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 to great natural insect and arthropod diversity.
Another reason is, Florida’s human activities create many opportunities for bugs to be introduced from other places. Because we’re a popular tourist destination, Florida has lots of interstate and international travel. Also, our economy supports businesses that import pet animals, fruits, vegetables, live plants and cut vegetation. Scientists say that, on average, one arthropod pest becomes established in the state each month.
For information on how you can help keep non-native arthropods out of Florida, check out the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Hungry Pest website. The site has a list of things to watch for, and there are even special Florida alerts.
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