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Thread summary:

Possibly moving to Texas, looking for an Austin home. Any realtor can send me homes for sale ? Also tell me about bugs, scorpions and snakes.

Old 02-06-2009, 11:29 PM
Location: Jersey
2 posts, read 3,468 times
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My husband may possibly be offered a position in the coming weeks that would require us to relocate from New Jersey to Texas. Our range of towns is quite large at the moment. Can anyone recommend any towns near Austin, San Antonio, or Houston that meet the following criteria?

- I'm super concerned about bugs and other pests. We really like some of the Austin suburbs such as Round Rock and Cedar Park, but, I heard nasty rumors about large tree cockroaches , large/poisonous spiders (I am a huge arachnophobe), and dangerous snakes and scorpions
to name a few. Can anyone suggest an area in Central Texas that isn't plagued by these creatures. The roaches, spiders, and scorpions I just couldn't deal with (yes, I'm a big baby when it comes to bugs ). If I woke up in the middle of the night to find amy of these things in bed with me or crawling on me I'd never sleep again. I'm also very worried about my daughter's safety.

- We have a young child so being in a town that had a good school system, preferably one with blue ribbon schools, is very important.

- We want an area with affordable housing that is family friendly, safe, and quite but close to the major cities for entertainment and nightlife.

- Someplace with good shopping.

- Someplace that isn't prone to catastrophic weather.

- Someplace that was within a reasonable driving distance to some body of water would be great too!

Feel free to add any other information that you think would be important or helpful. I really appreciate it!
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Old 02-07-2009, 08:01 AM
Location: Austin
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If you don't like bugs, Texas is not the place for you. Bugs, of all kinds, are everywhere. And did you not hear the reports about Hurricane Ike and how bad the weather got?

I think you need to tweek your list of criteria to more controllable criteria.
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Old 02-07-2009, 08:46 AM
Location: Jersey
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Thanks for your response, FalconheadWest. I absolutely heard of Ike, but, it was my understanding that the majority of damage was done in the coastal cities and towns whereas we're looking at more of a central location. To clarify, we're not looking at moving directly to Houston. Perhaps somewhere around it. Perhaps not. To give you a better idea, we're about an hour outside of NYC which is ideal for us. Of course, we deal with certain weather issues here in Central New Jersey, but, being in a central location cuts down on the severity of most of it so I'm assuming the same is true of anywhere. Maybe I'm wrong, though?

And obviously we have insects here, but, I've been reading horror stories where large and or poisonous spiders are prevalent, where large cockroaches crawl over you as you sleep, and scorpions climb into bed with you. I'm wondering if there are areas where those types of things are not common place or if that is something you have to do with statewide.

Any more thoughts or suggestions? Thanks so much!
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Old 02-07-2009, 09:21 AM
Location: Texas
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I have lived in North Texas most of my life, South Texas for one hell tour year, and now here in Central Texas for almost 2 years.
I have never seen a poisonous spider in my houses or trailers I have lived in, nor had any kind of bugs or roaches crawl over me, and have never seen a scorpion EVER in Texas. (however I did see one in the only few months I lived in New Mexico).
Now, snakes? Um. I dont like to talk about them because of my severe phobia. The largest scariest ones I have seen were in South Texas. In North Texas, I saw them every now and then. Here in Central Texas, in almost 2 years, I have only seen less than a handful (one was dead), and I live way out in the country, I mean real sticks. If you live in the suburbs or cities of Texas, you may never see one!
I saw more snakes in my 3 years in Georgia than I have seen in my whole 44 years lifetime, most of it living in Texas.

I highly recommend Central Texas. Georgetown, Leander, Cedar Park, Marble Falls, Burnet....all close to Austin.
Good luck!

Last edited by NOTAM; 02-07-2009 at 09:23 AM.. Reason: add
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Old 02-07-2009, 09:30 AM
Location: Central Texas
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I've lived in Texas for very close to 60 years now. In the city and in the country. I've seen scorpions during that time - maybe 4 or 5 over 60 years. (Got stung once as a child when I stepped on one barefooted, but I don't hold that against 'em, I'd probably fight back too if a skyscraper stepped on me!) When we lived in Austin, I only saw a snake once, and that was because we lived on a cliff overlooking the green belt. Don't do that if you don't like critters. Likewise, don't live in a new subdivision where the habitat has been disturbed and displaced and the bugs are looking for new homes for themselves - that's where I hear the most stories about scorpions and such in the house.

There are spiders, of course, as there are everywhere, but mostly not huge and poisonous (to humans, anyway). Same thing - use the exterminator and don't buy in a brand new subdivision where you've moved into their neighborhood, and you shouldn't have much of a problem.

You likely see a pattern here. The biggest problems are where people have invaded a habitat and then are shocked and upset that the critters that lived there first are still there. Don't do that, and you should be good to go.

All that being said, and looking at your criteria, I'm thinking Cedar Park might be a good area for you. Good schools, good shopping, relatively close to the lake, affordable, with some more established areas that wouldn't have the problem I mention above, and a short commute to Austin.

Roaches are something else again, but if you have a true phobia and don't want to get help for it, simply use an exterminator regularly and you should be good to go.
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Old 02-07-2009, 09:36 AM
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Issibear07, I've lived in Texas most my life and rarely see snakes and usually only when I'm looking for them. I've seen a couple of tarantulas in west Texas but don't think I've ever seen a live scorpion in Texas. Well, I have but so long ago that it's hardly worth remembering. There's lots of spiders, big ones, little ones, nice ones, nasty ones. Good pest control will help take care of those. It's a pretty common practice, millions use pest control. The little guys are not really out to hurt you.

