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Old 01-09-2021, 09:36 AM   #81
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We get the odd Roof Rat, small, really like a large mouse, they are almost cute. The only time we see Palmetto bugs is when they come into the house to "Shuffle off their mortal coil". They are usually legs up in a corner somewhere. Not many though.
I just don't like it when they fly. Sometimes they'll follow you into the house. They are terrible fliers which adds to all the chaos. You are right, though, you usually only see the ones in their death throes. Doesn't mean there aren't a few sneaking around.

We got 'em in NC too, just not as many. Flying is rarer, but I've still seen it. They usually only try to fly when it is hot.

If you live in the Southeast, especially Florida, you will eventually meet a Palmetto bug. Not a big deal. You get used to it.
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Old 01-09-2021, 10:40 AM   #82
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Interesting. One of former work colleagues saw a huge rat on the subway platform in NY and the rat stood up on its legs.
P.S. The rat won that standoff.
Had my wife's cousin's husband down for some fishing off the dock. Lawn chairs, cold beer, guy talk. Not long after sunset, a palmetto managed to get inside his beer can unnoticed. When he picked up the can and tipped it up for that last guzzle, all hell broke loose. Doubt he's ever set a beer can down again since.
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Old 01-09-2021, 11:28 AM   #83
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I live in Pompano Beach and we like it. Plenty to do.
There’s an old joke here: there’s south Florida and there’s the Mouse (Orlando), and the rest is Georgia. Be sure the culture matches yours somewhat.
When my kid was stationed in Pensacola all the locals I met there referred to the area as 'LA'...Lower Alabama.
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Old 01-09-2021, 11:31 AM   #84
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I think calling the Palmetto bug something other than giant cockroach was marketing brilliance
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Old 01-09-2021, 12:27 PM   #85
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I have lived in FLA for 3 years and never seen one cockroach or palmetto bug. I believe this mention is overstated.
I am surprised, but if you have not seen them, you have not seen them. I am referring to Palmetto bugs or American cockroaches. I lived in St. Petersburg and we fought them all the time. One had to make sure all crumbs, etc. very well cleaned up. They would not keep me out of Florida, but that are one more thing with which to deal. We had a dog and fought fleas year around. And, in parts of Florida there are fire ants, and they are a joy to deal with. Through the winter months Florida can be very nice. It is great to sit out in shirt sleeves in December and have coffee. People come down during that time of the year and think it is wonderful. Then about late March to early April, it starts turning hot and humid. The humidity often matches the temperature on most summer days in St. Petersburg, and our temperature was moderated by the water. I was younger and fairly fit, and I could not mow my yard without stopping and cooling off every twenty minutes. Cultural historians say two things have made Florida what it is today, air conditioning and mosquito control. The air conditioning is to control not just temperature but also humidity. St. Petersburg was not bad for mosquitos in part because of the salt water. When I lived there, there reports of in rural areas where cows died from their nostrils being filled with mosquitos. Things may have changed since I left, but in the Pinellas County area people had bumper sticks on their cars, "Pray for Me, I drive Highway 19." In many places the infrastructure has not kept pace with the population grow. I lived in south St. Petersburg in a nice area. However drugs were getting bad by the time I left. A K-Mart within 3/4 of mile of me was held up in broad daylight. A family restaurant my wife and I often ate at within another 3/4 mile of me was held up early one evening A friend's car was stolen out of my drive way. I caught a fellow stealing stuff out of my neighbors garage in broad daylight. I know many of these problems exist in any major urban area. If I were to move back, I would look at the smaller cities and gate communities/retirement communities within them. I still have friends there and they are never moving back north. So, each to his/her own.
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Old 01-09-2021, 12:48 PM   #86
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I am surprised, but if you have not seen them, you have not seen them. I am referring to Palmetto bugs or American cockroaches. I lived in St. Petersburg and we fought them all the time. One had to make sure all crumbs, etc. very well cleaned up. They would not keep me out of Florida, but that are one more thing with which to deal. We had a dog and fought fleas year around. And, in parts of Florida there are fire ants, and they are a joy to deal with. Through the winter months Florida can be very nice. It is great to sit out in shirt sleeves in December and have coffee. People come down during that time of the year and think it is wonderful. Then about late March to early April, it starts turning hot and humid. The humidity often matches the temperature on most summer days in St. Petersburg, and our temperature was moderated by the water. I was younger and fairly fit, and I could not mow my yard without stopping and cooling off every twenty minutes. Cultural historians say two things have made Florida what it is today, air conditioning and mosquito control. The air conditioning is to control not just temperature but also humidity. St. Petersburg was not bad for mosquitos in part because of the salt water. When I lived there, there reports of in rural areas where cows died from their nostrils being filled with mosquitos. Things may have changed since I left, but in the Pinellas County area people had bumper sticks on their cars, "Pray for Me, I drive Highway 19." In many places the infrastructure has not kept pace with the population grow. I lived in south St. Petersburg in a nice area. However drugs were getting bad by the time I left. A K-Mart within 3/4 of mile of me was held up in broad daylight. A family restaurant my wife and I often ate at within another 3/4 mile of me was held up early one evening A friend's car was stolen out of my drive way. I caught a fellow stealing stuff out of my neighbors garage in broad daylight. I know many of these problems exist in any major urban area. If I were to move back, I would look at the smaller cities and gate communities/retirement communities within them. I still have friends there and they are never moving back north. So, each to his/her own.
I truly haven't seem them, but did see them in SE FLA many years ago on vacation.
However, there are definitely enough other creatures. I have seen alligators in the lakes inside my complex. A few snakes here and there. I have had fire ant hills near my lawn at my former house. There are quite a few mosquitoes, especially in the summer, but mostly can sit inside my lanai at night with no issues.
As far as crime, we live in a gated community and the only issues we have heard of are teenagers stealing stuff from unlocked cars. Yes, there is enough crime in FLA, but it just is not a concern for me.
Lastly, we do love the heat. Granted a perfect weather day would be 65 low/80ish high, but I play pickleball outdoors no matter the temps unless it rains. My DGF has had enough surgeries and her body reacts much better to the humid weather.
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Old 01-09-2021, 12:56 PM   #87
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I truly haven't seem them, but did see them in SE FLA many years ago on vacation.
However, there are definitely enough other creatures. I have seen alligators in the lakes inside my complex. A few snakes here and there. I have had fire ant hills near my lawn at my former house. There are quite a few mosquitoes, especially in the summer, but mostly can sit inside my lanai at night with no issues.
As far as crime, we live in a gated community and the only issues we have heard of are teenagers stealing stuff from unlocked cars. Yes, there is enough crime in FLA, but it just is not a concern for me.
Lastly, we do love the heat. Granted a perfect weather day would be 65 low/80ish high, but I play pickleball outdoors no matter the temps unless it rains. My DGF has had enough surgeries and her body reacts much better to the humid weather.
I think gated community may be the key. I am more a warm weather person but humidity would stop me. I moved to north Texas and I could work outside up to 100 degrees if I drank enough water. In Florida with the humidity, one could not drink enough water. Glad you are enjoying where you live.
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Old 01-09-2021, 01:08 PM   #88
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I have lived in FLA for 3 years and never seen one cockroach or palmetto bug. I believe this mention is overstated.

