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Old 05-02-2013, 12:02 AM   #1
Photoguy
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Moving to Orlando area...palmetto bugs

Okay how bad is it? For those of you that live there year round how unbearable is it? My brother just moved to Florida last July and is trying to convince me to move there as well. But I'm finding out he's neglected to tell me about the negatives. I'm a clean person and I keep a clean house, but I'm hearing with palmetto bugs that doesn't really matter a whole lot. I've read horror stories about people waking up with them in their bed, stepping on them in the middle of the night, etc. Is it common to have them in your home? I just don't know that I could handle giant cockroaches skittering about in my house. Bugs are just not my thing. Thanks everyone!
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:34 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Photoguy View Post
Okay how bad is it? For those of you that live there year round how unbearable is it? My brother just moved to Florida last July and is trying to convince me to move there as well. But I'm finding out he's neglected to tell me about the negatives. I'm a clean person and I keep a clean house, but I'm hearing with palmetto bugs that doesn't really matter a whole lot. I've read horror stories about people waking up with them in their bed, stepping on them in the middle of the night, etc. Is it common to have them in your home? I just don't know that I could handle giant cockroaches skittering about in my house. Bugs are just not my thing. Thanks everyone!
Are they crawling all over? No. Can they pop up occasionally even in the cleanest house? Yes.

I would think the climate in Florida would be a bigger reason for people not to move down here fulltime. The heat, humidity, thunderstorms and threat of hurricanes can make for some miserable summers. If you don't mind living in Florida in July, August and September, a few bugs are nothing.
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:39 AM   #3
ohionola
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Photoguy View Post
Okay how bad is it? For those of you that live there year round how unbearable is it? My brother just moved to Florida last July and is trying to convince me to move there as well. But I'm finding out he's neglected to tell me about the negatives. I'm a clean person and I keep a clean house, but I'm hearing with palmetto bugs that doesn't really matter a whole lot. I've read horror stories about people waking up with them in their bed, stepping on them in the middle of the night, etc. Is it common to have them in your home? I just don't know that I could handle giant cockroaches skittering about in my house. Bugs are just not my thing. Thanks everyone!
Having lived in the midwest and moving to the gulf coast, I can totally agree with the previous poster. The Palmetto bugs can show up in any house. We have an exterminator come and spray once every 6 months and might see 1 or 2 per year. The exterminator told us that he sees them in everything from rundown houses to mansions. There really isnít a way to escape them. If you do research on Palmetto bugs you will find they reproduce in about 8 months. So unlike roaches, if you see 1 there arenít hundreds hiding.
The heat and humidity are the hard parts. If you are from the Midwest, imagine your worst weeks of summer except they last 2-3 months. That is what it is like. On the flip side, the other 8-9 months the weather is great!
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:17 AM   #4
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Having lived in the midwest and moving to the gulf coast, I can totally agree with the previous poster. The Palmetto bugs can show up in any house. We have an exterminator come and spray once every 6 months and might see 1 or 2 per year. The exterminator told us that he sees them in everything from rundown houses to mansions. There really isnít a way to escape them. If you do research on Palmetto bugs you will find they reproduce in about 8 months. So unlike roaches, if you see 1 there arenít hundreds hiding.
The heat and humidity are the hard parts. If you are from the Midwest, imagine your worst weeks of summer except they last 2-3 months. That is what it is like. On the flip side, the other 8-9 months the weather is great!
The climate was a definite concern, but I'd be working from and so during the worst part of the day I'd be indoors anyway. My sister-in-law said it's too hot for her to even go outside and swim in July and August. LOL! Would you agree with that? I kind of look at it like this...typically here in Chicago I have at LEAST 4 months of unusable weather because of cold and snow. Right now for example...yesterday was 82, today will be in the 50's and the next week and a half is a mix of rain and sun and temps in the upper 50's low 60's. It's MAY! And I can use the hottest months in Florida to vacation elsewhere. So I had kind of talked myself past the climate issue, but when this bug thing came up. I picture myself waking up at 3am covered in roaches like some horrible William Shatner low budget movie from the 60's. It was either Colorado or Florida, and Colorado probably gets more snow than Chicago (was looking at Boulder) and Colorado would be awful lonely not knowing anyone and I don't meet people easily working from home.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:24 AM   #5
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We have a condo in FL and have for the past two years. My daughter lives in it full time. The condo sprays the outside. I would be willing to pay for pest control in the inside. We have never had one palmetto bug. We had some ants on a windowsill twice that we took care of with a spray but aside from that we have had no pest problems. To be honest I have more here in Illinois and have Orkin to my home here monthly.

