Use chemicals only when everything else fails.  The use of ORGANICS is recommended on this show whenever possible.  Remember, we don’t have to kill every bug.  There are good and bad bugs.  Generally called beneficial insects, these are the ones that eat other bugs we find less desirable to have around or they perform some other part of the work load out in the garden.

In Florida we have good and bad insects.  This chart tells you the roll of each critter.

Thysanura Silverfish 6 domesticated buildings, ant nests unknown pests: eats documents
Collembola Springtails 100+ soil native beneficial: feed on soil fungi
Ephemeroptera Mayflies 70+ fresh water native beneficial: important food for fish. Also their larvae stir and clean the sandy bottoms of lakes
Odonoto Dragonflies Damsel Flies
150+ lakes, streams, ditches, ponds most are native beneficial: eat mosquito larvae
Orthoptera Grasshoppers
250+ – approx. 20 species are found only in Florida gardens, marshy fields, grassy fields most are native beneficial: important food for birds
Mole crickets 4 species sandy areas non-native pests: $11.7 million has been spent in Florida on this insect whose only sin is that it leaves brown spots on lawns and golf courses.
Mantodeo Praying Mantids 75 gardens & marshy areas most are native beneficial: eat other insects
Phosmatodeo Walkingsticks 6 trees & shrubs most are native beneficial: eat other insects
Dermoptera Earwigs 10 flowers & shrubs several species were accidently imported from Europe & Russia beneficial: eat other insects such as aphids & scale insects
Isoptera Termites 175 dead wood both native and non-native pests & beneficial:
Termites are decomposers of dead wood and litter, but also destroy structures. Florida spends millions of dollars each year on the chemical spraying of termites.
Cockroaches 38 logs, native grasses, leaf litter, houses both native and non-native Cockroaches are pests at this time but may turn out to have beneficial properties if or when they are studied fully.
Psocoptera BookliceBarklice 80+ in old booksoutdoors non-native pests: the booklice eats old books and the barklice eat plants
Hemiptera Burrower Bugs
Marsh Treaders
Stink Bugs
Milkweed Bugs
Water Bugs
Bed Bugs
Assassin Bugs
800+ diverse habitat mostly native – some species are non-native pests & beneficial: Many of these “true bugs” feed on & destroy crops but others are beneficial because birds feed on them.
Homoptera(probably about 1000 species total) Aphids 75+ vegetables, fruits, flowers unknown pests: can harm fruit & vegetable crops and sometimes carry plant diseases. However, they have many natural enemies such as: crickets, ladybugs, earwigs, wasps, flies.
Scale Insects
44+ perrenial plants most are non-native pests: but can usually be controlled by their natural enemies.
White Flies unknown vegetables, fruit, flowers almost all are non-native pests: destroy crops, carry plant disease. many species have become immune to chemical spraying & must be controlled by natural enemies
Cicadas 12+ underground, sucking sap from the roots of trees native possible pests: Florida species do not appear to harm the trees as there are not a sufficient number of them to do so.
Plant Hoppers 220 plants most are native pests: carry plant disease
Tree Hoppers 65 trees native beneficial: food for birds
Anoplura Sucking Lice unknown animals & humans non-native pests: carry diseases
Neuroptera Ant Lions
90+ diverse habitat most are native beneficial: eat insect pests
Coleoptera(The beetles – of which there are well over 5000 species & many more not yet described. ) Tiger Beetles 24 sand & soil
(several of these are becoming extinct because their habitats are disappearing)
native beneficial: eat other insects
Ground Beetle 370 – some found only in Florida litter native beneficial: eat other insects
Scarab Beetle 250+ dung, carrion, decomposing plants native beneficial: eat other insects
Metallic Woodborer Beetle 100 dead trees native beneficial: eat other insects
Soldier Beetle 30 plants native pests: eat plants
Net-winged Beetle 30+ plants native pests: eat plants
Fireflies 57 forests, marshes, creeks native beneficial: eat other insects
Blister Beetle 30 flowers most are native pests: can kill cattle & horses
Predaceous Diving Beetle 100+ freshwater habitats native beneficial: eat mosquito larvae & sssmall crabs
Whirlgig Beetle 17 freshwater ponds native beneficial: feed on other insects
Leaf Beetle 375 leaves & grasses native pests & beneficial: some are crop pests but many others control weeds & are good prospects for natural control of imported plant pests.
Longhorn Beetle 225+ dead wood native beneficial: eat dead wood
Weevils 575+ plants, flour staples native & non-native pests & beneficial: most are agriculture pests, but several species have been imported for weed control
Ladybird Beetle 100+ plants & flowers some native, most are non-native beneficial: feed on aphids & scale insects
Diptera(flies, lovebugs
Mosquitos 80+ standing water native pests: carry disease
Lovebugs unknown open grasslands non-native pests & beneficial: eat pollen & may possibly be pollinators but are too numerous & have no natural enemies
Crane Flies 200+ cool, damp ravines native beneficial: larvae feed on roots of dead vegetation
Fruit Flies 50+ rotten fruit & vegetables 50 native, 4+ non-native pests: some varities lay their eggs in fruit that has just ripened, destroying the fruit. Most are not pests & eat only rotten fruit & vegetables
House Flies unknown garbage, manure, houses non-native pests: may carry disease
Parasitic Flies 200+ lay their eggs in insects, feed on nectar native beneficial: help control other insects as their larvae kills the host
Horse Flies & Deer Flies 100+ aquatic habitats native/non-native pests: bloodsuckers
Sand Flies 200+ sandy areas native/non-native pests: carry disease, bloodsuckers
Midges unknown mud of lakes native pests: bloodsuckers
Flower Flies 90+ flowers native beneficial: important pollinators
Bee Flies 50-100 flowers native beneficial: pollinator of native plants through contact
Gnats 75+ diverse native pests: carry eye disease
Black Flies 5+ fresh water native pests: stinging insect
Mydas Flies 8 each specie has a specific habitat native beneficial: feed on other insects
Siphonaptera Fleas unknown animals native pests: bloodsuckers, carry disease
Hymenoptera(bees, wasps, ants, sawflies, parasitic wasps – probably between 3000-5000+ species in Florida)
Ichneumon Wasps 500-600 plants & vegtation native beneficial: control crop-eating insects
Braconid Wasps unknown diverse native beneficial: eat insect larvae
Minute Parasitic Wasps 1000-2000 diverse native beneficial: control insect population
Green Metallic Bees 55 deep burrows in the soil native beneficial: pollinators of small plants that may be overlooked by other pollinators
Bumble Bees 7 diverse native beneficial: pollinators of wild plants
Carpenter Ants 207 total species of ants in Florida* dead wood native minor pests
Fungus-Growing Ants *(included in above total) uplands, in the dirt native minor pests
Cone Ants * dirt, open areas native beneficial: fight with fire ants
Harvester Ants * dirt native beneficial: feed on the larvae of other insects
Pharoh’s Ants * houses non-native pests: common house pest
Fire Ant * dirt non-native pests: stinging insect


  • Read and follow all label directions and precautions carefully
  • Do not spray when it is windy to ensure that pesticides do not drift into unintended areas
  • Do not spray when rain is in the forecast to ensure that pesticides do not wash off the target
  • Apply directly to lawn or garden areas.  Water only as directed and not to the point of run-off
  • Avoid hard surfaces like sidewalks unless directed for crack and crevice treatment
  • Limit spray to target areas only
  • Store and dispose of unused pesticides properly
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