Located in the southeastern U.S. along the Gulf Coast, Louisiana is well known for its cuisine, alligators and bayous. Because of its geographical features and position, Louisiana is very humid and warm and rarely has hard freezes. This means that it is an ideal location for many different types of bugs and insects.
The honeybee has been Louisiana’s state insect since 1975. This insect produces honey. Honeybees have brightly colored yellow and black stripes that warn potential predators away. They typically remain active through the winter, and thus the Louisiana climate provides an ideal environment for them. Honeybees belong to one of three specialized caste groups: queens, drones or workers, and they live in hives.
Mosquitoes thrive in Louisiana’s heat and humidity. These pesky insects commonly lay their eggs in standing pools of water, which the state has plenty of. They are most aggressive at dawn and dusk and can carry malaria and the West Nile Virus, transmittable to both humans and pets. Wear clothes that cover your arms and legs, along with insect repellent, to avoid their painful bites.
Southern U.S. coastal states, including Louisiana and Texas, have many wasps, according to a report by ABC News. These flying insects usually build paper or mud hives on building eaves or the sides of walls. Some wasps prey on insects, while others feed on nectar. They cause painful stings if aggravated or stepped on, and many people are allergic to their venom.
There are several types of ants found in Louisiana, including the acrobat ant, elongate twig ant and black ant. However, the most destructive ant in the state is the red fire ant. Originally native to South America, the fire ant was introduced to many southern states, including Louisiana, in the 1930s. They are predatory insects that commonly attack rodents, birds and large mammals in swarms, according to research at Tulane University. The large number of fire ants in Louisiana has been connected to the decline of some birds in the state, including certain species of warblers and loggerhead shrikes.
According to the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, the eastern lubber grasshopper is the most distinctive grasshopper in the southeastern U.S. It can cause extensive damage to vegetable crops, citrus trees and landscape ornamental plants. However, they are basically harmless to humans. Grasshoppers are at their highest population density in the hot months of July and August.