Nature

7 Bugs Found in Texas Will Give You the Creeps

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Most vile insects will send shivers down anyone’s spine. In this case, what are some of the creepy-crawlies lurking in Texas? Before reading this, go ahead and prop your feet up off the floor.

They tend to lurk in the shadows, hide in nooks and crannies where you’ll never find them, but they will find you. Here are 7 of the vile critters you won’t want to stumble upon.

1. Scorpions

Scorpion

Photo: www.ecofriendspestcontrol.com

Scorpions are arachnids, close relatives of ticks, mites and spiders. Easily recognized by their characteristic shape, Scorpions prefer dry habitats but occur throughout Texas. They can be a nuisance when they interact with humans because they will sting when disturbed.

2. Black Widow

black_widow

Photo: www.houstonpress.com

A Black Widow is a dangerous spider, which makes its home in the south, specifically Texas. They are fairly small — around 1.5″ long, and the female southern black widow usually has a distinctive hourglass marking on its back. The bite of a black widow is extremely unpleasant and includes symptoms such as severe muscle cramps, spasms, intense pain, and tachycardia, although it’s generally not fatal to a healthy adult.

3. Brown Recluse

brown-recluse-spider_img

Photo: www.infonotch.com

There are several different types of recluse spiders, but the one most Texans are familiar with is the dreaded brown recluse. Although they’re tiny, the bite from a “fiddle-back” as they’re also known, can itch or sting, but it’ll often be followed by intense pain, fever, and chills, before erupting into an ulcerating lesion. Be very vigilant in staying away from the brown recluse spider.

4. Lichen Orb Weaver

Lichen Orb Weaver

Photo: Flickr/Sankax

This spider is the size of a walnut and as heavy as a tarantula. The Lichen Orb Weaver  wears a wonderful disguise that makes her resemble common lichen. Orb-weavers spin those classic spider webs that are almost circular, with spokes radiating out from a central hub. Sticky threads spiral around the spokes, making a distinctive wheel pattern. They are not known to be poisonous to humans, although their appearance is nothing short of terrifying.

5. Cockroaches

cockroach

Photo: www.asergeev.com

These nasty ol’ bugs are such a huge part of Texan life that they deserve that exclamation point. There are several varieties, including the American Cockroach and German Cockroach, and their ideal habitat is the Texas Gulf Coast. Possibly much more alarming to the average person is that cockroaches like to live around the same types of stuff we do, and our homes provide all the food, water, and shelter that cockroaches need in order to thrive. While hardly any roaches in Texas are venomous, they can spread diseases and their populations can explode overnight. Some people are also allergic to roaches.

6. Blister Beetles

blisterbeetle

Photo: Flickr/David~O

Their bodies contain a toxin (cantharadin) that can cause blisters to form on the skin. Animals, particularly horses, ingesting beetle contaminated feed become extremely ill and may die. Handling blister beetles can cause blisters on the skin as a reaction to cantharadin. Blister beetles vary by species in shape, size (3/8″ to 1″ long) and color (solid gray to black or with paler wing margins, metallic, yellowish striped or spotted). Although over 100 species occur in Texas, a common one is the black blister beetle in East and Central Texas.

7. Daddy Long Legs (Harvestmen)

daddylonglegs

Photo: YouTube/Jerry Wilson

How many times has a Hill Country picnic been disrupted by an odd looking, eight-legged creature scampering across your lunch? More than likely that creature was a Harvestman. In the old days, it was believed that daddy-long-legs could find lost cattle. If you picked it up by seven of its eight legs, the free leg would point in the direction of the cattle. Another myth was that if you killed a daddy-long-legs, it would rain the next day. Harvestmen are among the most fascinating of animals. Worldwide, there are 37 families of Harvestmen; eighteen species are reported from Texas. They are harmless to humans, but the sight of them can make you jump right out of your seat.

References:

HoustonPress

aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu