Florida is known for a lot of things. Florida is a huge tourist state, a beautiful state with constant summer vacation weather, sun-soaked beaches, water and amusement parks, aquariums, and everything in between.
Speaking with the locals, it’s clear that Florida has a grip on people who visit, making it tough to leave. Currently, more people are migrating there from the Northeast than ever before.
There’s a lot to be attracted to when it comes to Florida – however, the bugs are one thing that may be a turn-off. In a tropical area with loads of humidity, the bugs in this area can get pretty sizeable.
While they’re not quite at the level of huge jungle insects and arachnids, the bugs and critters here can provide some pretty sketchy encounters if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.
This article will talk about the top 10 creatures you don’t want to encounter if you’re in Florida.
Florida’s Most Notorious
So let’s start off by saying that the spiders in Florida are a force to be reckoned with. However, there’s plenty of other competition, as you’ll find out in the list ahead.
1. The Black Widow
Previously the black widow was considered one of the deadliest spiders in the world, but thanks to modern medicine, it’s rare that a black widow bite ends up in a fatal situation. Most people know this arachnid by the red hourglass it sports on its abdomen. The fact that their bite isn’t as fatal as it used to be doesn’t mean it’s any less dangerous – if you’re bitten, you still need to go to the emergency room immediately. It’s possible you won’t even feel the initial bite. However, the pain starts at the site of the bite and spreads outwardly, feeling like a bad set of cramps in the stomach and back muscles. You’ll also feel nauseous, run a fever, become restless, and develop a splitting headache with intense sweating.
2. Cow Killer
This insect, known as the “cow killer,” is the Eastern Velvet Ant. It’s actually a wasp, not an ant. Regardless, it has a tremendously painful sting that produces enough venom to kill a cow. Has it killed any humans? There have been reported deaths associated with this menace, especially in individuals who are allergic. Seek emergency treatment immediately if you end up on the receiving end of a sting.
3. Southern Devil Scorpion
Many people would imagine scorpions living in the desert and not so much in Florida. However, this guy likes humid conditions over the dry air of the desert. Luckily, their sting won’t kill you – unless you’re allergic. Regardless of whether you’re allergic, you’re going to feel the sting – it’s one of the most painful scorpion stings in existence. Stay away from this monster at all costs.
4. Deer Tick
We know what you’re probably thinking – what’s a tiny deer tick doing on a scary insect list? Well, the truth is, these little critters are known for spreading diseases that can potentially be fatal. This tick spreads what’s known as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, a rare but often fatal illness. They also spread Lyme disease, which normally isn’t fatal, but it can cause lifetime repercussions.
5. Brown Recluse
Here we have the lovable brown recluse. Just kidding. These spiders normally aren’t aggressive towards humans, and lately, only half of their bites have caused severe harm. However, they still have the potential to cause nasty injuries or death. These spiders typically live in large, loose piles of debris. They are also known to make their way into piles of clothes. You’ll know the brown recluse from the violin shape on its head, although this isn’t present in every brown recluse you contact.
6. American Carrion Beetle
This beetle has one of the worst jobs we could ever imagine. Its primary goal in life is to eat raw, decaying flesh. As disgusting as this sounds, they play a primary role in one of the last circles of life. You can catch these guys feasting on roadkill and other random, dead animals.
7. Assassin Bug
We’re not sure if we should call this bug the assassin bug or the vampire bug. They spend most of their time wandering around looking for other bugs to prey on. These bugs actually stalk other bugs, hunting them down and draining them of all the fluid inside their bodies. You also can’t see them in mirrors, and they can be repelled with garlic. Just kidding, again.
8. Bald-Faced Hornet
These terrors are actually black wasps that have white markings. They’re infamous for defending their territories in a very proactive manner. You should be warned; these wasps rule their domains with an iron fist. Anything they catch encroaching on their domains, which are large, hanging paper nests, they repeatedly sting over and over again.
9. The American Dog Tick
These are probably the creepiest looking ticks when it comes to all tick species. They’ll catch a ride on any warm-blooded mammal they can find wandering through the forest and proceed to thank you by draining you of your blood. Don’t underestimate these ticks. They carry some pretty nasty types of bacteria that you don’t want to encounter. It’s possible for them to spread Lyme’s Disease but not probable. The primary culprit for that is the Deer Tick, which we listed earlier.
10. American Oil Beetle
Most beetles are known for being pretty harmless. They trudge along, out of the way, and don’t cause anyone much grief. However, the American Oil Beetle is another story. When these beetles feel threatened, they put off a nasty poisonous substance that resembles – what else, oil. This oil isn’t the kind that makes you slip and slide, though. It gives you nasty blisters and causes painful swelling in the area it contacts. Don’t get too close to these beetles unless you want to be on the receiving end of an oil attack.
The next time you’re in Florida, you might want to keep this list handy to make sure you don’t encounter any of these bugs. If you do, you might end up having a vacation to remember for all the wrong reasons.
Click here to read our past blog, Five Myths and Five Facts About Ants