Learn about Insects and Other Pests in Georgia
Even for the most enthusiastic nature lovers, experiencing an insect infestation isn’t fun for anyone. From spreading diseases to causing costly structural damage, insects can be much more than just a nuisance.
Educating yourself about common insects in your area is the first step in protecting your home against potential infestations. Read on to learn more about common Georgia pests and insects, helpful prevention tips and when you should call a licensed pest control professional for assistance.
List of Common Pests and Insects in Georgia
Because of its warm, moist climate, Georgia is home to a wide variety of insects. Below are just a few of the most common insects and other pests in Georgia, frequently encountered by residents in their backyard or home:
Like much of the United States, ticks are one of the common pests in Georgia, including blacklegged ticks (also known as deer ticks), lone star ticks and American dog ticks (also known as wood ticks). Ticks are commonly found in grassy areas with low vegetation in search of their prey. Ticks are known to bite humans and pets, like cats and dogs. Their bites can transmit diseases, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, Heartland virus and Lyme disease.
A common pest in Georgia includes various spider species (including house spiders), but brown recluse spiders are predominantly encountered in the Midwest and southeastern U.S. Brown recluse spiders can bite when they feel threatened or trapped, making them a formidable species. Their bites can take more than three hours to develop and three weeks to heal. The venom in their bites can also cause severe allergic reactions.
Red imported fire ants, known as RIFAs, are an invasive species found throughout the southern U.S. These red ants will sting humans when their nest is disturbed. Their stings are painful and often result in a raised welt. Those who are allergic to insect stings will react more severely to stings from RIFAs.
Termites thrive in warmer climates, which makes Georgia a perfect state for them to call home. Georgia homeowners may encounter several different species of termites, including Formosan termites, subterranean termites and drywood termites. Each species can cause significant damage to homes and other structures. Termites can chew through nearly anything made of cellulose, which includes flooring, walls, and support beams.
Georgia’s warm, wet environment is the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes, including Culex mosquitoes, found throughout the U.S., and Asian tiger mosquitoes, found primarily in the southern states. While most mosquito bites will result in an annoyingly itchy welt, mosquitoes are also known to transmit several diseases, including West Nile virus and Zika virus.
Common Georgia Pests and Insects Found Inside the Home
While these insects will typically be found outdoors in Georgia, many of them can enter homes and develop into a dangerous infestation. It is always important to practice key pest prevention tactics, including sealing possible points of entry around the house, repairing broken window screens, and keeping shrubbery trimmed away from the sides of the structure. These practices play a vital role in thorough Georgia insect identification and prevention.
Ticks are usually found outdoors in search of their next meal. If a tick is found indoors, it likely was carried inside on a human or pet and dropped onto the ground once it was fully engorged. Although, the brown dog tick can complete its lifecycle indoors and can infest homes.
Termite infestations can occur inside or on the exterior of the home. A few telltale signs of an infestation include mud tubes, soft wood that sounds hollow when tapped, darkened or blistered wood, uneven or bubbling paint, feces and discarded wings near doors or windows. If you suspect a termite infestation, contact a Georgia licensed pest control professional immediately before your home suffers extensive damage.
Brown recluse spiders can be found in nearly any undisturbed area inside the home. This may include closets, attics, crawl spaces and basements. Because these spiders can inflict painful, venomous bites, brown recluse spider infestations should be left to a pest control professional.
Mosquitoes can complete their lifecycle in any form of stagnant water, including drainage ditches, bird baths, and kiddie pools. While mosquitoes prefer the warm and humid conditions outdoors, they may find their way indoors through torn window or door screen in search of their next meal.
Red imported fire ants typically nest in soil near foundations or amongst landscaping. Although these stinging insects are usually encountered outdoors, they have been known to enter buildings through HVAC systems and AC units. If they do manage to enter the home, an infestation can occur.
What is Georgia’s State Insect(s)?
Georgia’s state insect is the European honey bee, also known as the western honey bee. Honey bees are found throughout the United States and are known for their role in the environment as pollinators. While they are naturally docile, bees can sting humans if they feel severely threatened. Bee stings are painful and can result in swelling and itching for a few hours. People who are allergic to insect stings may experience more severe, or potentially life-threatening, reactions. Should you encounter a nest, work with a local professional to have it moved elsewhere.
Find Georgia Pest Control Experts Near You
If you suspect a potential infestation in your home, it is important to act quickly. Seeking assistance from a licensed pest control professional in Georgia is the best plan for keeping an infestation from getting out of hand.