Understanding the types of pests that are common in your area can help you determine the best way to resolve the problem and find the appropriate pest control specialists.
Common pests in Tampa include:
Subterranean termites are the most common type of termite in the Tampa area. This species lives underground in large colonies while eating away at soft or decaying wood. Because of the rainfall in our area, the characteristically moist soil found on residential properties can provide perfect living conditions for subterranean termite colonies. Mulch and landscaping that come in contact with the outside of your home can also be a hot spot for termite activity. Small, often unseen cracks or vulnerabilities on the exterior of your home can serve as an easy entry point for these termites. Once indoors, wood including flooring, window frames, and even certain structural elements can be damaged as the colony grows and feeds.
German, American, Australian , and smoky brown cockroaches are the most abundant in Tampa homes. Regardless of species, it can be a surprise when you find them crawling under your sink, in your bathroom, or dashing across your path when you turn on the lights in a dark room. Cockroaches thrive in homes where moisture problems, unsealed food containers, and fallen crumbs are common. Although cockroaches typically thrive in filth, even the cleanest homes can fall victim to cockroach infestations if there are moisture problems. Bathrooms without proper ventilation, leaky faucets, and dripping dishwasher hoses are a magnet for cockroach activity.
As a homeowner, the last things you want to find in your home are mouse droppings and rodents scurrying around. Unfortunately, this is a reality for thousands of Tampa residents. Both connected units and standalone homes are prone to mouse infestations year-round. Even though the homes in the Tampa Bay area are built on slabs, mice can easily sneak their way indoors through small gaps and openings around the exterior of your home. Once indoors, mice can chew through food packaging and can even cause electrical issues if they chew through wiring. As mice move about your home at night, they leave large amounts of droppings and urine spots. They may also leave behind oily spots called "rub marks" as they scale walls or enter and exit small spaces that can stain your home. Because mice are nocturnal and travel along walls, it's not very likely that you'll see one crossing your path. The evidence they leave behind is a dead giveaway that you have a rodent infestation.
Roof rats are a common pest for homeowners in Tampa and its suburbs. As their name suggests, roof rats are skilled climbers, making their nests in higher areas like attics, drop ceilings, and even cabinets when living indoors. You could have roof rats living in your attic and not even know it. After finding shelter, possibly inside your attic, rats travel in and out, foraging for food outdoors. Their diet consists of a wide variety of foods including berries, nuts, slugs, and citrus, all of which are abundant on many residential properties.
Silverfish are small, gray, carrot-shaped pests that live indoors where areas of high humidity exists. That's why so many of our clients in Tampa have silverfish problems in their homes. Without sufficient pest control in your home, silverfish can infest. Silverfish have long, flat bodies which means they can slip through cracks on the exterior of your home and travel throughout your house unnoticed. Bathrooms, attics, garages, sunrooms, and entryways are especially vulnerable to silverfish activity. Silverfish feed on foods with carbohydrates and proteins including paper, small insects, and paste in addition to other things commonly found around homes such as cereal, clothing, and insulation.
No matter where you live in the Tampa Bay area, you have probably had to contend with small house ants at one point. House ants are attracted to food and water, both of which can be found in and around your residence. House ant colonies live outdoors, sending scout ants to find nourishment. Once that scout ant finds a leak under your bathroom sink or crumbs on the kitchen counter, they will signal the other workers of the colony to follow. That's when you may see hundreds of small ants in your kitchen or bathroom. Keeping food in airtight containers, regularly cleaning your kitchen, and repairing any leaking appliances and pipes will reduce the chances of an ant infestation in your home.
Clothes moths are small moths that damage wool, carpets, upholstered furniture, clothing, and rugs. If you open your closet one day only to find holes within your favorite sweater, you may have a clothes moth infestation. They are not a health threat towards humans, but they still are bothersome because of how destructive they can be to your garments and rugs. Always contact your local Terminix branch in Tampa for a free inspection if you suspect you have clothes moths in your home.
House spiders and wolf spiders are among some of the most likely species of spider you'll encounter in the Tampa area. House spiders are small brown spiders that hide in areas of your home with the least amount of foot traffic and air flow. This can include the corners of rooms, your garage, cabinets, closets, and attics. They are not dangerous, but their presence can be alarming to some individuals. Wolf spiders are much larger than house spiders and can be found both outdoors and indoors. At night, wolf spiders hunt their prey which includes smaller insects. If you find a web with a large hole in the center, a wolf spider may be close by. Like house spiders, wolf spiders are not aggressive.
