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The Most Common Pests in Sarasota

termites in sarasota

Pests are a constant problem for homeowners in Sarasota, FL. They can come into your home and make it their own - causing damage to your property and making you uncomfortable. Florida is known for how many different kinds of pests plague homeowners, so we've put together this resource on what pests you're most likely to encounter.


The most common pest in Sarasota is the cockroach. Cockroaches are attracted to moisture and can be found anywhere there is food or water. They can cause a lot of damage, as well as pose a health risk because they carry bacteria on their bodies.

The most common species of cockroach found in Sarasota are:

  • American Cockroach - Are dark red-brown in color, with light brown outlining their bodies and a yellowish circular pattern on their heads. The American Cockroach's wings are longer than its body, so they stick out slightly farther, and they are able to fly. They can reach up to two inches in length, and are one of the largest roaches in the U.S.
  • German Cockroach - German roaches can be light brown or beige, and they have two black stripes running behind their heads. German roaches are flatter than American roaches and have oval-shaped bodies. German cockroaches have wings but do not fly, and are much smaller, growing up to 5/8 of an inch in size.
  • Australian Cockroach - Like the American cockroach, Australian roaches are also a reddish-brown color. Australian roaches have wings, which extend past their bodies, but they rarely use these wings to fly.  Unlike American roaches, Australian cockroaches are small, and you'll mainly find them around light sources.
  • Asian Cockroach - Asian roaches look more similar in size and shape to German roaches than American or Australian roaches. Asian roaches are brown and have a much longer, narrower shape. They have wings that extend past their body and unlike German roaches, they frequently fly. Asian roaches grow up to 1 inch in length.


Another common pest in Sarasota is the mosquito. They can transmit a number of diseases, including West Nile virus, Zika virus, and malaria. Here are a few tips on how to decrease mosquito populations around your home:

  • Remove standing water - Mosquitoes breed using standing water, so you’ll want to get conscious of any areas or items that may collect water and empty them., This includes areas of your property with drainage issues that may result in standing pools of water.
  • Plant Flowering Plants Away From Home - Mosquitoes also feed on nectar, so flowering plants should be planted in areas that are farther away from your home. Also consider including plants that repel mosquitoes such as peppermint, citronella, or lavender.
  • Cut Tall Weeds and Grass - Just like humans, when the weather gets hot, mosquitoes look for shade. They prefer to hide in overgrown weeds, grasses, and shrubs. Be sure to regularly mow your lawn, pluck weeds, and trim shrubbery to reduce harboring mosquitoes.


The most common spiders in Sarasota are the brown recluse and the black widow. Brown recluses are shy spiders that usually only bite humans if they're cornered or threatened. Black widows are much more aggressive and their venom is highly toxic. The most common areas for spiders to hide inside of your home are:

  • Shoes/Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Areas that are high off of the ground such as shelves, ceiling corners, and attics.
  • Indoor plants
  • Storage areas such as closets and pantries.


Rats and mice are common pests to deal with, especially during the winter months. Rodents can contaminate food with their droppings and spread diseases like salmonella. The most common species of rodents in Sarasota are Norway rats, Wood rats, and Roof rats. Here are some helpful tips to reduce rodent activity in your home:

  • Be sure to sweep up any crumbs or food waste from your floors, counters, and trash after every meal to make these rodent food sources harder to access. 
  • Store dry food in plastic or glass containers instead of the original packaging.
  • Store any pet food in tightly sealed plastic containers, which are harder to break into for rodents.
  • Hire a professional pest control company to provide rodent exclusion and extermination services. We are able to detect and seal all cracks and potential entry points against rodents.


Ants can be found almost anywhere in your home, especially near food sources. There are many different species of ants in Sarasota, but the main species homeowners deal with are:

  • Carpenter Ants - Often black or dark brown in color. Carpenter ants leave behind Frass, which is like fine sawdust from chewing through structures. They enter and exit through very small holes which they chew.
  • Fire Ants - Fire ants are a dark brown, reddish color. These ants live in mounds that look like sand piles in your lawn, and quickly frenzy if these mounds are disturbed. They bite, causing red, itchy welts. These ants can cause an allergic reaction, so it is not advised to try DIY treatment, so call in the professionals to help!
  • Argentine Ants - Argentine Ants are typically light or dark brown. They move in am organized trail-like line, one after the other. When stepped on, these ants give off a musky odor.

Stinging Insects

There are several types of stinging insects common in Sarasota, including:

  • Paper Wasps
  • Yellow Jackets
  • Bald-faced Hornets
  • Bees

All of these species can sting humans and they can be very aggressive when their nests are threatened. We do not recommend DIY treatment on any stinging insects you might encounter around your home.


Houseflies and fruit flies are two of the most common flies found in Sarasota. These flies are a nuisance and can spread diseases like E. coli and salmonella. Here are a few ways to reduce fly populations around your home:

  • Check to make sure that any windows, doors, and vents are sealed and free from holes where flies can enter.
  • Use a garbage can with a tight-fitting lid, both inside and outside of your home. Be sure to remove trash from your home as soon as it’s full.
  • Store food in airtight containers so that flies can't smell it.
  • Don’t leave grass clippings or leaves out to decay near your house.
  • Clean up animal feces, such as in a cat’s litter box or dog yard waste, right away.


Bed bugs in Sarasota are an issue, and they can be extremely difficult to get rid of. These pests can get hitch a ride into your home, your car, and onto your clothing. Bed bugs breed quickly, making it imperative that if you suspect a bed bug infestation, you seek the help of an exterminator right away. These pests bite humans and animals, feeding on their blood. This causes red, itchy bites, and discomfort for everyone involved.

If you notice any of the following signs of bed bugs, give us a call today!

  • Bloodstains on your sheets or pillowcases.
  • Dark or rusty spots, which is bedbug excrement, on sheets, mattresses, pajamas, or even walls.
  • Bedbug fecal spots, eggshells, or shell casing.
  • A musty odor.


Florida homes are also prone to termite infestations. There are a few species of termites in Sarasota such as the drywood termite and the subterranean termite. These pests can cause significant damage to your home if they are left untreated. A few common signs that you're dealing with termites include:

  • Discolored or sagging drywall.
  • Peeling paint that looks like water damage, but with no signs of water or dampness.
  • Buckling wooden or laminate floors, and squeaky floors.
  • Crumbling, damaged wood, especially around window frames, doors, and areas low to the ground.

How to Get Rid of These Pests

DIY pest control can be ineffective on many of the most common pests in Sarasota. Professional pest control is the best way to ensure that your home remains protected against bugs and rodents. If you have any questions about the benefits of hiring an exterminator, contact our team today at 941-747-6677.

Are you wondering if we service your neighborhood?

Southern Greens offers pest control to the following areas:

If you're dealing with any of these pests, professional pest control is highly recommended!

Contact Southern Greens Today!