Summer is undoubtedly the best season of the year. There’s nothing quite like family boating trips, water sports, and barbeques under the hot July sun. Unfortunately, Florida bugs share my love of these warm summer months, meaning homeowners must keep an extra vigilant lookout to keep pests at bay. Here’s a list of the top 5 summer bugs to keep a lookout for:
- Africanized Bees
Africanized Bees, also sometimes called Killer Bees, are incredibly defensive and cause painful stings if interrupted. Africanized Bee can do more than deliver an unwelcome sting, though. Too many Africanized Bees can collapse entire honey bee colonies which can have drastic effects on agriculture.
Us Floridians know all about pesky skeeters. They love Florida’s famously warm, stagnant water. They begin to emerge at around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but skeeters love the scolding hot temperatures and the humidity during Florida summers. North Florida's peak season is in the Spring/Summer, but South Florida doesn’t catch a break. Mosquito season in South Florida is all year round.
Floridians are certainly familiar with ticks and Lyme disease. According to the University of Florida, of the Lyme disease cases reported from 1999-2008, 30 percent were acquired in our home state. Eva Sapi, a University of New Haven biology professor and group director for the Lyme Disease Research Group, told CNN that this might be one of the worst summers for Lyme Disease on the East Coast. She explained that the mild winter allowed for tick populations to skyrocket. While the outdoors is the only place people can escape the threat of coronavirus these days, Sapi reminds hikers to be extra cautious.
- Fire Ants
Generally speaking, Fire Ants aren’t aggressive. However, if you invade their space and threaten their nest, you’re in for an unpleasant time. According to the University of Florida IFAS Extension, a bite from a fire ant can cause painful stinging sensations for up to 10 days.
- Horse Flies
Horsefly bites can be extremely painful because of their scissors-like pinchers. Unfortunately, Florida is a prime breeding ground for these buggers, especially during the summer. According to the University of Florida Department of Entomology, the best protection from Horse Flies is wearing long sleeves and long pants combined with a chemical repellant like DEET.