Prevent Pests


Every day about 1,200 people wake up as new Florida residents. As of 2021, about 64% of Florida’s population was born outside of Florida. Also, since around 20% of Florida’s wildlife is invasive species, even established residents are finding themselves battling new pests.

Whatever your level of Florida man or woman, prevention is the most important aspect of pest control in the Sunshine State.

Outdoor Lighting

Lights on at night will attract moths, swarming ants, beetles, roaches, frogs, lizards, and wasps. Using outdoor lights sparingly can greatly reduce the amount of flying insects attracted to your house. Lighting is especially important when you live near a body of water (ponds, Indian River Lagoon) or wilderness areas as there are many more flying insects nearby.

Use red or yellow lightsLeaving white light on overnight
Use motion detection lights that only change to white with movementLeaving decorative pool cage lights on overnight.
Use blackout curtains in rooms you frequent at night.Leaving the garage door open at night; especially with the light on.
Use motion detection lights
Use landscape lighting to cast light toward your house. Insects will go to the source of the light so it’s better for that light source to not be touching your house.
Do’s and Don’t of lighting your Florida home and landscape from a pest management perspective
  • Frogs, geckoes, spiders, lizards, and wasps are all predators of flying insects. Lights that are often left on overnight result in an all-you-can-eat buffet for these creatures.
  • Insects see and are attracted to the night vision light emitted from cameras.

Trash Can Location

Trash bins are a huge attractant to many pests.

  • Avoid storing the trash can inside your house/garage.
  • If flies are a problem stick a Terro Trash Guard inside your bin. One lasts 6 months.
  • Keep your bin clean.

Debris Near House

Pests are always looking for something to live under.

  • Leaf litter.
  • No stacked wood near house.
  • Stacked wood by your house will void most termite warranties.


Unregulated irrigation can be the cause of many pests. It can even kill your grass over the winter by rotting it away. A rain sensor and seasonal updates are needed to maintain a healthy St. Augustine lawn.

  • Causes Fire Ants.
  • Causes dollarweed, sedge, and crabgrass.
  • Indian River Lagoon runoff.

No Cardboard Boxes

The rise of E-commerce has given rise to roaches being delivered.

  • Packages can come with roaches.
  • Roaches and silver fish are attracted to boxes.
  • Use storage bins instead to store items long-term.
  • Consider using cedar products(balls, slivers, chips)when storing items long-term.
  • Open boxes outside if possible. Especially if it came from another persons house but even boxes shipped from retail warehouse facilities can come with roaches included.

Check Door Seals

Faulty door seals can give pests unfettered access to your home.

  • Entry doors.
  • Garage door.

Seal Holes/Cracks

Cracks and holes will happen over time.

  • Floridas brutal sun & salt can deteriorate caulk and rubber seals quickly.
  • Lots of cracks can appear in concrete homes.
  • No gutters cause can cause foundation problems in Florida.

Be Cautious With Outdoor Kitchens

Outdoor kitchens have to be meticulously cleaned to avoid pest problems.

  • Can attract raccoons, opossums, and rats. They will rip a screen for a taste.
  • Highly attractive to roaches.
  • Avoid having a kitchen physically attached to your house structure. This makes it harder for pests like roaches and rats to gain access to your home.

Plants/Trees Touching House

Plants touching your house can cause ant, raccoon, rat, and opossum problems.

  • Ants can avoid pesticide barriers.
  • Make it easier for mammals to access your attic.
  • Vigilance is required due to our constant vegetative growth.

Scalping Your Lawn

Most Space and Treasure Coast residents are cursed/blessed with Floratam St. Augustine grass. While it’s beautiful when maintained correctly it requires a VERY tall cutting height. A very high cutting height is the opposite mowing practice for nearly every other type of turfgrass everywhere, so lawn scalping is a common issue here.

  • Exposes grass parts to sunlight that should not be exposed to sunlight
  • Chinch bugs can sense the stressed grass from long distances and will travel to get some of that low hanging fruit.
  • Exposes soil to sunlight which in turn germinates weed seeds. Some of which are not treatable with selective herbicide. (You have to kill your lawn and replace it)
  • Bad for your mower blade. Cutting stems dulls blades fast. Mower blades are only supposed to cut grass blades.
  • Line trimmers are not exempt from how tall Floratam is maintained. Nine trimmers are worse for the grass blades and the turf should be maintained slightly higher in those areas to reduce stress. Areas of grass that are repetitively scalped will be replaced with weeds.

Keep Compost Bins Far From Your House

Compost bins being attractive to pests is part of how they are supposed to work. Keep them far from your house.

  • Designs attached to the ground tend to attract fire ants.
  • Attract carpenter ants.
  • Attract roaches.
  • Keep compost bins 20′ minimum from your house.

Drain Away From The House

All drains need to go away from your house.

  • A/C drains can cause subterranean termite issues
  • A/C drains can attract rats and other mammals. It’s a regular source of water.

Check Your Dryer Vent

Even vents on the roof. Dryer vents left unsealed can lead to:

  • Snakes inside dryers.
  • Rodents inside dryers.
  • Rodent access to house.


The above conditions are all conducive to pests and should be avoided if possible. The less attractive you make your home by limiting these conditions the fewer pest control issues you’ll encounter.

Similar Posts