Quite often, I am reminded that I’m living in an entirely new environment, despite the fact that I have lived in Utah before.
I forgot that Utah has houseflies. Serious houseflies. They really want to come live in your house, and they go to extremes to wrangle their way inside. Fortunately, at this time of year, the cold has nearly done them in and, if they do manage to get inside (they love to sit on the inside of the screen door, patiently waiting for you to open the interior door), they usually go belly-up pretty fast. That’s okay as it goes, but finding a fly feet up on the countertop or stove top, reaching for a tissue to dispose of the casualty, only to have it frantically try to revive and escape, is definitely on my list of things I don’t like about Utah.
I don’t know if I live in some privileged Shrangi-La of central Florida, but during my 20 years there I never saw a house fly. Roaches, ‘squitos and horse flies, wasps, love bugs and blue bottles, had those aplenty, but aside from the roaches (we euphemistically call them “palmetto bugs”), the other creepy fliers stay outside where they belong (and yes, palmetto bugs fly).
The other seriously gross thing I forgot about Utah is that it has a gazillion 2″ long grasshoppers. At least in Florida the grasshoppers are a decent 5″ and you can see them from a mile off. They apparently don’t like to hang out with other grasshoppers, so if you have to deal with one of the monsters giving you the evil eye (and they will turn and follow you if you try to sneak up behind them to swat them off your prized plant), at least you’re only dealing with one.
Here, there are hundreds under foot and every step sets them to whirring and flapping frantically, only to land one inch from where your next foot fall is about to descend. These buggers are also well camouflaged and blend into the dry grass and pebbled driveways. Florida grasshoppers are never found in the grass, and are a bright, malevolent green with black and yellow “warning signs” clearly posted. With a Florida grasshopper, you stand a good chance of coming out the victor; not so in Utah.