There are many wonderful things about living in Louisiana, but the bugs usually aren’t at the top of the list (unless you are taking about “mud bugs” or crawfish)! The warm, semi-tropical climate is favorable to pests, which is why Louisiana is known for its readily available supply of bugs and insects. Some insects are harmless, even though they may look fierce, while others carry disease. Nevertheless, all insects are a nuisance, and no family wants to share their home with them.
Let’s take a look at the most common insects found in Louisiana so that you know what to expect in your own home.
There are two types of termites in LA: subterranean and drywood. Subterranean termites like to chew through the interior part of a wood structure. They then cover their tracks by filling holes with dirt or mud. By the time the damage is discovered, it’s too late. There is probably hundreds to thousands of dollars of damage. Drywood termites feast on dry wood and leave feces behind, but they don’t fill holes with dirt.
There are many species of beetles, but the most common in LA include carpet beetles and powderpost beetles. Interestingly, carpet beetles in their adult stage aren’t much of a problem, but as larvae, they are quite the nuisance. They feed on household items such as clothes, linens and food.
Powderpost beetles can be just as severe as termites as the larvae create tunnels on the inside of wood structures. It won’t be until these beetles chew their way out as adult beetles that you will see signs of damage.
The wet, humid summers create the perfect environment for mosquitoes. Although mosquitoes are synonymous with Southern living, these insects can carry deadly diseases that can be transmitted to humans. With the recent threat of West Nile, more homes have installed mosquito misting systems for added peace of mind.
Between flying roaches and cockroaches, the roach population certainly shows its face in LA. Roaches thrive off warm, moist environments, and some, such as cockroaches, are found in high-filth areas. They can also carry disease such as E.coli and salmonella. Louisiana is also home to the smokybrown roach, American cockroach and German cockroach.
Spiders are versatile insects that can be found in just about any climate, but the fact that Louisiana is warm and sub-tropical makes it a great location for all breeds of spiders. They especially prefer dark, moist places like underneath flower pots or garbage can handles. Some of the most common spiders found in LA include your typical garden spiders, fishing spiders and bold jumping spiders. However, some have poisonous venom that can cause serious reactions in humans, including the brown widow spider, black widow spider and brown recluse spider.
With a warm climate and close proximity to Central America and Mexico, LA is known for its colonies of ants, more specifically, red fire ants. Fire ants can have up to 700 colonies per acre that can include up to 250,000 crawling members. Fire ants are also fierce predators, carry disease and destroy property.
Silverfish have small pinchers, and although they are not poisonous, their pinchers will hurt. They have a fish-like shape and are a gray or silver color. They prefer dark, moist areas and are most commonly seen at nighttime when they leave their nest.