Is it true that there are brown recluse spiders in Florida?

That depends on your definition of ‘here.’  No breeding populations of any species of recluse spiders (Loxosceles laeta, Loxosceles reclusa, and Loxosceles rufescens have all been found in the state), has been found in any Florida county in a native habitat. A few verified samples (about 20) have turned up in Florida, but…

I heard that UF was responsible for releasing the lovebug. Is that true?

No, it’s not true. Not by a long shot. Not even close. NO! This rumor’s been around for decades and its origins are unknown. But we can tell you a few things to bust this myth: First, it’s clearly contradicted by the historical record: The lovebugs commonly seen flying over highways in…

What’s the best mosquito repellent to use?

Scientific studies have shown the mosquito-repelling effectiveness of the chemical N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, which is better known by the acronym DEET. Although people have reported good results with other options ranging from cosmetics to home remedies, DEET is a widely available compound with a strong scientific track record that says it works. Figure 1….

Why is my area so bug-infested?

These are some common questions- Why are there so many bugs in Florida? Not species but individual bugs. Why is my area so bug-infested? Why are there sometimes so many bugs of a certain type, like love bug swarms? Florida’s warm, humid climate provides good breeding conditions for many insects and other…

Why are there so many species of bugs in Florida?

Florida is home to thousands of insect species, plus thousands more land-dwelling arthropods that aren’t classified as insects – organisms including spiders, mites, centipedes and ticks. Part of the reason we have so many species of bugs here is the state’s climate. All around the world, warm, humid places often give rise…

I think I’m having health problems related to bugs.

As much as we’d like to help, we’re not physicians and so it would be irresponsible for us to try to diagnose a medical problem. The best thing for you to do is discuss your symptoms with your primary care provider or a dermatologist. If your skin itches and there’s no obvious…

Which bug is the biggest agricultural pest in Florida?

Right now it’s probably the Asian citrus psyllid, a small flying insect that’s the vector of the presumptive cause of citrus greening disease, the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. The disease cost Florida citrus growers $4.5 billion in lost revenues between 2006 and 2011, causing the loss of more than 8,200 jobs. Figure…

How do I know if I’m allergic to bee or wasp venom? I don’t think I’ve ever been stung.

You should talk to your primary care provider. There are tests available that can indicate potential bee and wasp venom allergies. In the meantime, if you’re not certain if you are allergic to bee or wasp venom, the best thing to do is take precautions to avoid coming into contact with these…

What’s the most dangerous bug in Florida?

In the big scheme of things, it’s the mosquito. These blood-sucking pests don’t pose a danger by themselves, but their bites can transmit microscopic organisms that cause infectious diseases including Eastern equine encephalitis and dengue. Scientists believe that, over the course of history, mosquitoes have killed more human beings worldwide than any…

What are those little dark-colored flies that come out of my bathroom sink?

Is this what you are seeing? Those are representatives of a fly family called Psychodidae, commonly called drain flies, sink flies or moth flies. These insects are harmless, they don’t bite, sting or transmit diseases. However, they are unsightly. They’re often seen near drainpipes because that’s where the females lay eggs, in…