I didn't plan to write a second part to this particular series so quickly. However, yesterday we had a "visitor" in our home that requires a post: there was a huge American cockroach in my bedroom yesterday night, which was promptly dispatched.
One thing that I find disturbing in Florida is the abundance of insect and lizard life. In LA, I don't think we had more than a couple of roaches in more than 15 years of married life. The very first night in Florida, I think I saw about three of these evil insects in a relative's home we were staying for a couple of days. After we moved to our townhouse, we cleaned everywhere before the movers brought our stuff. Since then, we had almost weekly encounters with the little creatures. We tried spraying pesticide outside, put traps inside, and finally relented and hired an exterminator. Still the little things appear, although now with much less frequency.
We don't leave food outside. We do our dishes every night and clean the sink as well. Our kitchen trash is covered with an airtight lid. The house is as clean as it can be with kids running around. Nevertheless, the roaches continue their onslaught. Moreover, it is not only on the indoors that we meet strange new neighbors.
Outdoors, there are all types of flying insects, from dragonflies, mosquitoes, and other random bugs - most disturbing of which is the "love bug," this harmless tiny flying insect that is constantly attached to another of the same species, making it seem like a two headed insect. They even fly stuck to one another. Driving on the highways in Orlando produce an incredible amount of bug marks on the car from hitting all the bugs in the air. Beyond insects, there are the amphibians. One can't go out jogging without having to watch out for the many tiny lizards and frogs hopping around. I also hear that we are coming to snake season, so that will be interesting. The saddest story I've heard recently was the news about an alligator attack on a poor elderly woman walking on her backyard, who was thankfully saved by a passerby.
By contrast, LA is mostly devoid of such wild life. I'm sure there are homes with roach problems, but by and large, if you keep your house clean, they won't come. We had a number of spiders in our previous home, but since they eat other insects, they didn't really bother me much. We lived in an area with lizards as well, but they were larger - about 6 inches long - definitely not these tiny 2 inch critters scampering about. There were also much fewer of them. Of course, we had larger mammals in Southern California - coyotes, skunks, wild cats, and the random mountain lion.
I suppose difference in wild life is due to the large wooded areas around and lakes around the city of Orlando. Moreover, the humid weather is more hospitable to insects and amphibians than LA's arid climate. Of course, this offers little solace to my wife and her utter abhorrence of roaches. And our battle marches against these invaders continues.