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Old 02-20-2017, 09:52 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
176 posts, read 180,815 times
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Hi I was considering the north Raleigh area to move to from NJ. I'm planning a visit in April.

So I know that black widows, fire ants, and copperheads are some of the potential dangers. If your yard is well maintained, are they a problem still? How often do you treat your yard to keep ants away and does it work?

My dogs are inside dogs but I would like to let them out freely in the yard when they like..is that done in NC? Can you take your dogs on a hike in the woods or would you personally say whooaa venomous biting creatures are too common for that!

Thank you!

P.S. I did read quite a few posts about them. I just need a perspective from the dog people please
I have brown recluses where I am now, and saw an AWFUL wound from a bite a year ago while in the hospital (student nurse here) but really they don't bother. So if the widows and snakes in NC are like that, I'm not very worried. Need more reassurance though!
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Old 02-20-2017, 10:07 PM
 
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Been here two years and have never seen any of the above. We have woods behind our house.

Maybe I need to get out more....
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Old 02-20-2017, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Triangle area North Carolina
304 posts, read 233,870 times
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My dogs and I moved here from northern NJ and so far we have not had any major problems.

I keep the fenced yard closely mowed and clean, and so far, touch wood, the biggest concerns have been on the level of small amounts of rabbit poop and bare spots.

There are, however, far more ticks here than where I was in Bergen County. Frontline does not seem to work here (my dogs got fleas, and a tick) so we've switched to nexgard. I keep their hair short (poodles) and they are checked frequently.

It is not wise (and not legal in most places) to let dogs roam in unfenced areas. As far as hiking is concerned, again, most public places have leash laws. We walk frequently in wooded areas. I will say that I prefer winter for walking in the forests as the ticks are not so active.

I once had ants in the house and the exterminator came and they are gone.

Now if you really want a laugh, and something real to worry about, go see my post

//www.city-data.com/forum/ralei...og-garage.html
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Old 02-21-2017, 01:24 AM
 
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If you live near a lake or creek, you will have snakes. It doesn't matter how maintained your yard is, they will want to nest and lay eggs under your porch or in your crawl space. Rake your leaves because copperheads blend in very well. Don't worry though, they won't try to hunt your cats or dogs, and they scurry away pretty quickly when they feel threatened. Snakes also like to lay on warm pavement after the sun goes down, so carry a flashlight if you take the dogs out for a walk after dark in the summer time.

I've seen many black widows but never known anyone who has been bitten by one. Black widows rarely leave their web and the web itself is easy to spot, as it is just a cluster of silk compared to other spiders who make geometric patterns. If you shine a flashlight on a widow she will run away into the shadows. Brown Recluses on the other hand are a different story. I've known two people who've had recluse bites and it definitely requires a rush to the hospital. Recluses don't run, they stand and fight. Always use caution when working in the attic or shed or pretty much any place that is dark and quiet most of the time.

Fire ants aren't anything to worry about. My dog has stuck her snout in the wrong place a few times. The bites can be a little itchy and look like pimples for a day or two but nothing to go to the vet over.

Always check them for ticks after a hike. We also have chiggers down here, which are tiny little red bugs that dig into your skin and itch really, really bad. You will probably also see a spider-cricket or two, but they are harmless.

I wouldn't worry about snakes or spiders too much. In NC you are more likely to have an encounter with a deer running in front of your car than you are to have a snake or spider bite.
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Old 02-21-2017, 06:35 AM
 
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I've lived in Johnston and Wake Co. areas and never had a pet bitten by a snake. Snakes don't want to be seen any more than you want to see them. Hiking with dogs is very, very common.
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Old 02-21-2017, 06:36 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
520 posts, read 958,867 times
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Ditto on what the others have said.


We have a small (1/2 acre) yard & our guy has a fence around 1/2 of that. He runs around most days in our yard with no issue. Our biggest concern is him wanting to introduce himself to a skunk some day


You'll need to treat for ticks & heartworm -- but I think that is common almost everywhere anymore.
We go out a lot & he has no issues. Just use common sense (stay on the trail, etc) & keep an eye on him.
We really like Little River & Eno for hiking/walking with the dog.


