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Old 02-06-2007, 05:47 PM
 
45 posts, read 111,539 times
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I'll be moving to Arkansas from Canada and I'm wondering about what kind of pesky critters I should be looking out for for my dog (who has a lot of hair) and also my three year old son. Since the climate is so different from what we're used to, I'm sure there are all kinds of different bugs and animals I should be aware of. I'm thinking in terms of snakes, ticks, that sort of thing. Could someone please inform me of what to watch out for? Thanks so much!
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Old 02-06-2007, 06:08 PM
 
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Default Critters

Hi,

Well, I'm not sure how it it in Canada....but here the biggest critter nuisance is the "tick". You will want to treat your animals and your yard. When we first moved here my son had one on his neck, and it really freaked me out. But now, I now the precautions we need to make. There are of course the more common insects, mosquitos, wasps, and spiders...no more than most states. They say the brown recluse is pretty common here, I've never seen one. From what I have read, no one has ever died from one, but they can leave a pretty big scar, only on 10% of the population because that is how many are allergic to them. The recluse is nocturnal, so they say you should get a cat, they tend to keep them away....I got two And snakes, yeah they are here, but they are everywhere....just be smart. Keep you lawn and brush trimmed, and free of hiding places. One thing that was new to me here was the chigger. I really hate those. We went to a friends house, I walked through some long grass, and I had six bites on me. It itched soooo bad. Now I know, don't walk through long brush. It's a learning experience.
I think that's it. If you have any other questions, just ask.

Aliza
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Old 02-06-2007, 06:32 PM
 
45 posts, read 111,539 times
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Wow, that was a fast response! Now, I'll show my total ignorance. A brown recluse is a spider? And what exactly does a chigger look like? If it bites, are there any topical ointments to sooth the bite? How do you go about treating your yard for ticks? And I'd love to have some cats but my dad (who will visit often) is allergic. Do the cities have laws (as in my city) to keep cats indoors or on leash, or are people there okay with outdoor cats?
Linda
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Old 02-06-2007, 10:33 PM
 
132 posts, read 525,884 times
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Hi, we also started a thread about this topic in the Missouri forum, mostly concentrating on the Ozarks area so a lot of the info there may be helpful if you want to check it out.

Chiggers - How do you keep your pets safe?
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Old 02-06-2007, 10:41 PM
 
132 posts, read 525,884 times
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most cheap anti itch cremes you can buy over the counter will help with chigger bites, so it's a good idea to have some stocked by Mother's Day or so and ready to use. It's best not to scratch the bites a lot since it can scar, though it's otherwise harmless. Keeping the lawn cut and staying out of tall grass/weeds will avoid chiggers most of the time. Ticks as I understand it hang out in tree branches and drop when they sense a mammal underneath. I think you would almost need a magnifying glass to see a chigger. In my experience ticks and chiggers both seem to be active only from May to late September (pretty close to last and first frost dates for the area).

Recluses have a "violin mark" on their backs. i've never been bitten by one in 3 decades living in the area but unlike chiggers, they can do some real harm. find out who in your area is a good exterminator, have them treat your house regularly and discourage spiders from living in the house by not having piles of paper sitting around anywhere (it seems to attract them) and vaccuuming in corners and under furniture to tear up any webs and get the occasional egg sac (looks like a cottony little ball the size of a pea or smaller).
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Old 02-06-2007, 10:43 PM
 
132 posts, read 525,884 times
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i just realized we werent just talking about insects and arachnids...you will probably see raccoons at some point. They are very cute, and fun to watch, but don't encourage them to hang around by leaving food out for them. They usually carry rabies (partly because of this the average raccoon doesn't live much longer than 2 years) and a lot of parasites and are a real health hazard at close range.
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Old 02-07-2007, 05:58 PM
 
45 posts, read 111,539 times
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Great information. Thank you so much!
Linda
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:11 PM
 
266 posts, read 831,050 times
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It also depends on where you will be in AR.

I know that the delta area and Little Rock has lots of mosquitoes. I'm about 40 miles west of Little Rock and we have very few mosquitoes. It may be just a local thing because its semi-rural here and we have LOTS of spiders, they probably keep the mosquito population in check.

I had a squirrel take up residence in my walk-out basement, it made a mess with the insulation until I figured out how it was getting in.

Chiggers are my least favorite critter, I get lots of them on the golf course. A 10% Chlorox bath seems to do the trick, except that you smell like Chlorox for a day :-(
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Old 02-08-2007, 06:44 AM
 
113 posts, read 504,525 times
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Don't forget the snakes. We have rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cotton mouths just to name a few. All three poisonous and found all over the state.
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Old 02-08-2007, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Northeast Arkansas
17 posts, read 78,486 times
Reputation: 54
Speaking of snakes. We have a Boa running amok in our town. Rumor is, its belonged to a young man that turned it loose. It was spotted a block from my house last year. I hope it's froze to death by now.

It sure gives me an uneasy feeling when I'm out gardening. Plus I have 2 small house dogs. Its big enough to eat them, or any small animal or child.
When all the excitement was going on here over it, there was 2 small towns, I don't remember where or what state, that was having the same problem with Boa's. The story was on our local news.

I have several yard cats that catches the smaller snakes, and keeps them thinned out. But I don't believe they could handle this Boa.

Is there anything I could put out that would discourage snakes from coming in my yard?
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