17 Reasons Not to Move to Tarpon Springs, Florida

Tarpon Springs, Florida is a popular tourist destination. But it is a suitable place to live? It isn’t according to these seventeen reasons.

1. Alligators

Florida is known for its alligators! These prehistoric meat-eating reptiles live anywhere there’s water, so don’t go dipping your feet into any natural bodies of water.

There have been terrifying cases of alligators attacking children even in metropolitan areas. No lake, stream, creek, or puddle is safe. Keep your pets indoors, as it is not uncommon for these dinosaurs to snap up small dogs that wander too close. There have even been instances of alligators showing up in people’s backyards unannounced.

If you’re afraid of man-eating lizards, don’t come to Tarpon Springs. And if you do, make sure you have a good fence.

2. Mosquitoes

Did you know mosquitos are regarded by scientists to be one of the world’s deadliest animals? It’s true! Not because they’re big or fanged, but because they spread so much disease that causes so much death around the world. We have a treatment for malaria now, but mosquitoes are still gross and dangerous pests.

In Tarpon Springs, Florida, the hot and damp weather gives these creepy-crawlies the perfect environment to breed and bite. Their bites actually inject you with a numbing chemical so you don’t notice you’re being fed on till it’s too late. That’s a dirty trick if there ever was one!

They leave dozens of itchy spots, a buzz in your ears, and contaminate water with their eggs. These nasty little parasites call Tarpon Springs home, so maybe you shouldn’t also call it your home.

3. Spiders

Everybody loves spiders, right? No, I didn’t think so. The tropical weather of Tarpon Springs makes it a great home for all kinds of creepy-crawlies, including spiders.

Tarpon Springs is home to two of the world’s most infamous spidersOpens in a new tab.. The brown recluse has a bite that causes necrosis, or dead tissue, around the area of the bite.

The second species Tarpon Springs is home to is the widows, of which there are three. The morbidly beautiful black widow, the lesser known but still dangerous brown widow, and the red widow. The red widow is actually only found in Florida. Maybe it likes the sunny beaches just as much as humans. There are almost no deaths caused by spiders in the United States thanks to awareness and antivenom, but being bitten by one is still a scary and painful experience you’ll want to avoid.

4. Snakes

Tarpon Springs’ swampy regions are home to many snakes, ranging from harmless to deadly. It is home to cottonmouth and copperhead snakes, which are both extremely dangerous.

Then there’s the Burmese python, a snake that wasn’t originally native to Florida, but after several escaped or were dumped by their exotic pet owners, they became an invasive species in the state. Burmese pythons aren’t venomous, but they are huge and have no intention of leaving Tarpon Springs any time soon.

This city, which is full of the small rodents that follow human trash, is a great place for snakes. However, it might not be a great place for you.

5. Fire Ants

This invasive species is one of the most hardcore insects to enter America. A bite will leave you with an irritating itchy spot that looks like a pimple.

This wouldn’t be so bad in itself if these ants didn’t live in massive colonies, which means one bite is surrounded by dozens of others. These tiny insects can get in between your toes, so watch where you step if you’re wearing flip-flops! If you thought the terrible weather would drive out the ants, you’d be wrong.

Fire ants actually bind themselves together in flood waters to make a big floating raft of biting insects that won’t drown. They also crawl onto the first dry thing they come across, so if you ever see a fire ant raft, give it a wide berth.

6. Roaches

Cockroaches in the South are often referred to as ‘palmetto bugs’ due to their preference for the palm fronds of palm trees. It’s an adorable name for one of the most horrifying and disgusting insects to exist. They haven’t survived this long by being soft, literally or figuratively.

Cockroaches are everywhere and are nearly impossible to kill. Their flat bodies and tough exoskeletons make them nearly indestructible. They can survive having their own head cut off, and will most likely be the only survivors of a nuclear winter. If you ever move to Tarpon Springs, bring lots of roach killer and may a bazooka.

7. Tornadoes

Tornadoes are a vicious type of natural disaster that can be almost impossible to predict. They can break down trees that are hundreds of years old and tear up houses. I’ve heard stories of them tearing away only the walls or just the roof of a house.

They can also send rocks and broken glass flying everywhere. It’s dangerous, and multiple tornadoes happen in Tarpon Springs every year. I’m beginning to think that this city is hazardous to your health. Find shelter from tornadoes by securing heavy objects and hiding in a sturdy area with a good foundation, and don’t move to Tarpon Springs.

8. It’s a Swamp

Tarpon Springs, Florida is just one big puddle. The high humidity means that many areas of this city are just muddy swamps. Swamps are neither the prettiest nor most enjoyable places to be. They tend to breed lots of undesirable animals like snakes and mosquitoes, and the mud is enough to ruin anybody’s day. It can be almost impossible to clean sometimes!

The swampy ground is impossible to drive in, so your only real option is to walk around the big, mucky marshes or wear some really high rubber boots. That’ll keep out mud and snakes, but the mosquitoes are unavoidable no matter what!

9. Tourists

Florida’s sunny beaches and warm weather attract more than snakes and spiders. Tourists also swarm this city by the thousands. Tourists are a particular pet peeve of native Tarpon Springs residents. They crowd up attractions, beaches, and restaurants by the dozens, leaving little space for those who are trying to enjoy their hometown now that the weather is nice.