If you are going to walk paved trails, try to go early / later in the summer. That hot pavement is a big problem for some dog's feet. That is why we like the parks - shaded & the dirt is a bit cooler.
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Old 02-21-2017, 06:46 AM
 
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Three dogs - 70 pound mutt, 30 pound mutt, 10 pound mini-dachshund (don't ask). We have a fenced in back yard that goes right up against the woods and a small pond. Lots of wildlife back there. We have a doggie door as well, so the dogs come and go as they please. We keep the yard itself well maintained and clear of piles of yard debris that attract snakes, but we have still come across a few copperheads in the yard. And we have lots of spiders as well. My 30 pound mutt got bit by a brown recluse once. It was pretty gross as it healed, but interestingly enough, the vet said that dogs can handle brown recluse (and copperhead) bites better than humans can.

We take the two larger ones for hikes at Eno River quite a bit, and we have seen a few snakes there as well, both while hiking and while taking a dip in the river. Never had a problem, though.

So I guess what I'm saying is that depending on the area and the level of actual nature you want to encounter, your concerns are valid. However, these critters aren't behind every corner just waiting to hurt your dogs, and a little common sense goes a long way. Also, don't get a mini-dachshund. No common sense! On three different occasions we have had a crazy injured wild goose, a copperhead, and two foxes in our yard. The other two dogs...barked but kept their distance. Mini-dachshund? Went right after all three like the little idiot fighter she thinks she is. She's small enough that sometimes I worry about the hawks and owls taking a liking to her, yet she thinks she's going to take on a fox? Anyway - I say don't worry about it! Come on down and let your dogs enjoy.

Edit: We don't treat our yard for anything other than mosquitoes (the pond attracts them), and that's for my comfort more than the dogs. We've never had an ant problem.

Last edited by DKEBeck88; 02-21-2017 at 06:49 AM.. Reason: Update on yard treating
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Old 02-21-2017, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
4,777 posts, read 5,539,025 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abirdinahand View Post
How often do you treat your yard to keep ants away and does it work?
I have only had the occasional problem with Fire Ants, that Amdro will take care of.

A more frequent issue is moles/voles. If you use something that kills the grubs, the voles will go elsewhere. With less burrowing critters and associated food, things like snakes also tend to go elsewhere.
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Old 02-21-2017, 08:00 AM
 
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We have a dog and 2 cats. You'll see all of the wildlife mentioned above but probably won't have any issues. Sugar ants are the bigger problem and they will get in your house occasionally. We did have a dog get bitten by a copperhead which led to an expensive vet bill but she was fine. But that was our dog who likes swimming in creeks and chasing balls. She was chasing a ball into the creek and stepped on the snake. Highly unlikely otherwise.
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Old 02-21-2017, 08:42 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
176 posts, read 180,815 times
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Hi Marialidia,

Ooh sugar ants were a problem when I lived in north NJ. Of all the bugs and slithery things I encounter in south Jersey, not one ant to speak of in the house here! I did have 1 brown recluse friend on the back porch. He was there when we first moved in and didn't care when I walked around or turned on the porch light, but he didn't come after me or anything, so I don't mind THOSE types of spiders

Ticks are a problem where I live, I think because it's an underdeveloped area, and in the pine barrens. The first day I moved here I took my dogs to Wells Mills park, in August, and we came out with hundreds of ticks. The next week I took them to Allaire state park, maybe 50 ticks from there. The vet said they must have stepped in a tick nest and had seed ticks on them. I put them on a white sheet and just tried to comb them all off. I like to let the dogs have freedom when I'm out, with long leashes, or I walk in tall grass too but I learn where/what times of year I can and can't do that!

Part of what attracts me to Raleigh is the nature and parks you have there and in the rest of NC

I sent you a mention about the frogs here in south jersey! They sound like cicadas but they're tiny. I did encounter a large snapping turtle though while walking a trail but no huge frogs.

Thank you for your reply!
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