Beware of These Painfully Biting Insects in Texas
- November 15, 2021
Whether it’s riding horseback through a country trail or boating on one of our many lakes, here in Texas we love to enjoy the outdoors. But being outdoors means you are exposed to the many biting insects that call Texas home. Thankfully, most of these insects only bite when they feel threatened, but unfortunately, we humans sometimes threaten them without us even knowing it. Here are some of the most common biting insects in Texas.
The sting of an insect bite can not only be painful and irritating, but it can also be dangerous. That’s why it is important to dress properly when you go outside, especially after dark and in wooded areas. The best thing you can do is be prepared and be on the lookout for these biting insects.
There are more than 85 species of mosquito that call the Lone Star State home. Female mosquitoes will lay their eggs in anything that can hold standing water. Some species can survive in their eggs even when the puddle, pond, or stream has dried up. They will lay dormant until water returns and reactivates them like a package of sea monkeys.
Different species of mosquitoes carry different diseases such as Zika, West Nile, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and Dengue Fever. That’s why you should get professional help in controlling them. To avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes, eliminate all standing water in your yard, wear long sleeves, use mosquito repellent that contains DEET, and limit your time outdoors after dusk.
One of the most dangerous insects in Texas is the velvet ant. Locally known as the Cow Killer, the insect is actually not really an ant but a type of wingless wasp. The species gets its “velvet” name from the dense orange hairs that cover its body. The velvet ant is not aggressive by nature but it will attack if threatened. The sting from one of these insects is so painful that it is rated a 3 on the Schmidt pain index. Velvet ants can usually be found in open sunny areas like Texas lawns and pastures in the summer when the females are looking for new nesting areas.
Unlike true ants, velvet ants are solitary creatures and lack complex social systems. The females infiltrate other wasp nests and lay their eggs amongst the others. When the velvet ant’s larvae hatch, it devours the host eggs.
Fire ants are a common pest in Texas. They are famous for their painful stings that register a 1.2 on the Schmidt pain index. Not the most painful sting but it can still pack a punch and make you take notice. Fire ants are not actually native to the state of Texas or even the United States. They were imported, accidentally, in the 1930s when fruit trucks carrying them from South America arrived in the states. Over several decades, the fire ant populations exploded throughout the south and today they can be found in every southern state in the country.
Kissing bugs are wingless insects that also go by the name, assassin bugs. Like mosquitoes, kissing bugs feed on the warm blood of mammals. They are called Kissing bugs because they usually bite humans around the mouth while they sleep. The bites aren’t the real problem though, kissing bugs carry a parasite that causes Chagas disease. Chagas disease may include fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, or swelling at the site of the bite. Untreated bites can enter the chronic phase which can lead to heart disease 10-30 years after having Chagas.
Don’t let pests keep you from enjoying your backyard this fall. Call the pest control experts at DFW Mosquito and get set up on a year-round mosquito control program that will keep these pests out of sight and out of mind.
Are you hosting a special event such as a graduation, wedding, birthday, or holiday and don’t want your guests running home in fear? Call and ask about our mosquito control for special events.
After you sign up, our mosquito control specialists will assess your property and create a program that fits your needs. Give us a call at (817) 615-4944 or send us a message. Don’t forget to follow our blog for helpful mosquito control tips in Texas.