Originally being from the outer suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, I am used to natural surroundings and an occaisional insect. But, since moving down to Florida, my knowledge of bugs has increased dramatically. Up north, there may be a few species of insect that can be troublesome. Down here, it pays to make sure the critters in your neighborhood stay outdoors, and don’t come inside of your home.
It pays to live in a development that regularly sprays for bugs. Also, living on a higher floor helps, for the creepy-crawlies who don’t care to crawl fly up high. When I first moved here, I had a lovely apartment on the first floor of a classy building. Unfortunately, everything crawled in, already with spraying, including huge cockroaches, ants of every size, and already termites! The owners of the building had to have the complete building “tented” to keep the lovely, old building from being consumed by the wood-chomping little buggers. Buildings with termites have to be tented every so often, so I moved. The heck with that.
Now, I live up high, and have nothing more than fruit flies (they grow those big down here, too!) and a tiny sugar ant or two. Sugar ants are teeny, tiny little ants who show up sometimes here and there, everywhere down here but are easily kept under control with extermination. Nothing else. Oh, and down here in Florida, anyone with indoor pets nevertheless has to put Frontline or Advantage flea protection on them, because cats and dogs get fleas already indoors. It’s unavoidable.
Other insects down here include Lubber grasshoppers, which are large, interesting creatures with pink wings, but they damage crops so farmers hate them. Recently, a swarm of them invaded the nearby city of Lakeland and drove the residents nuts with their large numbers and voracious appetites. Lubbers won’t hurt you, they’re just slow-movers who eat everything in their path.
One thing I don’t deal with well are spiders. Down in the South there are Black-Widow spiders, which are poisonous. I remember visiting a friend’s houseboat parked on a lake, and those hideous spiders were everywhere. I was laughed at for being a “lightweight city girl” as I made a beeline for the car, after one came down from the rafters and almost landed on me. Poisonous spiders and me don’t mix.
So, if you move to Florida, it’s a great place to be but make sure to bring bug repellent or spray with you if you live in a place with lax bug extermination policies. Better in addition, hire an exterminator to come monthly. Living among character is wonderful, but bugs are the price you pay to live down in a tropical climate.