Snowbirds especially are a nuisance, driving up prices of Tarpon Springs attractions and making the roads more dangerous, as tourists tend to drive less safely than residents. You’ll find yourself in traffic for hours. If you want any room to breathe, do not move to this tourist-infested town.

10. Crime

I’m sure you’ve heard of the infamous “Florida Man” that rampages the streets of Florida and causes general havoc and danger. Tarpon Springs is well within Florida Man’s reign of terror. This city is ranked 32 out of 100Opens in a new tab. US cities for crime rates, with 100 being the safest.

The majority of crimes committed are property crimes, which target the property and belongings of the victim. That means there is a high rate in Tarpon Springs of items being stolen and or destroyed. Being number one on this chart is no victory, and Tarpon Springs receives a failing grade. Lock your door and get a really good security system if you come to this city.

11. Sinkholes

Is there anything worse than the ground just collapsing beneath you? The sinkholes that randomly pop up in Tarpon Springs will definitely keep you on your toes! It’s not always clear what causes these sinkholes, but they’ve made appearances everywhere, even at a local Tarpon Springs schoolOpens in a new tab.!

Not only are sinkholes unsafe, but they can really ruin the landscape! Sometimes I think Florida is chaos embodied. Even their dirt doesn’t follow the rules! I don’t know about you, but I like to know that the one thing I can count on is the solid ground beneath my feet. Call me crazy, but it’s comforting.

12. Housing Costs

Housing costs in Tarpon Springs are high and rising! The average monthly cost for apartments in Tarpon Springs is considered high for the US. This might be due to the popularity of housing in Florida, which is famous for its tropical climate and beachfront scenery. You are close to the beautiful beaches of Florida, but at what cost?

Your home is such a big part of who you are, and you should be able to afford it! You likely won’t be able to in Tarpon Springs. You might be able to find a really nice cardboard box if you’re lucky, though.

13. Cost of Living

The cost to be alive in Tarpon Springs is not just high for the United State, but high for Florida as well. Cost of living takes into account the cost of things like groceries and gas, factoring in wages and minimum wage.

Altogether, it’s not cheap to live in Tarpon Springs with a median household income of $50,012. The average cost of a single-family home was $336,378 in 2021. While there is no state income tax, the sales tax rate is at 7%. For the sake of your wallet, you don’t want to move here. Spend the money on something nice in a different city instead!

14. Hurricanes

Tarpons Springs is in the eye of the hurricane! Florida’s narrow shape means every city is surrounded by beaches, which makes them much more susceptible to hurricanes and gives residents fewer options for escape from the rising floodwaters and powerful winds.

Floods can destroy buildings and cause mass evacuations. Living in Tarpon Springs is like living in the end of days, complete with storms and days of darkness.

You’ll probably survive, but your house will have to be extremely sturdy to withstand the vicious storms. Destroyed roofs and flooded basements are no joke. It can take weeks or even months to fix, and paying for flood insurance is no picnic. Don’t struggle to keep your head above water in Tarpon Springs!

15. Urbanization

Tarpon Springs is the sort of place that is quick to make room for more tourists, no matter the cost. People keep coming into the metropolitan area, making it more urban and more crowded. Your voice can really get lost in a place like this. There’s so much noise you can’t hear yourself think, and the wild edges of Tarpon Springs, Florida just keep getting pushed further and further.

Urbanization isn’t just about losing your place on the beach to spread your towel. It can also cause wild animals to lose their homes in nature, which means more and more dangerous animals are becoming urbanized themselves.

This is why we see animals like alligators and snakes living in backyards and tourist attractions. This displacement can be dangerous for both animals and humans. Everybody in this city just needs a bit more space to spread their beach towels, legs, claws, and coils!

16. Heat

Florida is known as the Sunshine State, and Tarpon Springs lives up to that name! This city is where you go if you want to become a walking sunburn. Warm weather can be great, but Tarpon Springs takes it to a whole other level. The blistering heat will have you hiding indoors all summer.

The clear blue skies will tempt you outside, but the scalding sun will remind you that stepping out for longer than a minute was a mistake. I don’t think humans were meant to survive this kind of heat. I certainly can’t, and will be spending time indoors with an ice pack. Unless you want to melt like a popsicle, don’t move to Tarpon Springs!

17. Humidity

The heat wouldn’t be as bad if it was just hot. And the humidity is okay by itself. But together? They are an unstoppable force for evil.

The humidity makes the heat unbearable until you feel like you’re drowning on dry land. The damp air also encourages the growth of mold and mildew, so keep everything dry! You’ll have to keep your food well packaged, as moisture and heat are the two worst things in the world when it comes to keeping food fresh.

The very air seems to be working against you in Tarpon Springs, Florida. You can try to overcome that obstacle, or just not move here, it is up to you.

Nathan Aydelotte

Hello! I'm Nathan, the lead editor for Suggested by locals. I grew up in the Boise, Idaho area and have lived here most of my life. I enjoy being close to the mountains where I can go hiking, camping, and mountain biking.

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