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Common Pests in Texas

Austin, TX

Texas is filled with a variety of different pests. While some are more dangerous or annoying than others, there are some typical pests found most often in the lone-star state. The most common pests in Texas are ants, spiders, mosquitoes, cockroaches, rodents, and termites.

Ants in Texas

There are over 300 different species of ants in Texas with the most common being red imported fire ants, argentine ants, bigheaded ants, and odorous house ants. Most live outdoors and seek out food, water, and shelter from the elements. They commonly nest under stones or logs, inside walls or utility spaces, under bark on stumps or fallen tree limbs, as well as in potted plants. Homeowners typically deal with ants in their homes when they enter the living space either by crawling, flying, or falling in. Ants may also be brought in on firewood or potted plants. Once they've found food and water inside your home, the colony will rapidly increase to several thousand individuals over a few months.

Spiders in Texas

Spiders are beneficial insects, feeding on various pests including other spiders. They are mostly nocturnal and build irregular webs that are very strong for their size (0.006-inch diameter), but not sticky like silk produced by orb-weaving spiders. Spiders move rapidly away from disturbances when they sense vibrations or danger through the web. The most common species of spiders in Texas are the black house spider and the brown recluse. The brown recluse is a shy, non-aggressive spider that will bite in self-defense if handled. It is fairly common throughout the southern two-thirds of TX.

Mosquitoes in Texas 

Mosquitoes are small, midge-like flies that constitute the family Culicidae. Mosquitoes are a nuisance to Texans. The most common types include the black salt marsh mosquito, the northern house mosquito, and the tiger mosquito.  Mosquitoes transmit diseases to animals and humans that cause serious illness or death.

Cockroaches in Texas 

Cockroaches are insects that can affect both humans and their properties. The most common types of coakroaches in Texas include the German cockroach, the American cockroach, the brown-banded cockroach, and the Oriental cockroach. These pests breed rapidly, causing infestations to grow quickly and take over Texan homes. Cockroaches typically feed on decaying organic matter, but can sometimes feed on human food. Cockroaches leave chemical trails in their feces as well as emit airborne pheromones for swarming and mating. These chemical trails may cause an asthma-like reaction in sensitive people.

Rodents in Texas

Rodents like rats and mice are commonly found in Texas. Rodents are not only the most frequently seen type of pest, but often cause serious damage to homes and structures as they chew on wood, electrical wires, insulation, and food. Rats contaminate human food with their urine and feces which can transmit disease. 

Termites in Texas

Termites are another common pest of homes and other wooden structures. These insects measure about ¼ inch long and typically swarm at dusk after heavy rains. The termite colony consists of a network of interconnecting tunnels where they store wood for food and shelter; these colonies can contain millions of members. The most common termite species found in Texas is the subterranean termite. Other species include the dry-wood termite and damp-wood termite. Termites feed on wood by chewing through it to get to the starch inside. They can destroy a home in a few years if not treated properly.