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Old 09-07-2008, 11:11 AM
 
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We'll be moving to Wilmington next summer from Oregon and were wondering what wildlife we might encounter there. Are all houses equipped with screens? Any infestations we have to look out for?
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Old 09-07-2008, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Southeastern North Carolina
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My house was infested with fleas when I bought it. And in spite of paying for a home inspector and a pest inspector, this was a surprise to me. I eventually got rid of them using FleaMaxx, a borax product you put in the carpets.

So, you've got fleas, ticks, palmetto bugs (giant cockroaches), mosquitoes, ants, etc.

You'll see a few alligators in Greenfield Lake. I've never seen one anywhere else. There are lots of little lizards (Carolina Anoles) that hang out on porches and stuff, they're cute and harmless and eat bugs. Lots of tree frogs, too. There are snakes. I live in Pender County and have had a few encounters with a pygmy rattler. My neighbors say they've seen copperheads but I never have.

As far as mammals go, I've got possums, squirrels, beavers and deer in the area.
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
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depends on where you venture. alligators are in all the rivers. got to watch those cockroaches! they are totally disgusting. lots of venomous snakes in this area, but only a real concern if you spend a lot of time in the woods. we also have fox squirrels too.
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Old 09-17-2008, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Carolina Beach, NC
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We moved here in mid-July from Raleigh... we live at Carolina Beach and the flies are terrible, as are mosquitoes. Our kids are practically eaten alive at dusk!

We are also having a big problem with spiders, and I'll be honest, we've killed and identified four of those to be black widows, with the red hourglass underside. My husband has sprayed three times around the perimeter of our house, which has seemed to help, but this will need to be a recurring event in my opinion.

We also have fireants, a few roaches -- and I saw a deer last night for the first time! No sign of an alligator, though, or else I might have packed it up already!

It probably seems as though these are issues any house would have, but because our lot is small and we are so close to the ocean, I am surprised by the amount of annoying/frightening insects.
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:49 PM
 
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How does Raleigh compare to Wilmington with regards to bugs and spiders? We might be moving to Raleigh instead.
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Old 09-18-2008, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Carolina Beach, NC
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No comparison between Raleigh and Wilmington! Of course it's fair to say that Raleigh isn't bug/rodent/spider-free, but this is the first place I've lived where I felt very concerned about spider bites and infestation. Again, I think it's due to being so close to the ocean and Cape Fear. I'm guessing living in a bubble is the only real solution.
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Old 09-18-2008, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Southeastern North Carolina
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I went out to check the level of my propane tank yesterday, and when I lifted the lid there was a black widow spider lurking under there.
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Old 09-22-2008, 06:28 AM
 
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Default The Flora and Fauna of Coastal NC

In my humble opinion the Wilmington area of NC is a nice place to live. No matter where you live one will always need to be in sync with the wildlife because you can't fight mother nature. If you live out in the rural areas, you will experience perhaps red fox, black bears, white tail deer, bobcat, perhaps an occasional red wolf, pileated woodpeckers, red tail and coopers hawks, racoons, opposum, muskrats by the lakes and streams, and perhaps even beavers, black racer snakes, corn snakes, hog nosed snakes...

The critters you will need to look out for are as follows: BLACK WIDOW SPIDERS are abundant. BROWN RECLUSE SPIDERS are here as well but not so obvious as their name suggests but their bite, however, is more severe. Cotton Mouth water moccasins are abundante. Two species of rattle snakes can be found here too, although they appear to be more rare their venom is more potent than the water moccasins. The two species are the pygmy and eastern diamondback. In a sense they are less dangerous than other venomous snakes because they will usually warn you with their rattle before they strike, however, there have been reports of these snakes discontinuing this behavior as an adaptation to living with humans.

