Six Gnarly Bugs You Do NOT Want To Mess With In the Texas Hill Country

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Folks flock to the Texas Hill Country to partake in our crystal-clear, perennially cool waters and thriving live music scene. However, what you might not know is that lurking among these unsuspecting tourists are several bugs that can make your Hill Country vacation very memorable indeed (but perhaps not quite the memories you were hoping to make). So, grab your Benadryl and let’s explore six gnarly bugs that can really put the sting in your Hill Country vacation. So make sure to keep an eye out for these critters and avoid them, to be sure that you make your Hill Country vacation very memorable for the right reasons. 

1. Kissing Bugs

Kissing bug

Photo: Flickr/Glenn Seplak

Known also as the conenose bug or bloodsucker, kissing bugs feed on the blood of animals and humans and can cause Chagas disease. Chagas disease can go largely unnoticed in humans until it morphs into a chronic condition. Then, symptoms of Chagas disease can be life-threatening and include cardiac and intestinal complications. If your dog is bitten by a kissing bug, the prognosis is quite grave because treatment options are not readily available. If you happen to find a kissing bug, Texas A&M wants to know about it. Go here for information on how to collect the specimen and contact the university.

2. Scorpions


Photo: Flickr/Douglas Mills

While not typically life-threatening, being stung by a bark scorpion will certainly leave you with bragging rights, as well as a life-long disdain for this arachnid (Yes, scorpions have eight legs…you can take our word for it, though). The Texas bark scorpion is often nocturnal and likes to hide in dark places, like inside shoes. They sting with a stinger on the end of their tail and, while the sting is about as painful as a wasp sting, it can cause redness and swelling, and some folks have been known to have allergic reactions requiring medical care. Insider tip: Take a blacklight outside in the Hill Country after dark and look for the glowing bodies of these creepy crawlers under rocks.

3. Red Headed Centipede

Photo: Facebook/Predators Reptile Center

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