Subject: RE: Critters in Florida
Hi Mary!

I live in Tampa and the two critters I can tell you about are palmetto bugs and sting rays. Palmetto bugs can be frightening if you haven't seen them before (and to be honest, they're just as frightening the tenth time you see one as the first time!) They're basically giant flying roaches and quite disturbing. They live in palm trees (hence the name) and seek safety inside houses when it rains or is cold. You will probably not run into any, but if you do, just know that it's a Florida thing and doesn't necessarily reflect badly on the housekeeping skills of the hotel/friend/family member with whom you're staying. =)

Second are sting rays. This is usually only a big deal in sting ray season, but isn't bad advice in general. When going to the beach, don't forget to do the Sting Ray Shuffle (as we call it here in Tampa, anyway...) What this means is, when you go in the water, don't stomp around like you're making wine. Kind of glide your feet along the bottom in a roller-skating kind of motion. Sting Rays (like bees) don't really want to hurt you. They are actually very friendly and soft to pet. People only ever get stung when they step on one.

That's all the critter-type advice I can give you - hope it is useful or at least entertaining! Florida is a wonderful place to live and it's fabulous that you're coming for a visit!! =)

~ERiCA