Thanks to our wonderful subtropical weather, a thriving international seaport, and visitors from far and wide, Florida holds an unusual record. We have more invasive species than anywhere else in the world. And it’s not just retirees and snowbirds, LOL! We’ve worked for years to bring our eco-system back to normal thanks to invasive plant life. Even worse – the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry says that we average 2.5 new invasive insect species every month!
Sometimes it’s our own fault – for example, the Asian multi-colored ladybugs we looked at last week. But more often than not, it’s accidental. Insects stowaway in shipping containers, luggage, and even get blown here by tropical storms and hurricanes.
Our “insecte du jour” is the black bean bug. The Asian species is properly classified as Brachyplatys subaeneus Westwood. And it was first spotted in the Sunshine state by a Miami teacher. She noticed a bunch of the little black bugs snacking on seagrapes along North Beach.
Entomologists from the University of Florida took a closer look. Then they brought in the Dept. of Agriculture, who issued a warning to farmers across the state.
The common name for the black bean bugs comes, of course, from their resemblance to legumes popular in many latin dishes. But in addition to their solid, shiny black bodies, these insects feature thin yellow markings in the shape of a W behind their head.
Beans also seem to be the bugs’ chosen food source. Researchers say they suck the nutrients right out of certain ornamental plants, as well as potatoes, corn, hemp, sugarcane, sweet potatoes, and rice. The good news is that so far, they’ve only shown up in the Miami area. The insects were first spotted on our side of the globe in Costa Rica, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic.
In addition to the alert to farmers, the FDACS is asking people to report other sightings, especially in agricultural areas. Wildlife managers say that it costs upwards of $100-Million a year to deal with invasive plants, animals, and insects in the state.
Thankfully, it costs a lot less to protect your home from the insect pests found in our area. Our Go Green Perimeter Plus solution is very affordable and covers the majority of the creepy crawlies we see. Or, for just a few dollars more, add on our Term Assure 365 – our fully warrantied termite control program. And, as always, our solutions are the greenest options – keeping your family and pets safe and the pests out. To schedule your first appointment, give us a call today!