehumidifier is a great tool to keep on hand to deter these insects. If there’s not as much moisture or humidity in your home, chances are they’ll be less likely to congregate indoors.
All of these springtime pests have one thing in common: seeking out the ideal environment when their outdoor home is no longer suitable. Although they don’t usually tend to make their nests inside, sometimes they can cause an infestation that requires a professional. For a successful, thorough treatment that rids your home of these and other nuisances, call the experts at Bug Out Service. We serve customers all throughout Northwest Florida.You deserve the peace of mind that comes with knowing your home is protected from occasional invaders, so contact us today to find out how we can help!