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Old 01-15-2011, 09:23 AM
 
Location: MICHIGAN
211 posts, read 490,175 times
Reputation: 74

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Hi all! We are hoping to move to Bay Saint Louis (from Michigan) in the next month or so. Being January I don't think bugs are as much of a concern as they would be in the summer, but I want to be prepared and know what to expect. The house we would be living in is 36" off the ground, does that make a difference? We don't have most of these in Michigan so it's all new to us. The bugs and such that I am concerned with are:

~Fire Ants
~Scorpions
~Red Wasps? (never seen one, just heard of them)
~Cockroaches
~Fleas
~Mosquitoes
~Ticks
~Gnats

Is there anything else I should be concerned with? Will my kids be able to play outside come summer, and what should we do to protect them from getting bitten? Will pets be ok outside? How can I keep cockroaches from infesting? What do you do here to protect your food, any special precautions? Do snakes like to go under houses that are raised? This house has a covered porch, but not a screened-in porch, will we be able to sit on our porch in the summer without getting attacked? Are there any plants or flowers I can plant in the yard to keep them away? Will we have to bomb our house every year for bugs?

Thanks so much for any help you can offer!

Last edited by ShabbyChick; 01-15-2011 at 09:33 AM..
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:57 AM
 
Location: The South
767 posts, read 1,999,747 times
Reputation: 687
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShabbyChick View Post
Hi all! We are hoping to move to Bay Saint Louis (from Michigan) in the next month or so. Being January I don't think bugs are as much of a concern as they would be in the summer, but I want to be prepared and know what to expect. The house we would be living in is 36" off the ground, does that make a difference? We don't have most of these in Michigan so it's all new to us. The bugs and such that I am concerned with are:

~Fire Ants
~Scorpions
~Red Wasps? (never seen one, just heard of them)
~Cockroaches
~Fleas
~Mosquitoes
~Ticks
~Gnats

Is there anything else I should be concerned with? Will my kids be able to play outside come summer, and what should we do to protect them from getting bitten? Will pets be ok outside? How can I keep cockroaches from infesting? What do you do here to protect your food, any special precautions? Do snakes like to go under houses that are raised? This house has a covered porch, but not a screened-in porch, will we be able to sit on our porch in the summer without getting attacked? Are there any plants or flowers I can plant in the yard to keep them away? Will we have to bomb our house every year for bugs?

Thanks so much for any help you can offer!
I think you have read to much about how bad things are in MIssissippi.
Fire ants .If you see a mound in your yard, use fire ant poison
Scorpions . Mash them
Red Wasps. Wasp spray
Cockroaches..Keep your house clean spray if you see them
Fleas. I don't own a dog. If you do, you know the drill
Mosquitos. DEET
Ticks. If you go out in the woods DEET
Gnats. During the season when gnats are present, stay inside as much as possible. DEET helps a little.
Snakes. Leave them alone, you will probably never see one.
Open porch. At certain times bugs won't be a problem. Screen porches are nice.

I treated my house about every 6 months with the kits sold by WalMart.

Its really not that bad.
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:35 PM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
13,487 posts, read 8,494,000 times
Reputation: 19629
I just wanted to second the comment about scorpions. They're rare, but squash 'em good.

When we lived in Texas we found a live scorpion in the dishwasher after it had run through a cycle. He wasn't feeling real good, but he was still kickin'!

I was so impressed that I took him outside and let him go.. I hope he lived a long and productive life..
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:46 PM
 
Location: MICHIGAN
211 posts, read 490,175 times
Reputation: 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by mccarley View Post
I think you have read to much about how bad things are in MIssissippi.
Fire ants .If you see a mound in your yard, use fire ant poison
Scorpions . Mash them
Red Wasps. Wasp spray
Cockroaches..Keep your house clean spray if you see them
Fleas. I don't own a dog. If you do, you know the drill
Mosquitos. DEET
Ticks. If you go out in the woods DEET
Gnats. During the season when gnats are present, stay inside as much as possible. DEET helps a little.
Snakes. Leave them alone, you will probably never see one.
Open porch. At certain times bugs won't be a problem. Screen porches are nice.

I treated my house about every 6 months with the kits sold by WalMart.

Its really not that bad.

