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Bugging out: 5 of the most common creepy-crawlies in Austin

(Pexels)

Austinites are some of the most bugged by creepy crawlies, according to a study conducted by home management app Thumbtack.


Looking at data from millions of pest control projects across all 50 states, Thumbtack concluded that Austin had the fourth most bug-related service requests in the U.S. Fellow Texas cities Dallas and Houston came in first and fifth, respectively.

(Thumbtack)

That doesn’t necessarily mean Austin has more bugs than the rest of the cities on the list–it just means locals are fourth-most likely to call for help taking care of them.

So which bugs are you most likely to encounter in Austin?

Ants

(Pexels)

These famous little insects live in all climates but they love hot weather, making Texas the perfect home for them. Most ants are unlikely to harm you but if you see them popping up in your home, make sure to eliminate trash, food or particles that could attract them, as ants can track the source from miles away.

You’re likely to spot…

  • Fire ants
  • Acrobat ants
  • Carpenter ants
  • Sugar ants

Cockroaches

Like ants, cockroaches thrive in the Texas heat, though they are arguably creepier. They aren’t harmful but they are hard to send packing once they get inside your home or garage. The most common roaches in Austin are German cockroaches and the larger, winged American cockroaches.

Mosquitoes

If you’ve been outside in Austin for more than a few minutes, you’re intimately familiar with its mosquito population. Mosquitos like to nest in damp and humid places–laying their eggs on standing water—and can take residence in ponds, gutters, plants and debris. Mosquitoes have been known to spread West Nile virus, so it's best to travel with bug spray if you’re planning on spending time outdoors.

Spiders

There is no shortage of arachnids in Texas—in fact, there are over 900 species of spiders across the state. Spiders are beneficial predators, meaning they prey on mosquitoes and other nuisance bugs, and are rarely harmful to humans as they try to avoid them at all costs. If you start seeing spiders in your home, it probably means they aren’t the only creepy crawlies in there, as spiders tend to follow their prey. Treating other pests will help treat spider populations as they will either perish or move on to find food.

Scorpion

Downtown and higher populated areas of Austin are less likely to encounter a scorpion than their suburban neighbors. Like spiders, scorpions are beneficial predators that help control nuisance pest populations and if need be, a scorpion can survive on just one meal per year. Their stings, especially from the striped bark scorpion, can cause especially serious reactions in kids, pets and the elderly. Scorpions typically end up in backyards to find water, hunt for prey and nest—creeping inside homes can help them escape extreme temperatures.

The best way to help control pests is to start using nontoxic solutions like eliminating debris and standing water, dehumidifying, shutting windows, using diatomaceous earth and neem oil.

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