mlwschultz(z5 ME)March 26, 2005

How buggy is it down there (mosquitoes, gnats, etc.)? Is it bad enough to make it miserable to work in the yard? What do you do about it, if so? Are there poisonous insects/snakes? Do you see them often? What about pests that affect dogs when they are out in the yard?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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I am new to Coastal North Carolina, but I will tell you what I know. I have found 3 snakes in the last 2 days...all non-poisonous. They tend to hang out where the leaves have not been raked for many seasons or long grass that doesn't get mowed regularly. I'll definately be doing this regularly now that I live here! I recently asked a local native and he told me that the venomous snakes tend to not be found when there are non-venomous snakes are around for some reason. He also told me that many of the venomous snakes stay near the waterways or in storm drains and ditches. I try to use long handled rakes and tools until I get the beds cleaned out so I can see dirt. I also make sure I wear "real" shoes and not the sandles I am used to wearing in Las Vegas or in California. There seems to be a lot of bugs here, but there are ways of managing them. People spray their lawns here, make sure there is no standing water, grow certain nicotiana species and other repellant types of plants. I do notice a lot of the porches tend to be screened though. There are heartworms here and the medicine can be purchased for you pets online. I know we get ticks too, but there are plants you can grow to discourage them and again, meds to give the dogs that can be purchased at the vet or on-line. Are you thinking of moving here or are you already here? Don't let what I have said scare you off, I still think this is incredibly beatiful country and I would rather be here than anywhere else I have ever lived.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 2:33PM
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mlwschultz(z5 ME)

We are thinking of moving to SC, somewhere near Charleston. We are going to be visiting the area next month. Just want to make sure we are considering all the pros & cons. Thanks for your help!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 3:02PM
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Laaz(z8b SC)

I'm in Charleston. Once the humidity kicks in (Early - mid May) The bugs are out in force. Mosquitoes, gnats, sand fleas, etc... The only poison insects I know of are the Black widows & Brown Recluse. I see black widows all the time but rarley see a recluse. Snakes on the other hand are very common & yes there are quite a few poison ones. I killed a copperhead last week while mowing the lawn (didn't see him). Whe have copperheads, coton mouths, rattlers and they say coral snakes but I have yet to see one. We also have quite a few non poison snakes liker garter, black racer, corn, green ribbon, etc... we also have a gator in just about every pond, lake and river...Hehe

    Bookmark   April 17, 2005 at 6:02PM
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gurley157fs(zone 7/8sc)

Yes, we do have all the above. However we also have year-round gardening.
I am originally from Illinois - my first year here was a little difficult to say the least, getting used to all of the 'creepy crawleys'. That was offset though by the beautiful camellias that I can grow that bloom in the winter, year-round grass for my horses, vegetables of some sort all winter, no frost line, no snow, no snow, no snow. I am also captivated by the swamps and marshes and the beautiful things that grow and live there. There is nothing more beautiful to me than to see herons and egrets perched in trees dripping with spanish moss.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2005 at 10:54PM
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mlwschultz(z5 ME)

We visited Charleston a few days ago & absolutely loved it! We know we'll have to deal with creep crawlies of all different types. There were so many plants that we didn't recognize & it was strange to see Sago Palms used as understory plants when they are a houseplant at home. We need to get jobs, then a house with enough land so we have enough room to garden once we can do so year-round.

Thanks for your input!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2005 at 9:46AM
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How buggy is it down there (mosquitoes, gnats, etc.)? Answer: VERRRRRYYYYY buggy, and there seems to be new varieties coming online every day. I expect that would apply to Charleston also. Here, a bit off the coast, we don't usually have the little devils known as no-seeums. And that is a blessing, but the folks along the coast have them in abundance. The critters are almost invisable but thier bite is very noticable and it hurts. Other biting bugs we have are sand fleas, a new kind of biting gnat I've not seen before that a neighbor called a shad gnat, also horse flies, deer flies, yellow flies, and a gazillion different iterations of mosquitoes. And that is just the biting insects, the stinging ones is another long list. Flying insects are the most annoying, gnats in particular, they don't bite but they do fly in your face, get in your ears, up your nose and in your mouth, they taste pretty bad! I know you've heard the joke that everyone thinks Georgians are friendly and in truth we're just waving off the gnats.
Oh, and you didn't even ask about the ants. The fire ant is a fairly recent introduction to the pests world here. Fire ants are vicious little critters who can bite repeatedly and the bite stings and itches for ever!

Is it bad enough to make it miserable to work in the yard? Yes! Working, playing or sleeping outside is a constant battle of the bugs.

What about pests that affect dogs when they are out in the yard? Ticks and fleas in abundance in addition to the mosquitoes of course, and all the above mentioned bugs. Every self respecting southern dog owner has a budget line item for heartworm preventive meds for thier dogs.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 12:42AM
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