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Old 12-09-2006, 12:57 PM
2 posts, read 6,823 times
Reputation: 11


Hands down, the worst problem with more than 4 legs in Southwest Missouri is ticks . How bad they are will depend on (1) how close you live to a wooded area, (2) how close you live to a river or creek, (3) how much rain you've had, how much you or your pets go running around in areas with tall grass. I grew up in an area adjacent to some woods and spent most of my childhood building treehouses there. Some years, the ticks weren't a problem, other years, there was no escaping them. Full-grown dog ticks weren't as much of a nuisance as "seed ticks" and chiggers. They're hard to even see without a magnifying glass, but their bites itch worse than chicken pox and can make you pretty miserable. Generally, if you live in a developed area, you won't have as much of a problem with ticks, but sooner or later you'll encounter them.

As far as snakes go, I think I only saw 2 or three of them the whole time I grew up in the Joplin area, but that's just me. I encountered a huge one crossing a path in the woods one day and found a baby copperhead on a rock in the same area once. I heard other people talk about a problem with water moccasins in some areas next to rivers.

Spiders... my ultimate phobia . I never saw a single tarantula-class spider the entire time I grew up in this area. My mom told me that as a kid she saw scorpions in their house, but I never saw a single one of these either . This area DOES have some pretty large, yellow-black, and spindly-looking spiders that build their webs mostly around farm areas, and if one of THOSE suckers ever gets on an arachnophobic individual, they will pass out for sure. I almost had a coronary when one got on me.

The cicadas (called locusts by the hillbillies in the area ) are pretty interesting to watch. They leave their shells in trees all over the place. Driving at night in this area can be interesting because some years the moth population is overwhelming and your windshield will be solid with them in no time at all. I live in Colorado now, so I don't see much of this problem, but it was always bad in Missouri.

Lots of fireflies around ponds and woods, though. Very interesting to watch.

Last edited by Nightvoice; 12-09-2006 at 01:03 PM.. Reason: Forgot something
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Old 12-23-2006, 02:28 PM
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Default Ok!!!! Bugs

I live in Washington State, I'm originally from Alaska. Now in Alaska we don't have lots of bugs because they don't survive the cold cold winters. But let me tell you the mosquito population is horrific... Alaska also has cockroaches;
Not the giant kind you find in some states but they are just as nasty. There are also spiders and lots of bees. When I moved to Washington 8 eight years ago, much to my surprise!!!there are bugs here that I never knew existed. The first time a giant spider landed in front of my face while decending it's web I almost fainted. I was reminded of Miss Muffet on her Tuffet. Then there are those big black ants that swarm in mass every summer. But to top it all off there are the mighty SLUGS. Oh my goodness...never have I ever seen such huge huge slimmy creatures, they invade every place in the garden, and eat everything they can, and they are so brave, they group together and warm themselves in the sun right out in the open. Oh,and I almost forgot the red bellied fat spider, they live in colonies, and gosh are they ugly. But after eight years here, I've never gotten bit or stung, and have learned to live with the invasion of the slugs. I guess it's all a matter of perspective. I have seen the most beautiful garden snakes, and wonderful looking flower spiders. So there are the positives also. I've had wonderful butterflies make their homes in my garden. I've learned to embrace the nature of this new place. It's just learning how to live with mother nature.
Any new place has it's challenges. Joplin sounds great.
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Old 12-29-2006, 03:01 AM
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I was born and raised in the Springfield area and now I'm in Nixa. I love it here. The bugs really are not a problem. I have never seen a tarantula here, although I know they are around. I've seen a scorpion once and that was deep in the woods. Snakes, I will see a garden snake maybe once a year, that's it. I think the worst thing is the spiders. Most are completely harmless. However the brown recluse is plentiful here. I have them in my house. Actually 95% of homes in Mo have them but they just are not seen. I see the ones here, and I kill them. If I find them outside I leave them alone but any spider that gets around my children must die. Love the lightening bugs in the summer. And the "locusts" are really neat to watch, like Nightvoice said.