Agree! Depends a lot on landscaping, house age/construction, cleanliness (clutter, lots of paper products, etc). I prefer plastic bins for any storage over cardboard (which are food for other undesirables too like silverfish). My current home I've seen one. In others a few more... I'd say not 100% avoidable but like anything, they can be mitigated. Palmetto bugs are all throughout the South. I thought they were worse in SC than ever in FL (love the lizards eating them!).
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Old 01-09-2021, 01:13 PM   #89
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Agree! Depends a lot on landscaping, house age/construction, cleanliness (clutter, lots of paper products, etc). I prefer plastic bins for any storage over cardboard (which are food for other undesirables too like silverfish). My current home I've seen one. In others a few more... I'd say not 100% avoidable but like anything, they can be mitigated. Palmetto bugs are all throughout the South. I thought they were worse in SC than ever in FL (love the lizards eating them!).
Yes forgot about the Geckos or more properly named Anoles. They are cute though and even though I see a bunch of them in the lanai, they don't bother me and have never seen one in the house or pool.
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Old 01-09-2021, 05:39 PM   #90
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I'd get the occasional anole in my house in SE FLA. It was good luck. Honestly, the only thing that freaked me out was a tree frog in the shower. It just surprised me! Once I processed what I saw and moved the little guy outside, no problem.

