The Northshore’s Bug Life: Species and Variety in our Part of Louisiana
Species & Variety of Bugs on the Northshore in Southeast Louisiana
The Northshore has its fair share of insects and there are quite a number of them that can get into our homes and cause damage or irritation. Whether you grew up here or not, it doesn’t take long to get to know this handful of pests and just how annoying they can be.
Most of the insects on this list can bite or sting. It is important to note that many people have allergies to some of these bugs and if you are one of them, you should keep your medication on you at all times. If you are bitten or stung by any of them, you should consult your healthcare provider to find out what to do next.
In addition to health concerns, some of these little guys can cause serious damage to your home. Burrowing pests can dig into your home’s structure and weaken your supports. Several of the pests on this list like to burrow into your wood framing to eat or build their nests. This can compromise your home’s structure and potentially cost you a lot of money.
The state bird of Louisiana, the first pest on our list is the mosquito. This winged devil buzzes around for most of the year. Despite having a life span of up to two months, this bug has racked up quite the body count. Ranked the deadliest animal in the world, the mosquito kills 750,000 people per year through disease transmission in the blood. Mosquitoes love our wet habitat here because they lay their eggs in standing water. A flower pot that collects rainwater can turn into a breeding ground for the mosquito in a matter of hours.
Termites are one of the most expensive pests to deal with. Causing more than $5 Billion in damages each year, the termite burrows into the wood in your home’s structure and digs tunnels through the wood, eating and building nests as it compromises the integrity of your home. If they make it into your structure, you may have to get a new roof, replace sections of your walls, or outdoor decking. Termites also like to swarm. At certain times of the year, the termites will fly around en masse, looking for new sources of food and new breeding grounds to build up more nests.
Everybody remembers their first horsefly bite. Hopefully, there is only one in the memory banks because these bites can be quite painful. Unlike the mosquito, which has a mandible that specializes in piercing the skin and sucking out blood; the horsefly has a mandible that is built for tearing. Females are usually the biters as they need a good meal of blood before they reproduce and angry females will bite until they are satisfied. They are attracted to dark animals and movement.
Ticks are very common across the south. If you’ve ever owned a pet, you have probably pulled at least one tick off of them. They are small brown insects about the size of cupcake sprinkles or a pencil eraser that bury their head into the skin of the host where they feed on the blood. These pests can carry diseases that make people and pets very sick. You’ve probably heard of Lyme Disease, but ticks also carry Bourbon Virus, Ehrlichiosis, Heartland Virus, and more.
If you think you might have a problem, read on about Signs You Might Need a Bug Man to learn moreSigns You Might Need A Bug Man
Every May, we renew our hatred of Lovebugs. It seems that no matter how many times we deal with Lovebug swarms, we still lose paint on the fronts of our cars. These insects only live two to three days, but they are annoying every second of it. These pests don’t cause any real damage to people, animals, or property; they are just a nuisance. You may see them flying along as a single bug or as a pair. They tend to fill the sky for a few weeks out of the year and they usually don’t make it into your home unless someone leaves the door open.
There are over 50 different species of wasp in Louisiana. If that’s not scary enough, they can live in ground, hives, or in the walls of your home. While they are large enough to be seen (and therefore, swatted) they tend to work in teams and they don’t like when they feel attacked. Wasps like to build their nests in doorways, windows, carports, decks, tress, and porches. Their sting can be quite painful and can cause redness and swelling. They can be red, brown, black, striped, or spotted and they are anywhere between the size of your thumbnail up to the size of your thumb.
Like wasps, Louisiana has many species of spiders. Some of them are more deadly than others. Brown recluse and black widows live in our state and can cause and their poison can be fatal. The black widow is usually small and black with a red hourglass shape on the underside of their belly. A Brown Recluse, however, can be up to several inches across and are a dingy light brown color that blends in well with dead leaves. They typically don’t attack unless provoked and are not overly aggressive. Their bites can cause cramps, muscle pain, intense muscle pain, or spasms.
One of the more famous insects on the Northshore, the cockroach is a very common household pest. They can get into your home through gaps in doorways, windows, pipes, and any other crook they can find. These pesky pests can introduce disease into your home by way of contaminating food and high traffic surfaces. If you’d like to learn more about Cockroaches, check out our blog Signs You Might Have Roaches.
If you’ve seen any of these pests in your home and think you need some professional help, give us a call!