I did wake up one nite in Houston with those big ugly m*f* roaches crawling on my bed and me. But they are controllable also. I've learned to use Boric Acid in the dark spots of the kitchen and cracks where they might wander.

It really comes down to controlling your environment. That's what we do in the U.S. You'll be fine. NOTAM has a good list of towns to consider. I'd add Brenham, about an hour northwest of Houston. It's where the Blue Bell cows live. Nice rolling plains with grassy fields and spots of trees.

Send off for your Texas Travel Guide... IT"S FREE ! ! ! , even out of state. It may give you some idea of where you want to live. Get it NOW ! ! ! so by time you get here you'll know where you are.
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Old 02-07-2009, 09:42 AM
Location: Somewhere in Texas
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I live in central Texas as well and have seen quite a few scorpions in 30 years, but considering the amount of time, the sightings aren't that bad. I've never seen one outside, only inside my house. Well, there was one outside, in my shoe, that I slipped on (dumb idea without checking) and I was stung. I've lived in two different houses and have seen them in both. The last one that decided to take a run across my kitchen floor was about 2 years ago.

I've seen black widows in my garage and storage building, but never in my house. I have seen two rattlesnakes in my yard/front porch in 22 years at my present location and the house before this one, none. There have been other kinds of snakes in my yard (I think someone called one of them a bull snake). Do they freak me out? Oh, yes. I won't kill a rattlesnake, but I've killed others than I've seen hoping they weren't poisonous as I don't really know one snake from another except rattle and copperhead.

Bugs take time getting used to. I freaked with the June bugs until about 5 years ago when I could finally pick one up and throw it outside. They are very annoying because they fly like they're drunk and can land in one's hair. Cockroaches.....I've seen a few but there is no way in heck if they were as bad as someone has made them out to be that I would live here. I think if someone is overrun with roaches it's because they're dirty and don't do anything about it. Actually, some places do get overrun with them, but one must take that situation and grab control of it right away. They mulitply like there is no tomorrow. I've seen the huge flying ones, but not in my house. You don't need an exterminator. When I moved into my present home, there were roaches here, about 20 I would say and I took the matter into my own hands, a little obsessed about it to say the least, and they didn't last long. You're wasting money with an exterminator.

We also have copperhead snakes that are very poisonous. I've seen those in my sister's yard and my great-nephew (when he was about 9 years) was bitten by one and had to be care flighted to a hospital in the DFW area. All turned out well for him, but it was scary to say the least.

Mosquitoes are awful, crickets are way out of control, but really, one gets used to most of it although it does take a while. One just learns to deal with the bugs. I'd rather have the bugs than the tornadoes or threat of them.
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Old 02-07-2009, 09:55 AM
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I lived in a great expensive new 3 level house in the hills of west of Austin for a bit when I was attending UT Austin and we had a horrible scorpion problem. They got in our shoes and nestled in towels and clothes that were laying on the ground. You had to constantly shake things out and you had to check your bed every single day for scorpions. This was a really nice new housing development out on FM 2222. I only lasted 3 months. I couldn't handle it anymore. I moved. I heard it had something to do with the type of soil or rock that was out there and the fact it was new. The humans are the intruders, not the creatures.

Snakes I only see out in the country, at the lakehouse. Just take your gun and shoot them. Problem sovled. I live in Dallas and don't see any snakes here.

Now the tree roaches, the big ones, they are everywhere. My cats enjoy them. They are great playthings for them. Cats are also helpful for the mice which are everywhere as well, especially in the new housing developments.

The possums will come to your back door and look at you through the glass, but they run away really fast. They can climb fences and it's pretty funny to see them taking their big awkward body up and over a 12 foot privacy fence.

A lot of folks have problems with fire ants, but I don't. The fire ants have run out a lot of the scorpions away.

My #1 hated pest is mosquitos. Hate them, hate them, hate them and they swarm.

Oh, and spiders...yes we have spiders.
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Old 02-07-2009, 12:22 PM
Location: Hutto, Tx
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Out here in Hutto, North East of Austin, is where I'm at. I haven't seen any poisonous snakes here, but I have seen rat snakes and king snakes. They eat rattlesnakes and I guess that's why I haven't seen any out here. I don't think rattlesnakes are really out here, although down the road in Taylor they have them. I only read of one instance in Hutto where someone found a rattlesnake in their garden and animal control came and took it away. I've been here about 4 yrs. now and haven't seen any poison snakes. I hear we have copperheads. But again, never seen one here. I have seen some field mice that got in our garage once to escape the cold, but we quickly ended that. I put out some baits for them. My husband, just for kicks, caught one and threw it in a field. I haven't seen any at all this year. Another thing I didn't realize we had here were rats. Late last year I found 2 dead ones in my backyard. I have no idea where they came from and haven't seen another one, thank God! There has been a lot of building around here and I think it is just displaced animals. Someone probably poisoned the rats and they just ended up in my yard dead (sorry, I know it's Gross!) We have spiders, but haven't seen any poisonous ones, just the garden variety web spinners. Haven't seen any tree roaches here, but on occasion there are the little bitty german ones. I hate any kind of roach, but those don't bother me as much as the tree roaches. They were bad in Houston when I lived there. But, that's what exterminators are for.
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