Published October 2022
The change of the season always brings new pests to worry about, and fall is no exception. In Florida, there are several types of common household pests that become more common to spot as fall temperatures set in each year. Learning about each of these pests is the first step in preventing them from becoming an issue in your home or business this year.
Earwigs are a little misunderstood in the pest world. They get their name from the false understanding that the insects crawl deep inside the ears of humans as they sleep. Even more disturbing as it has been said they lay eggs once inside. Luckily for Florida residents, that is not the case, because these pests become a common sight in fall months. Though the pincers on an earwig are unsettling, they aren’t capable of causing harm to humans. Earwigs love moisture, so they tend to stay outside, seeking refuge in damp areas like leaf piles and wood stacks. However, the pests sometimes find their way inside in the fall months, often appearing in bathrooms and basements. While they don’t present a danger to humans, having earwigs in your home is not ideal. They can emit a foul odor when alarmed and are frightening enough to look at.
Colder weather encourages rodents to seek shelter indoors during the fall and winter months. Having mice and other rodents inside presents a number of health concerns for homeowners. The pests can transmit diseases in several ways, including through fur sheddings and saliva they leave on surfaces.
Like all other types of termites, drywood and dampwood varieties are active and cause damage all year round. However, fall is often the time when infestations of these types are discovered, as it marks a significant swarm season for the pests. Discovering a swarm of termites in or near your home this fall is a clear indication of an infestation. Unfortunately, once a swarm is spotted, likely the issue is already serious and needs immediate attention.
Termites cause billions of dollars of damage to homes, and the damage they cause only increases when situations are left to escalate. Regular termite inspections are a good idea for any homeowner. Even if you haven’t witnessed any termite swarms this season, consider scheduling an inspection to give you peace of mind knowing your home is termite-free. During these inspections, technicians can also advise on a prevention plan to keep it that way.
While not often a problem inside, lawn grubs are unsightly and can destroy a lawn quickly in the case of an infestation. Despite having this moniker, lawn grubs are actually just the larvae of different types of beetles, a stage occurring before the insects grow into full-sized beetles. They live in soil, feeding on the roots of the grass. Because of their diet, they can cause patches of dead grass - a clear indication of an infestation. While the pests can be found in Florida lawns all year round, populations tend to rise in the fall - so keep an eye out for signs of them in your yard this season.
Spiders tend to hatch during the springtime months, meaning by fall - populations of grown spiders are high in Florida. Many spiders are harmless to have around in small quantities. Often, spiders help keep populations of other household pests under control. However, large quantities of even harmless spiders can be a nuisance. Additionally, lots of spiders around may signify an issue with other types of pests. They are likely there because food sources for them inside are high.
A couple of spider varieties commonly found in Florida are dangerous if they bite. Both brown recluses and black widows are known to bite humans if they feel frightened or threatened. Those bites can be incredibly painful and some cause health issues that can be serious. Discovering even one of either of these types of spiders is reason enough to call your local pest control professional so that those living in the home are safe.
Ideally, preventative efforts to keep fall pests away begin before the season. However, there are still steps homeowners can take to keep their homes pest-free throughout the rest of the season and heading into the winter months. Even in Florida, temperatures outside dip somewhat in the fall months, making inside an appealing place for pests to relocate to in search of warmth, moisture, or food sources. Prevent them from gaining access by sealing any cracks around the home’s exterior, including window and door frames and the foundation.
Keep clutter to a minimum, and rely on plastic, sealable storage containers for keeping items in attics or basements. Avoid cardboard boxes if at all possible. General cleanliness goes a long way as well. Many fall pests in Florida thrive in places where they can easily hide.
If any pest issues are identified, contact a team of local pest control experts as soon as possible. Most infestations only increase in severity if left alone. At Knockout Pest Control, we pride ourselves on our ability to treat existing infestations as well as take the steps necessary to prevent them from returning and causing more issues down the road. To us, pest control means keeping homes pest-free now AND in the future. If you suspect a fall pest infestation in your home or simply want to get started on a prevention plan to keep it pest-free, we encourage you to reach out to the team at Knockout today!