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Old 07-03-2007, 05:31 AM
 
14 posts, read 54,997 times
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This will probably sound a liittle paranoid, but I have been reading a lot about fire ants, killer bees, spiders etc. in florida and I am wondering if it is safe for children to play outdoors. I am moving down soon from upstate NY with two small children who love to be outside. We don't have many of those pests up here and I guess I am just looking for some advice from parents who are raising their kids in an area where these dangers are present. Are fire ants a constant nuisance or an occasional problem? I don't read often about any killer bee attacks, so am I safe in assuming it's not much of an issue? Any input would be appreciated!
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Old 07-03-2007, 05:54 AM
 
Location: Florida
1,738 posts, read 7,511,993 times
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All I did was play outside, growing up in florida.

Fire ants are just part of life here, I've never met a killer bee, and spiders are keeping the mosquitos down, so we don't harm them. I only see bugs in the house after a good rain ...they are drowning outside and most likely were hiding in the door corner when I opened the door.

you can treat your yard for fireants and be ontop of that in the summer months.

keep the spiders they are so good! ...some get big, but they aren't hunting you down ...just eating bugs! We have a HUGE spider on our back porch and I refuse to knock him down or let anyone touch him. He's eating the bugs that get on the porch and it's very appreciated!

hope that helps!
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Old 07-03-2007, 06:12 AM
 
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I've never met a kid in Florida who doesn't play outside.
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Old 07-03-2007, 06:21 AM
 
Location: 32082/07716/10028
1,346 posts, read 1,678,165 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleH View Post
This will probably sound a liittle paranoid, but I have been reading a lot about fire ants, killer bees, spiders etc. in florida and I am wondering if it is safe for children to play outdoors. I am moving down soon from upstate NY with two small children who love to be outside. We don't have many of those pests up here and I guess I am just looking for some advice from parents who are raising their kids in an area where these dangers are present. Are fire ants a constant nuisance or an occasional problem? I don't read often about any killer bee attacks, so am I safe in assuming it's not much of an issue? Any input would be appreciated!
my kids are at the beach almost everyday
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Old 07-03-2007, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Central FL
1,683 posts, read 7,582,270 times
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All the time!! Never saw any killer bees. Fireants can be a problem, but just watch for mounds of them in your yard. A little poison on them and they are gone.

A story about fireants. My son got an Airplane Car for Christmas when he was about 3. Of course, he was outside riding it right away. Another nice thing about living in Florida - on Christmas afternoon all the kids are outside playing with their bikes, etc.

He drove straight into a fire ant pile by the sidewalk in our neighbor's yard. By the time I got to him was covered with biting ants. I did the only thing I could think of to do....I grabbed him up and ran to the shower with him, put him under there clothes and off and took the clothes off in the shower. The water washed away the ants immediately.

Right away I made a paste of baking soda and water and covered the bites. This takes the sting out immediately. I let it dry....put him in the shower again to wash it off and then applied the paste one more time. Within the hour he was fine - off and playing again.

The baking soda and water idea is a great one to use for bug bites and stings.
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Old 07-03-2007, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Vero Beach
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My kids play outside - just not so long in the summer due to the heat but they are always out in the winter time...
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Old 07-03-2007, 10:17 AM
 
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Thanks so much for the quick responses! That is the reassurance I needed. I appreciate it-especially the tip about the baking soda paste! I will keep that in mind.
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Old 07-03-2007, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Downtown Raleigh, NC
2,086 posts, read 6,946,734 times
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I grew up in FL and survived after spending most of my childhood outside. The fire ants can definitely cover a 5 year old head to toe within seconds of stepping in a large mound, but all you have to do is hose them down to get the ants off (I know from experience!). Once your kids learn what the mounds look like, they'll know how to avoid them, or just stick things into them and watch the ants come out, all the while avoiding bites.

I only got stung by wasps twice in my 26 years of FL living. Never got spider bites, but just educate yourself on what to look for as far as brown widows and brown recluses - their bites can be nasty.

I think mosquitos are the biggest nuisance out of all those things, because you can't really avoid them.
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Old 07-03-2007, 02:36 PM
 
Location: downtown Sarasota
4,726 posts, read 12,428,375 times
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Children do play outdoors...however, they are usually in a pool....especially during the months of June, July, Aug, Sept.....otherwise, they will cook like an egg.....

I think they teach fire ant 101 in first grade now...most kids adapt pretty well, it's the transferred adults we really worry about.

Unless you're at the beach, next to the shoreline, or in a pool, would you want to be out in 95 degree weather for an unlimited amount of time?
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Old 07-03-2007, 04:14 PM
 
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I was raised in Florida and we played outside year round. The grass can be ichy, but kids adapt. Kids do learn to watch out for fire ants and parents can sprinkle special poison on the ant hills. P.E. class in the heat can be difficult. We used our screened in porch a lot too. I think kids in Florida often learn not to be wimpy or fearful of nature and hot weather. It can be fun to collect lizards and bugs or maybe turtles then let them free. They probably will need more frequent bathing. Just be home before the street lights come on.
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