As summer approaches, we look forward to spending more time outdoors.
Whether you live in Texas or are just visiting the Lone Star state, you need to be a little more aware of where you’re stepping and what’s living in your shoes. To keep you and your family safe this summer, check out this list of the most dangerous insects in Texas.
Striped Bark Scorpion
There are 18 native types of scorpions living in Texas, the most common being the striped bark scorpion. It is usually yellow-tan with two dark stripes running down its back. It can grow to be about two and a half inches long.
They live under rocks, logs, debris, and sometimes can be found inside buildings. Although their stings are not lethal, they still pack a punch. Lasting symptoms include swelling and numbness in the area. Children and people with sensitive allergies should seek medical attention if stung by this scorpion.
Cow Killer Ants
One of the most dangerous insects in Texas is the cow killer ant or often called the velvet ant. This elusive and rare insect is not part of the ant family but a type of wasp. The species gets its name “velvet ant” from the wingless females with dark red furry bodies. The name “cow killer” comes from the potent sting of the females’ pack. Cow killer ants are unique among wasps in that they do not make a traditional nest. Instead, the females invade the nesting chambers of other ground wasps and lay eggs amongst the wasp’s eggs.
When the cow ant’s larvae hatch, it eats the host and then spins a cocoon and goes through several larval stages before pupation. Humans usually come into contact with cow killer ants in open sunny areas like Texas lawns. Other contact areas include pastures in the summer when the flightless females are searching for new nesting areas.
The Brown Recluse
There are a lot of spiders in Texas, but thankfully only two species are dangerous to humans.
The first is the brown recluse spider. The violin-shaped marking can identify the brown recluse on their abdomen, but we don’t recommend getting that close to one of these dangerous insects. Although the brown recluse is very shy and rarely ever seen, they will bite when they have to. Let’s just say the bite of the brown recluse is no laughing matter. The venom causes the skin around the bite to die. Not only is this extremely painful, but it can often lead to an infection if not treated right away.
The Black Widow
The second deadly spider found in Texas is the infamous black widow.
Black widows are identified by their red hourglass marking under their abdomens and for their shiny black bodies. They live in dark areas like garages and barns and are not aggressive by nature. Sure, the females tend to eat their mates, hence their name, but these spiders don’t go out of their way to bite humans. However, they wouldn’t be on this list if they weren’t dangerous. Their bite packs potent neurotoxic venom, which can be very dangerous to people in poor health young children.