As far as the heat. It can be blistering hot...but so can Chicago. We swim in the summer in FL and IL. I think like anywhere you acclimate to the temperatures so Summer is hardest for Floridians than the other seasons where its more mild...well except when it's 50 out and they all have their parkas on but at any rate yes it can be hot and uncomfortable but you are not sitting on the surface of the sun either.

I am so over the snow and ice of IL. I think you would manage fine in FL.

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Old 05-02-2013, 08:08 AM   #6
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I've lived in Florida all my life. I agree with the others that it is more likely than not at some point during the year you'll see a bug or two in your home, but if you are a tidy person with a good pest control service, it will probably be on its back with its legs twitching. I can't overemphasize the importance of a good pest control service. At various times I've tried "do it yourself" pest control products but only the professionals seem to be able to do a really good job with bugs down here.

This thread reminds me of the another critter issue we have down here. I've grown up with those little chameleons and lizards running around all over the place and I love 'em. They keep the bug population down and if you're a kid they're fun to hang on your earlobes as earrings (they open their mouths and clamp on, lol) Every so often I will have friends from up north or relatives from Europe who will visit and occasionally they will freak out at the little guys - I guess to them they look like miniature monsters - in those cases I will take them to Boca Grande where it's not uncommon to see 3 foot Iguanas running around the streets.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:38 AM   #7
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Palmetto bugs are flying roaches, so they are virtually impossible to keep out of your house. But they are an occasional nuisance by one bug, not an infestation as others have said. And they have nothing to do with cleanliness (or lack thereof); they are an indicator that someone left a door open. We have a lot of lush vegetation all around our house, but we rarely get a palmetto bug inside -- maybe once or twice a year, most recently day before yesterday (but that one was dead thanks to our exterminator).

Lizards are much more common than palmetto bugs, but I think most of us just take them for granted. In our yard, we have chameleons, gekkos, and green anoles. The gekkos occasionally get inside, but we can usually catch them and put them back outside.

On the climate, Orlando's climate is much worse than ours here in Miami. It is beastly hot there in the summer, especially late in the summer. We have thunderstorms too, but we also have a nice sea breeze that cools things off most of the time. 92 degrees is really HOT for us, it's a mild day in Orlando during August-September. Personally, the only discomfort I feel in South Florida is in late August and especially September when month after month of hot weather (for us) just wears you down.

The comments above about cold weather are spot on. We do break out the sweaters and jackets when temps go below 70. I have two good friends who live in Albany, NY and Helena, MT respectively. One of my best days each year is in about late November when I send them an email telling them our temps have plunged down into the 60's!

Good luck with your decision, but don't worry about the bugs.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:00 AM   #8
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I moved from Iowa to Tampa FL 2 summers ago. I have literally seen 2 Palmetto bugs anywhere in the time I have been here, one at Sams Club on a cart and one just this week at my job. We live in a townhouse (think duplex) in a planned community, and lawn service is very well kept as well as pest control every 6 months outside and as needed inside (had some gnats when we first moved in, that's the only time we have needed inside). We get LOTS of frogs, lizards, etc (live on a conservation lot with a retention pond in the back). And we do occasionally get a wasp nest outside on the lanai, which we spray, same as we did in Iowa.

As far as weather, it is definitely HOT in the summer in Tampa and Orlando (only about 70 miles apart), generally hotter in Orlando as less gulf breeze. And yes it is humid, but coming from Chicago you are probably used to hot and humid in the summer. Highs are generally in the 90's, not generally over 100 here, so we definitely had a number of summer days that were hotter in Chicago and Omaha than they were here last summer. We swim, in both pools and the gulf, all summer long. I would say the hottest days in Chicago are likely both hotter and more humid than Orlando, the difference is they are a lot fewer in Chicago. In Florida "summer" weather exists for literally months at 90+. Also, Florida is a tropical environment, expect it to rain, virtually every day in the summer for some amount of time. Usually that will be VERY heavy rain for 30 minutes or an hour a day, sometime between 2 and 5pm.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:32 PM   #9
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ala has them too.

if you make sure your house is sealed -- helps the conditioner too - and as had been noted you kept the doors closed (hard to do with kids) - and spray OUTSIDE these bugs live outside - not inside like regular roaches.

if you open your windows - make sure that the screens are intact and no wholes.

these things are BIG - so you can generally see them.

check your doors - these things will come under the door if it does not meet the seal or above.
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