Pests are a part of life—wherever there are people, vermin of one kind or another are sure to follow. This is particularly true in a subtropical environment like that of Western and Central Florida. These insect pests are not merely gross. Many of them pose threats to humans, pets and property, so controlling or eliminating them is a major concern for all boards and managers.
Two key factors complicate the control of pests in Florida. The first is the climate. While insects will not be much of an issue during the winter in, say, Minnesota, Florida especially is warm year-round—and thus a literal hotbed of bugs and other animal life.
A Breeding Ground for Pests
“The rainfall and the climate here in Central Florida greatly impacts the insect population,” says Rick Gardner, a sales representative at Pestguard Commercial Services in Sarasota. “It's the perfect climate for insects that thrive on heat, humidity and moisture. There is an abundance of these, so that just means more bugs. Furthermore, the rain also impacts how well the pest-control treatment works. The more rain that we have, then the less effective our treatments will be because the treatment begins to get diluted and will wash away.”
The second, and more overlooked, factor is Florida’s popularity with tourists. The Sunshine State is a huge draw for people from all over the United States, Latin America and, indeed, the world. This rampant tourism puts Florida at huge risk for invasion by foreign species.
“Here in Florida we have a very transient society,” says Greg Rice, marketing director at Hulett Environmental Services in West Palm Beach, “and the world’s gotten so much smaller because of travel and international shipping. And we have seven or eight major shipping ports here in Florida, and there’s always a new species of something being brought in and establishing itself. Bugs like it here, and they proliferate.”