The humidity really isn't that bad either. Sure there are some pretty hot days here but not unlike any other area. The great thing about SWMO is that there is actually 4 different, beautiful seasons to enjoy.
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Old 03-15-2007, 10:01 PM
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Default Helping out

Im am from south east missouri and we have alittle bit of every thing it's a great place to live we dont have a really bad problems. It just depends on the area you are wanting to live at like in branson where it is more rocky and less forests, you will encounter ur rattle snakes, scorpions, and trantulas. How ever if live in the woods like me you will get ur copper heads, ur ticks and some spiders which seldomly show up. The Closest Town To us i Popular Bluff and Cape Gerirado, oh and sikeston. But The Humidy is mild just like the weather some times we have some hot day and some cold days with the season just like every other state probably just a little bit more mild. We don't have no problems with ticks really all u got to do is burn a few leaves around ur house which will elimnate any problems with snakes, ticks , scorpions, or spiders trying to hid in them. all in i like living here the air is alot cleaner to so u can breath a little easier. Have fun if u move here buy a 4 wheeler and go spin out down a trail or go mudding which is fun as heck!!
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Old 03-15-2007, 10:24 PM
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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I used to live in Indiana when I was very young, from 2 - 7 yrs old and we lived on a farm. There was lots of buggage. I have learned that the more green the land and trees then there will be bugs. I currently live in Las Vegas, NV which has snakes, scorpions, black widows, brown recluse spiders, very few mosquitos, and some serious ants, little ants but mean. I have lived here for over 25 years and have only seen a handful of tarantulas ( and that was at the Valley of Fire State Park and hour out of town) never seen a snake and I hike in the mountains and hills all of the time. I have never seen a brown recluse even though I know a few people that have been bitten. Plenty of black widows each summer. Oh and lovely Sun Spiders that are commonly mistaken for tarantulas because they are rather on the BIG side with hairy legs. Not fury or heavy like tarantulas but skinny like daddy long legs with hair. Anyways, what I'm trying to say is that as long as you are aware of what is out there then you can take steps to avoid them as much as possible. I don't like bugs but they are a fact of life and I am willing to mingle with them a little bit in order to reap the rewards of having some greenery instead of this dry desert. The humidity from what I remember as a child can be rather thick feeling in the summer but would imagine that you would get used to it after awhile, or at least learn how to work around it.
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Old 03-16-2007, 07:38 AM
Location: Ava, Mo
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Default Not too Worried about bugs

Will be moving near Ava in the very near future. Was down there last August and it was HOT. It was in the 100's everyday. But I did not find it unbearable. When we were there in May ticks were a little "aggressive" especially on my little Pug, but, I try to keep a pair of tweezers in my pocket for such an occasion. But in August we hardly saw any ticks. Had no problem with chiggers. And we ran around our mountain with "not much on" My hubby is the one that is freaking out about spiders, he hates them. My phobia is snakes! But I really am not to worried about that either. I love Missouri and can't wait to be there.
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Old 03-16-2007, 01:14 PM
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i was fed up with california too, but i didn't make it to missouri although it was on my mind. instead we are living in Oklahoma in the foothills of the ozarks.

i happen to like most bugs or many, i don't know yet. i got some praying mantis eggs that i hope hatch, but maybe there are plenty here anyway. we have all of the same things here as you would in Mo. I am not looking forward to some things, and living in the woods like I do i am being eaten alive by poison ivy or sumac that i have been pulling out and can't identify yet due to no leaves. then ticks are a problem. frontline for dogs is a must.

i think i am going to have a fun summer. and i am already concerned about the humidity, but you know what, i would rather be in the midwest than in california.

and there is nothing like lightning bugs. i just love them.
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Old 03-16-2007, 10:50 PM
Location: Las Vegas, NV
76 posts, read 354,851 times
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When I lived in Indiana I just loved to watch the lighting bugs. When I lived in Arizona we used to get swamped with locusts. They never used to be too bad here in Nevada but in the past few years they seemed to have gotten worse. I do love the pictures. They are creepy spiders but beautiful colors and good to know what they look like.
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Old 03-16-2007, 11:18 PM
Location: SW MO
1,238 posts, read 4,118,297 times
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Here in Carthage, we have had 2 new bugs show up in the last couple years- I believe one was the "straw itch mite" which is like a chigger that lives in town. It happens with very wet spring conditions that continue into summer. I started using OFF just to sit on my pool furniture or I would start itching.(There is a lovely floral scent that works well). Last year we became inundated for some reason with "box elder bugs". They are harmless, but a nuisance because they hang around the south side of the house and come in I-don't-know-how. I'm just finding dead bugs on the floor, and sweeping them up. My friend has been finding loads of ladybugs in her house! Isn't that supposed to foretell good luck?
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Old 03-16-2007, 11:26 PM
Location: SW MO
1,238 posts, read 4,118,297 times
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Almost forgot- I have had 3 pet tarantulas, 2 caught in the wild and one store bought. The first was in the 1980's-we brought it home from the Shephard of the Hills in Branson in a paper cup. The second was found in Cassville. Both tamed down and could be handled easily. The third was from Mexico, bought at a pet store, and it NEVER became friendly enough to handle.

Please be aware if you live in Missouri your dogs should be given heartworm medication year-round, we frequently have warm enough winters that they can get mosquito bites all year. It is a terrible thing to have a pet die of an easily preventable disease.
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