A question for Floridians about bugs

So my girlfriend and I are both midwesterners who have moved south(ish).

I have lived in Charlotte, NC (which is apparently considered the south even though I don’t believe it…but that’s a whole different convo) for the better part of a year now, and while I am on the third floor, I haven’t had that many bug issues.

My girlfriend however just started a job outside of Orlando (Mt. Dora) and she has bug problems. She has lived at her apartment complex, first floor, for only a month and noticed all kinds of things in there: Little gnat like guys, bigger ones with pincher-butts (her words) and the dreaded cockroach (mostly the little guys). She called maintenance after seeing what she called “a two incher” and they came and sprayed a couple weeks ago (it will be two weeks ago this Friday).

She has noticed more dead bugs than before, but the live ones are still there, including the roaches. Now the apartment complex told her it would be 7-10 days before she noticed a difference, and while there are less bugs than before, the fact that they are still there in the numbers they are is…disconcerting. And actually what prompted me to ask the question is she just opened her dishwasher and saw 4 bugs in there.

We aren’t dumb and realize that bugs are just gonna be there (it’s Florida and she’s on the first floor) but do any Floridians have THIS many bugs around them all the time? Especially the cockroaches?

tl;dr: Orlando girlfriend has a bunch of bugs (including roaches) even after an apartment maintenance spray and her own store-bought spray…is this normal?


First floor in Florida? Roach hotel.

Buy the little roach traps, don’t get up in the middle of the night, and try not to think about the fact that they fly.

Tell her to watch out for spiders - the roaches are gross, but spiders can actually be dangerous.

Okay, lifelong Florida resident (and 6th gen Floridian) here. Let’s clarify some terms:

  1. The pincher-butts (which is great name for the bug and a great band name at the same time) are earwigs. Harmless if a little scary. The spray should knock them back pretty quick.
  2. The small roaches are German cockroaches and are, far and away, the most pernicious of the roaches. Tell her to get some powdered boric acid, mix it with powdered sugar (more boric than sugar) and put it in little containers (little plastic lids work well) in her lower cabinets and under the fridge, stove, etc. Should cut them WAY down within a week or two.
  3. The “two-incher” is a palmetto bug and yes, they do fly. However, unlike the German, they’re not looking to set up house inside her house. They’re looking for a free meal and a nice dark place to breed. The spray should knock them back, but really the best defense is to spray the exterior perimeter of the house. You want to prevent the initial intrusion. Once they are in, what you need is a shoe with a good wide flat surface and some baby wipes to clean their guts off the wall/ceiling. You should also practice with the shoe before attempting actual bugicide since THEY FUCKING FLY IF YOU MISS THEM THE FIRST TIME.

Good luck!

I am so not moving to Florida.

Since this is mainly going to get anecdotal responses, let’s move it over to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

That’s one of the things I love about the Great White North – most of the little fuckers have a hard time surviving winter, and the really big interesting ones don’t come here at all. OTOH, we have winter. :smiley:

The humorist Dave Barry moved to Miami many years ago and has quite a few stories about bugs, adventures with exterminators, and apparently frogs. He had a bad problem once with frogs on his lawn and porch during mating season, where the males became exceptionally protective of their betrothed. As he tells it, he tried to explain to the males that he had no interest in mating with their women, because their women were frogs, for God’s sake. But this made the males even more belligerent, because deep in their little amphibian hearts they knew it was true.

Is this one of those cases where they eat it/take it back to their colony and then they die out eventually? Or is it like capturing fruit flies and she’s gonna look at the container and have a buncha dead bugs in it?

No complaints about the million little lizards here?
Florida is a rough state and a lot of the critters are active year round. You have no idea of “love bugs” until you slam into thousands of them while doing about 70 mph. And now we are getting giant snails that eat concrete!
While biking recently I came across an 18’ gator just sunning on the trail, makes you forget about the mosquitoes pretty quick.

Termites also seem to be a hell of a lot more active in Florida than in the mid-Atlantic, judging by my experiences with them v. my in-laws’.

Not a problem for your GF since she’s renting, but if either of you should ever buy a house in Florida, make sure it’s been tented for termites in the not-too-distant past and has a current termite warranty, make sure you have it inspected for termite damage, and if it’s been several years since its last tenting, have it done before you move in. It may run you a couple thousand, but just do it.

Kills them elsewhere. It sticks to them and, some time later, they say “eww, gross” and clean it off by grooming, and end up eating it, and it poisons them. So, it only kills things that (a) walk through it and (b) groom, so it doesn’t kill things in their larval stage, or that don’t groom. Seems to work well on cockroaches, and I’ve heard good things about ant control as well. However, if they walk through it on their way into the pantry, then decide to have a quick wash before dinner under your GF’s stove, they may well die there.

I’m not the only one that walks around, notices that I have some bbq sauce on my shirt…try to clean it off and then end up eating it.

Nah she’s fine with the lizards. They don’t get into the house and she thinks they’re “cute”

Not only do they fly, but they seem to revel in the terrified shrieks that happen when they fly RIGHT THE FUCK AT YOU.

There are many good reason to never, ever live anywhere in Florida’s bottom half, but the bugs rank way up on my list.

Commercial roach traps are based on the same principle as the homemade boric/sugar traps. They look at bit like hockey pucks and will work fine, and you don’t have to worry about knocking them over or having pets get into them.

There was a particular scream you’d hear from time to time in the dorms at UCF, distinct from all other screams. It was the sound a non-Floridian makes the first time they miss a palmetto bug and attempt to flee in an eight foot wide dorm room.

18 feet long is little?

He was being facetious. The largest American alligator ever measured was 19 feet long and that measurement was probably a bit of an exaggeration (and taken a hundred years ago). You’ll never see one bigger than 15’ in real life and that is plenty big enough to make you go the other way.

Hell yeah - I’m gonna take the long way around a 3’ alligator, let alone a 15’ monster.

“Time to buzz the tower…”

So far we’ve apparently been OK on the gators. Although she is relatively close to a lake, so I’m sure she’ll come across one eventually

Negative, Ghost Rider, the pattern is full.