The Florida carpenter ant complex is comprised of several species, two of which are common around structures: Camponotus floridanus (Buckley) and Camponotus tortuganus (Emery). These bicolored arboreal ants are among the largest ants found in Florida, making them apparent as they forage or fly indoors and out.
The American cockroach, Periplaneta americana (Linnaeus), is the largest of the common peridomestic cockroaches measuring on average 4 cm in length. It occurs in buildings throughout Florida especially in commercial buildings. In the northern United States the cockroach is mainly found in steam heat tunnels or large institutional buildings.
There are over 2,000 described species of fleas. The most common domestic flea is the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis. The adult cat flea, unlike many other fleas, remains on the host. Adults require a fresh blood meal in order to reproduce. The dog flea, Ctenocephalides canis, appears similar to the cat flea, but is rarely found in the United States. Cat fleas are commonly found on both cats and dogs in North America, while dog fleas are found in Europe. The two species are distinguished by a slight morphological difference which is detectable only under high magnification.
The family Tabanidae, commonly known as horse flies, and common house flies, contains pests of cattle, horses and humans. In Florida there are 35 species of Tabanidae that are classed as economically important. Horse flies are in the genus Tabanus, deer flies are in the genus Chrysops. The yellow fly, Diachlorus ferrugatus (Fabricius), is known as a fierce biter in Florida. Like mosquitoes, it is the female fly that is responsible for inflicting a bite. The males are mainly pollen and nectar feeders. Tabanids are most likely encountered in hot summer and early fall weather. They are active during daylight hours.
Anastrepha edentata Stone has been collected in the Florida keys in every month of the year, but its host plants still are unknown. It is one of six species of fruit flies of the genus Anastrepha which occur in Florida or which have been established in Florida at some time. According to Division of Plant Industry records, it has not been found in Florida since 1936. There is a possibility that this species has not survived in Florida. It is not considered to be of economic importance anywhere within its range.
Prior to the advent of chlorinated hydrocarbons, organophosphates, and carbamates the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger), was a problem in Florida. The use of persistent pesticide chemicals reduced the populations of the ants until they were no longer a menace. With the reduction in the use of these persistent pesticide chemicals populations of little fire ants have been allowed to increase, and in some areas, to develop into a serious problem.
Culex nigripalpus mosquitoes are the most important disease vectors in Florida. They are the proven primary enzootic (normal level of virus transmission from mosquitoes to wild birds) and epidemic (unusually high level of virus transmission from mosquitoes to humans) vectors of St. Louis encephalitis SLE virus throughout the southern half of the state. In addition, they are likely involved in the transmission of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus in Florida, from Titusville north to Jacksonville and west to Pensacola.
Two species of fire ants are found in Florida. Most notorious is Solenopsis invicta Buren, the red imported fire ant (RIFA), followed by the much less common S. geminata (Fabricius), the tropical or native fire ant. Other more common U.S. members of this genus include S. xyloni McCook, the southern fire ant, S. aurea Wheeler, found in western states, and S. richteri Forel, the black imported fire ant, found in southeastern states.
As a member of the highly specialized termite family Termitidae, Amitermes floridensis is unique among all termites found in the eastern United States. Occurring only in Florida, it is an ancient scrubland relic of a once broad distribution of Amitermes that extended across Texas and the Gulf region. Although astute pest control operators knew of this termite decades before, Amitermes floridensis was not described until 1989 from specimens collected in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is the most recent native termite species to be recognized in the United States.