If you will be living closer to the coastal areas you will have to put up with the mosquitos, gnats, no seeums, palmetto bugs, black flies, etc... along with the spiders mentioned above, and let me NOT forget FIRE ANTS all over the state. In the animalia category alligators thrive in the brackish marshes along the rivers and estuaries. I took my granddaughters to see the Battle Ship NC a couple of years ago and we saw a gator at least ten foot long sunning on the mudbank across the lagoon off the Cape Fear River. Last month we took a ride out to the Orton Plantation and saw several good size gators swimming in the lagoons. While they are not too much of a threat to full grown humans, little children and pets have been attacked especially down in the Suwanee River of Florida.

There are a lot of sharks swimmming the coastal waters of NC. This past May we caught several Scalloped Hammerhead sharks just a couple of hundred yards off the beach near Wrightsville. You can also find bull sharks (which are probably one of the most dangerous sharks known to man). They are very territorial and will attck without warning. I caught and released one about 8' in Masonboro Inlet back in August 2002, and a man and woman were attacked a a bull that same year at Wrightsville beach. Tiger sharks and Sand tigers are here as well along with Bonnet heads, Threshers, Atlantic Sharp Nose, Spinners, Black Tip and Grey reef sharks, etc...

Another critter you will need to be careful of is the sting ray. There are several species of them here. Cow Nose, Yellow, Southern, Atlantic, Butterfly ( has no stinger) can all be found here. We now have the fine distinction of housing lionfish in our waters which can be found farther offshore along the reefs and hard bottoms. So if you fish and catch one cut the line without touching the fish and kill it before throwing it back. This fish is an invading species and wildlife biologists believe it's a threat to indigiones species.

You will also find bobwhite quail, killdeers, ospreys, and occasional bald eagle, a variety of hawks, summer and scarlet tanagers, Loggerhead and Leather Back Turtles nest on the barrier islands, brown pelicans, cranes, egrets, Blue herons, gannets, etc...

There are many beautiful plants here that do not grow up North or some not even inland here. You will find a number of different types of palm trees along the coastal areas of central to southern NC. oliander grows here and produces pretty flowers from mid spring till September but this plant is poisonous. Crepe Myrtle grows well here but leaves huge seeds all over the place. We have some type of azaleas that bloom in early spring until mid June and then again in early September until around Thanksgiving. Knockout roses do well especially with early to mid day sun up against the house foundation. You will neeed to keep Japanese Beetle traps close by though starting around early June.

Your lawn will most likely consist of mostly centipede grass which can be a pain to keep out of gardens and landscaped areas. A lot of the shrubs used are different species of Holly, and perhaps you may have a magnolia tree in your yard. You will most definitly have ahuge Carolina white pine in your yard which will drop hundreds of huge cones in the yard. Live oaks with the beautiful flowing Spanish moss hanging from the huge horizontal limbs can be found especially down by Wilmington, but use caution when waliking under the moss as they can hold large colonies of chiggers. I hope this answers your questions! Good luck, and quite frankly I love living down here!
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Old 10-03-2008, 06:03 AM
 
Location: Carolina Beach, NC
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I agree, living here is absolutely wonderful, and as long as you stop by Home Depot for a vat of insecticide shortly after you move in, all will be well! This is a gorgeous and convenient area... I miss Raleigh less and less each day.
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Old 10-03-2008, 01:25 PM
LLN
 
Location: Upstairs closet
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Alandang: Just remember the five of six people that whined about bugs and critters are a drop in the bucket to the several hundred thousand that did not.

Any coastal area, make that estuarine area, is going to have a lot of "stuff." It is a transition zone, with lots of life. Regrettably, to a minor degree, some of that life is inconvenient. I lived on an island near Wilmington for three years. Never saw a black widow or brown recluse (though the girl that taught in the classroom beside me was bitten by a recluse and that is nasty bite). I saw one king snake in my yard, no others, in yard, but there are snakes around no doubt. Screen porches and bug spray deal with mosquitoes. Fire ants can be a pain. My neighbor and I used to run them back and forth into each others yard. Saw gators fishing, but they do not regularly roam the streets. Contrary to what you might have heard.

Quite frankly if bugs and critters are truly affecting your decision to move to Wilmington, you have issues and you do not need to move down here.

Period.

lln
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