I hope it's not that bad, but I want to be prepared as I said. Friends in Florida have told us some things to beware of, but I'm not sure Mississippi will have the same issues as Fla. Keep in mind, I am a native Northern Michigander who has no idea what most of these things even are. For instance, I don't even know what a fire ant mound looks like in the first place! Or gnats-what do they look like, and which season are they present? Will scorpions get in my house, in my kids shoes, as they do in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Florida? And I'd be too scared to "mash them"-yuck!!! Are red wasps more aggressive than regular wasps (which are bad enough)? I've read that there are huge mosquitoes that carry west nile virus in Mississippi, is this true? Will brown recluse spiders get in my house? Black widow spiders? These are serious concerns for me and my family. While my questions may seem silly to you, I assure you I am serious and not just being paranoid. Can someone helpful please tell me honestly what we can expect, when to expect it, and what to do to treat or prevent a problem, without being condescending or minimizing my concerns.

Thank you!
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:42 PM
 
Location: North Jackson
1,961 posts, read 3,157,868 times
Reputation: 2537
The fire ants are not really a problem. Treat any mounds you see, treat your entire yard if you want.

Scorpions are more of a desert bug than a Mississippi thing. I've never seen one. I have seen crayfish, which people might mistake for a scorpion...

Red wasps, I see them. Other than being scarier-looking than black wasps, I don't see any behavior difference. Regardless, any wasp of any color I see gets hit with wasp spray.

My dog manages to find every snake skin in my yard, but I nor my kids (who play outside all the time) have never seen a snake.

For sure there are things down here that can kill you. When outside you don't reach under stuff blindly, you don't crawl under your raised house on a lark. A brown recluse is called a "recluse" for a reason - he's not trying to be seen. So don't stick your hand into a hole without thinking...
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:36 AM
 
474 posts, read 718,187 times
Reputation: 883
a fire ant mound is just that, a mound of dirt. they can be as small as a soup bowl or as large as a dirt pile. larger mounds have enough ants to kill you, if you have a huge one call in a pro.

your best bet is to hire an exterminator and have them treat the yard and home quarterly, this will limit most bugs.

Mosquitos are a problem nearly year round, the colder months you usually only see a couple indoors. but during spring/summer/fall be prepared not to go outside at night without DEET. West Nile is an overblown issue, just like everything else the media blows it out of proportion. listening to them you would think thousands die here every year from it, in reality is less than 10 folks state wide and most of them are up here in the delta!

for cockroaches, keep a clean house. don't leave food open and laying around, and take the garbage out regularly. this along with quarterly spraying pretty much eliminates them and most other bugs.

as to red wasps, they are very aggressive. the warmer it is, the more aggressive they are. if you spot a nest wait until after dark to spray it. use minimal light, they don't fly much in darkness and a bright light will make them fly around. i spray my whole house exterior 2-3x a year with Malathion, this keeps most wasps at bay. but i do not recommend it's use by folks who do not know how to use it. i spray only when the wife/kids are gone for a few hours and i wear a respirator, safety goggles, and clothes that fully cover my body. once it dries it is safe, but when liquid it can cause all sorts of illness or even death!

lastly, snakes are a problem out in the country. in town they are around but not nearly as much. if you have a lot of snakes it usually means you have a lot of rodents. get rid of the rodents and the snakes will leave. i kill poisonous snakes due to my kids, non-poisonous ones i relocate if the wife spotted it or leave it alone if she did not.
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:51 AM
 
Location: MICHIGAN
211 posts, read 490,175 times
Reputation: 74
Thank you guys for answering my questions! I think we will definitely spray the yard and house quarterly. YIKES, those bees sound awful! And I had no idea fire ants could kill you! Our first year here should be........interesting. But we are excited!

As far as cockroaches, I know to keep things clean, but what about the pantry? Will I have to put everything in special containers or what???? Can you explain to me exactly what you do with food storage to keep ants and roaches out?
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:29 AM
 
474 posts, read 718,187 times
Reputation: 883
no, just means don't leave open food laying around everywhere.

as to ants killing you, yes they can but it is rare. just pointing out that you should teach the kids to stay away from ant mounds. i have had dozens of stings at a time from fireants(they sting not bite) and it can be rather painful. they leave little bumps with a white puss pocket in the middle. when you get hundreds or even thousands, that is when it can be fatal. of course some folks can go into anaphalactic(sp) shock from just a sting or two. i keep some Ortho Fire Ant killer around, and when i see a new mound i simply sprinkle it over it and by the next day they are dead. you can also go non-chemical on them, simply flood the mound with a water hose over night, they will move. it may be 3 feet away or it may be to your neighbors, if they stay in your yard just do it again! ;-)
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:00 PM
 
Location: MICHIGAN
211 posts, read 490,175 times
Reputation: 74
There are a few large fire ant hills in the yard that my kids just found, red ants all over them. We will get the Ortho you recommended! Thanks again!
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