Come to think of it, that house must have been pretty leaky, even though it was brand new (1986).
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Old 01-09-2021, 06:01 PM   #91
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I never saw an anole (never heard of them) until I moved to NC. They still remind me of GEICO commercials
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Old 01-09-2021, 06:37 PM   #92
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I lived in Naples from 1982-1984. Much nicer area then. It would get busy in the winter then, but nothing like now. Spent a month there three years ago, and although there are still things to like about it, the extreme traffic congestion wore me out. Even the back roads were packed. Because of that, we went to the Villages the last two years. It gets busy, but more like Naples in the early eighties. Not overwhelming.
As for bugs in Naples, not a problem in the house. Although everyone uses regular pest control service. I remember that around August, I went out to a restaurant a couple of times after dark and parked in a lit area. Came back to my white car and it was covered with giant bugs, maybe palmetto bugs, not sure. They were kind of hard shelled but were winged and could fly. Did not want to open the car door as I thought they would get in the car. They were about 3 inches wide and 4 to 5 inches long. Only saw them like this for about a two week period in late summer, but it was like something out of a horror movie. Jurassic Park type bugs!
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Old 01-09-2021, 06:56 PM   #93
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I lived in Naples from 1982-1984. Much nicer area then. It would get busy in the winter then, but nothing like now. Spent a month there three years ago, and although there are still things to like about it, the extreme traffic congestion wore me out. Even the back roads were packed. Because of that, we went to the Villages the last two years. It gets busy, but more like Naples in the early eighties. Not overwhelming.
As for bugs in Naples, not a problem in the house. Although everyone uses regular pest control service. I remember that around August, I went out to a restaurant a couple of times after dark and parked in a lit area. Came back to my white car and it was covered with giant bugs, maybe palmetto bugs, not sure. They were kind of hard shelled but were winged and could fly. Did not want to open the car door as I thought they would get in the car. They were about 3 inches wide and 4 to 5 inches long. Only saw them like this for about a two week period in late summer, but it was like something out of a horror movie. Jurassic Park type bugs!
Sounds like Palmetto bugs.
Don't forget the love bugs which come in May and September.
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Old 01-09-2021, 07:26 PM   #94
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.... Don't forget the love bugs which come in May and September.
In May 2019 we were having lunch at the Roof Bar and Eats at the Westin in Sarasota and the love bugs were pesky.... and the Roof Bar is on the 19th floor! I was a bit surprised they would be that high.
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Old 01-09-2021, 08:03 PM   #95
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In Florida, we had a snake in the house, I nearly swallowed a dead roach, have had several lizards in the house, had citrus rats in our garage and shed, had a poisonous bufo toad in our yard. Last week we were swarmed by no-seeums. But it's warm
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Old 01-09-2021, 08:17 PM   #96
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(1) prefer to live in a retirement community, so I can be involved in activities.
(2) I'd like to live where it's at least close enough to drive for a day at the beach, but I don't need to live on a beach or in a beach town
(3) an area less prone to hurricanes
(4) an area with culture: live music, academics, performances, lectures, etc. (I realize its different now in he pandemic)
(5) good quality of healthcare nearby
(6) an area that is at least somewhat progressive
(7) some diversity would be good - I have lived rural and urban, so I am flexible and open minded.

Appreciated!
I would check out Winter Park near Orlando. If you want a little treat for a couple nights, check out Alfond Inn at Rollins College. We caught a free Janis Ian concert there and stayed at the hotel. From there, you can check out the surrounding areas. Winter Park is centrally located to make trips to explore your longer term areas. Florida is very different, so difficult to decide. After living in Melbourne Beach, Daytona Beach, and Windermere, we landed in Dunedin, which might check a lot of your boxes as well.
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Old 01-10-2021, 01:04 AM   #97
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In Florida, we had a snake in the house, I nearly swallowed a dead roach, have had several lizards in the house, had citrus rats in our garage and shed, had a poisonous bufo toad in our yard. Last week we were swarmed by no-seeums. But it's warm
Yep. All that, plus snakes breeding on the front porch, a possum in my garage for 36 hours, iguanas on the pool decking and trees in the front, and raccoons using the pool as a toilet. Plus a persistent ant problem, no matter the pest control regime. And mosquitoes once the sun got over the house. That was SoFla.

In the Panhandle, I've had 10+ bark scorpions in the house, deer tearing up the yard, moles, a centipede in the shower, millipedes, mole crickets, black widows and a brown recluse in the garage, and the local bear raiding my garbage can. Oh, and a young alligator strolling the beach.

I'm not leaving, but I don't think anyone else should move here
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Old 01-10-2021, 03:47 AM   #98
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I have lived in FLA for 3 years and never seen one cockroach or palmetto bug. I believe this mention is overstated.
That is truly amazing. Cockroaches and palmetto bugs are an everyday occurrence. The snakes though are the ones to watch. A black one rapped around me leg when I was cutting the grass. I unleashed a scream jump up and the snake untapped itself and slithered away.
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Old 01-10-2021, 03:51 AM   #99
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When my kid was stationed in Pensacola all the locals I met there referred to the area as 'LA'...Lower Alabama.
Jimmy Buffett who has homes in CA , AL and FL proudly tells his fans he likes to vacation in LA. Not the one in CA but the Lower Alabama one.
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Old 01-10-2021, 03:53 AM   #100
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In May 2019 we were having lunch at the Roof Bar and Eats at the Westin in Sarasota and the love bugs were pesky.... and the Roof Bar is on the 19th floor! I was a bit surprised they would be that high.
If one doesn't remove the love bugs off the front car bumper on a regular basis, it will kill your paint. I walked on a sidewalk into a swarm of the love bugs. Tip of the day - Don't open your mouth. When you swallow one it is not pleasant.
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