The Florida bark scorpion is the most common across Florida, which is why it's no surprise that homeowners in Tampa frequently contend with infestations. Along with them being equipped with the power to sting, their venom can be dangerous to humans. Florida bark scorpions live outdoors but can migrate into manmade structures such as residential homes when summer heat reaches its peak or after continued heavy rains. Being nocturnal and reclusive, Florida bark scorpions recede into dark closets and garages during the day. At night, they hunt for small insects and even rodents.
Florida blue centipedes are native to Florida and can be found in homes throughout Tampa. These crawling insects are about 2 inches in length and blueish gray in color. They do have the ability to bite and cause localized mild pain, but they are not lethal to humans. Florida blue centipedes can live indoors when humid conditions exist. That means poor moisture control in your home can lead to unwanted infestations.
Earwigs can typically be found living in garden soil, under rocks, in mulch, amongst decaying organic matter, and within moisture-rich areas. The high humidity we experience in the Tampa Bay area creates a perfect environment for earwig activity. You've probably heard of earwigs attached to the myth that they crawl into your ears and lay eggs and that they're aggressive due to their large pincers. Nothing could be further from that truth. Earwigs typically use their pincers (forceps) for defense against various predators and sparing with other earwigs. Depending on the species of the earwig, pincers can be used for catching prey or in a mating ritual. Even though the pincers on earwigs aren't dangerous to humans, if they happen to pinch your finger, it may be unpleasant.
In the Tampa area, crickets are very abundant. Crickets are larger pests that are brown with cylindrical bodies and long legs called “dactyls." They live outdoors in tunnels that they dig through the soil and primarily feed on plant roots. As such, crickets pose a great threat to vegetable gardens and ornamental foliage that could be around your property. The chances of finding a cricket in your home may be low, but it can happen when heavy rains flush them out of their tunnels. They are not dangerous towards humans and are especially weak flyers and jumpers.
Paper wasps are about 3/4″ long and are commonly a burnt orange-brown color. They make nests that resemble an upside-down umbrella with a honeycomb pattern made of paper. Often, you could find the nest before seeing any activity at all. Paper wasps scrape wood shavings off decks, picnic tables, wooden patio tables and chairs, and other wood around your property, turning it into a paste when mixed with their saliva. This mixture is used to construct their nest. Most paper wasp nests are light gray, but they can be different hues based on the color of wood available in the area.
Bed bugs are small parasitic pests that can be found in central Florida and throughout the country. Unlike most household pests, bed bugs do not live outside. They exclusively live indoors where there is climate control and a live host. You aren't going to find bed bugs trailing across your floor like ants. Bed bugs prefer to hide in tight spaces like around mattress piping, in the corners of bed frames, within upholstered furniture, inside dresser drawers, and even behind light socket covers and hung artwork. If you find bites on your skin or what looks like small marks made with a permanent market on your bed sheets, bed bugs could be in your home. If you suspect that there are bed bugs in your home, always call your Tampa Terminix branch for a free inspection right away.
Terminix provides homeowners in the Tampa area with a variety of pest and wildlife control services. Our plans include ongoing pest control coverage and protection, and one-time pest control is an option too. We also offer attic insulation installation, gutter cover installation, termite control plans, mosquito control plans, bed bug control programs, wildlife control, and more. Contact your local Terminix branch to set up a free inspection.
Yes. Our technicians live in the communities where they provide services. We have several staff members who speak Spanish and can assist when needed. Please call your local Terminix branch to request a Spanish-speaking technician.
When hurricanes or back-to-back days of heavy rain occur, pest activity can increase. Because mosquitoes breed in standing water, they can be drawn to pools of excessive rainwater. House flies and fruit flies feed off organic matter which increases post-rain, so their populations also boom. After hurricanes move out of the Tampa area, rodents and other wildlife could appear in your home. Mice and other local critters aren't equipped to swim for long periods of time, so residential homes provide a convenient shelter once the storm has passed. Pests that live in the soil such as termites and earwigs could also infest your home as they are flushed out of drenched soil and mulch beds.
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Yes. Please contact your local branch for more information and to schedule a free consultation.
Yes. Our termite professionals can perform a Wood Destroying Organism Inspection and complete an accompanying report. Please call your local Tampa branch to set up an inspection.