Florida's wildlife should not put you off, I have been many times now and although some can be quite annoying, I have not had my holiday spoilt by them.
A bit of common sense is all you need.
Florida natural wildlife:
The following is some of the creatures you may come across:
In Florida, summers are the worst, in particularly if you visit the Everglades. Use an anti-insect spray with DEET (NN-diethyl-meta-toluamide). Where possible wear clothing that covers most of your body.
Mosquitoes are more abundant during the early morning, dusk, and evening times.
Don't stand still in sand or grass without keeping a close eye on your feet (and your children's). They're red and called fire ants for a reason.
Their bite is like someone touched your skin with a lighted match.
My parents found out the hard way on a visit to Titusville to see a shuttle launch.
Palmetto Bug or Cucaracha (cockroach).
Palmettos are up to two inches for the American cockroach or 5/8 of an inch for the German cockroach.
Keep all food tightly sealed or locked in the refrigerator to keep their numbers down.
Your best defence against cockroaches, and other insects. They're big and brown with up to a five-inch leg span, non-poisonous, and patrol your house at night for other creepy crawlers to munch on.
Give them their space.
These are harmless black flying insects that often fly united, living for about 24 hours, which is plenty long enough to make a thorough mess of your windshield.
We were in Florida during a swarm of these were about, very annoying and the windscreen really took a battering.
Florida is known for having a significant population of sharks off its coasts due to its location and favourable habitat conditions.
Even in shallow water, baby sharks can still do some damage as I found out "TWICE" on Daytona Beach
These flat, kite-shaped creatures love to half-bury themselves in sand in shallow water. Their tails are long and whip-like, with a poisonous barbed spine near the end.
They don't like to be walked on any more than you do. Wearing shoes doesn't always help.
Advice is to do the "Stingray Shuffle" while in water and you shouldn't come in contact with them.
A narrow silver fish with a face from a horror movie. Will snack on anything sparkly - including an ankle bracelet.
They like to hang out in the shallow water, so leave the jewellery behind while you swim.
Dead or alive, these clear, balloon-like creatures can be a problem if you love to swim at the beach. If you've been stung, the type of treatment depends on the type of jellyfish that committed the offence.
Some people recommend dumping vinegar on the wounds if they're the result of a jellyfish sting. But for the Portuguese man-o-war, a cold-pack might do the trick. Your best bet is to describe the type of jellyfish to a physician or lifeguard if ones near and let him or her make the call. You could also use the "Friends" trick and pee on the sting, ewwwwwwwww...
These little 1 - 2-inch salamander-like lizards are harmless and cute, they dine on mosquitoes and other annoying pests.
They scamper around on the walls, on plants - you'll find them just about anywhere if you look hard enough. Be careful not to stand on them like my daughter did on our first trip.
An average adult can reach 14 feet and weigh in excess of 500 pounds. While a cavalier attitude doesn't go over well with a large alligator, excessive concern may keep you from enjoying such fine Florida pastimes as golfing, canoeing, swimming or fishing.
Overall, alligators would much prefer a tasty foot-long fish to your preservative filled body. Respect is the key word here. Just listen for the hiss, I have heard it and know what fear is now.
Florida's got about as many types of snakes as there are letters in the alphabet. And while six are venomous, consider that "like the alligator" they play more defence than offence.
If an area looks like it might have snakes, it probably does. Be loud, carry a big stick and poke in the tall grass in front of you as you walk. But again, don't let them keep you from having fun.
If you do get bitten, try to remember what the snake looked like and describe it to your physician for treatment. And don't kill them just because they scare you.