Texas is home to more than one-third of the approximately 91,000 bug species that can be found nationwide.
These include insects you’re both familiar with and ones you have no idea about. Thankfully, this article covers some of the different types of insects in Texas.
Many people who visit the Lone Star State are surprised by its size, variety of habitats, and large number of insects. It can be fun to see moths, ants, and other insects while hiking or exploring the outdoors, but it’s less fun when they start invading your home.
Still, it helps to know that getting rid of your pest issues may be made easier by understanding more about the insect itself.
This piece discusses the different types of insects you’re likely to come across in Texas.
Types of Insects in Texas
In the spring, there is more sunshine and flowers bloom, but there are also a lot of bugs that you should try to avoid. Numerous species of insects, rodents, and other pests can be found in Texas.
The following includes some of the types of insects dominating several parts of Texas:
Termites are social insects that live in groups with other members of different castes. This is one of the types of insects in Texas that are referred to as “silent destroyers” because of their propensity to eat through wood, flooring, and other materials.
The two termites that homeowners frequently come into contact with are the worker and the swarmer. A worker termite size ranges from 3 millimeters to 4 millimeters and can only be seen when an infested tube or mud foraging tube is broken.
The termite colony’s reproductive caste is referred to as the swarmer. Swarmers are 4 mm long, and they are either black or dark brown.
A termite queen has the longest life span, meaning that she can live for up to 50 years, and a termite can only go through partial metamorphosis.
Kissing bugs, also known as triatomine bugs, bloodsuckers, and cone-nosed bugs, are found inside substandard homes, as well as in cracks and holes. They mostly consume blood and are active at night.
Kissing bugs are around 1/2 to 1 inch long as adults. Before becoming adults, kissing bugs go through five nymphal stages after hatching.
Some varieties of kissing bugs have a two-year lifespan. Kissing bugs can take a lot of time to finish their meals.
Like ticks, kissing bugs do not attach. Bites from kissing bugs typically do not cause any harm. However, because they can spread a parasite that can compromise the health of humans and animals, kissing bugs are referred to as “vectors.”
Trypanosoma cruzi is the parasite that causes Chagas disease. There are different numbers of infected kissing bugs in different places.
The family Culicidae, which includes about 3,600 species of tiny flies, includes mosquitoes as one of its members. In Portuguese and Spanish, the word “mosquito” means “small fly.”
Mosquitoes have three pairs of long, hair-like legs; one pair of wings; elongated mouthparts; one pair of halteres; and a slender, segmented body.
In Texas, there are over 200 different species of mosquitoes that live in specific habitats, show rear attitudes, and hunt different animals. Even with these differences, they all share similar traits, which is the four-stage life cycle.
There are three different varieties of mosquito, and they include:
Fleas are parasites that reside on the host’s exterior (i.e., they are ectoparasitic). They were a crucial link in the chain of events that led to the loss of a quarter of Europe’s population during the Middle Ages as they were the principal agents of the Black Death (bubonic plague).
These are tiny, wingless insects with a hard cuticle covered in numerous bristles. They also frequently have combs (ctenidia) made of wide, flattened spines. The adult flea ranges in size from 0.039 to 0.13 inches and feeds on the blood of birds and mammals, including humans.
Eastern Cicada killer wasp
Sphecius Speciosus is the official scientific name for this bug. The Eastern cicada-killer wasp, also known as the giant cicada killer, is a member of the wasp family Crabronidae.
This is one of the types of insects in Texas that is characterized by its frightening appearance. Nonetheless, unless handled roughly, it is not hostile to people and is mostly harmless.
It is a huge species, with the typical wasp-like black and yellow patterns and rusty transparent wings. Their behavior distinguishes them in addition to their size and coloration.
Two of the most prevalent species in Texas are the red and black carpenter ants. The red carpenter ant has an upper body that is reddish-brown and a body that is dark brownish-black. The entire body of the black carpenter ant is a dark brownish-black.
A carpenter ant’s length ranges from 6 to 25 mm. However, the bottom body and upper body of a carpenter ant are separated by a very thin waist, which is divided into three parts. Their antennae are broken up and crooked.
Blister beetles are common pests in fields and gardens. They are best known for the fluid they make when they are hurt or crushed, which causes welts.
The discharge includes cantharidin, a blistering chemical used to treat lesions brought on by the pox virus. Wart removal products employ cantharidin because it is so good at removing dead tissue. If swallowed, cantharidin is poisonous.
The Cottonwood borer is a member of the Cerambycidae family of long-horned beetles. This is one of the types of insects in Texas that belongs to the largest member of its family on the Great Plains.
The cottonwood borer can grow up to 40 mm long and 12 mm wide. There have been frequent phone calls during the summer from frightened people who have discovered one and are fearful that Martians have invaded!
As their name suggests, carpet beetles occasionally infect carpets. The pest preys on numerous other materials made of wool, fur, felt, silk, feathers, skins, and leather, just like clothes moths do.
This is one of the types of insects in Texas that also feed on other substances, including keratin, a fibrous animal protein that the larvae can consume.
Most attacks can’t get through cotton and synthetic fabrics like polyester and rayon unless they are heavily stained with body oils or mixed with wool. Unnoticed carpet beetle infestations can grow and affect goods that are susceptible to them.
The fall armyworm is a species of the Lepidoptera order and one of the seasonal armyworm moth species that may be identified by their larval stage.
However, the word “armyworm” can refer to a number of species, and it frequently describes the species’ larval stage’s widespread invasive nature.
Additionally, fall armyworm is a native of the Americas’ tropical and subtropical climates. It was first discovered in Africa in 2016, where it was seriously damaging maize harvests, with a high potential for further spread and economic harm.
The pleasant aroma of piles of recently cut timber entices longhorn beetles out into the open on warm days in late spring and summer.
This is one of the types of insects in Texas that entomologists love, but foresters may find them to be a bother. This is because they look for locations to mate and lay their eggs, which can cause some damage.
The beetle grubs can be seen gaining weight in wooded tunnels for one or possibly two years while using their strong jaws to gnaw through the wood. Some probably awoke as adults last fall and spent the winter hibernating.
Most species can be identified by their very long antennae, which are often as big as or bigger than the body of the beetle. It is essential to know that the woods in Texas are threatened by this insect, and currently, there are no control measures.
A genus of beetles called Epicauta belongs to the Meloidae family of blister beetles. The first scientific description of the genus was written by Pierre Francois Marie Auguste Dejean in 1834. Except for Australia and Antarctica, all continents have their own species of Epicauta.
Surveys have shown that the genus is very different in the northern Arizona area of the United States. Few species of these types of insects in Texas can be found in the Arctic and Texas, and none can be found any further north than Canada’s Southern Northwest Territories.
The ironclad beetle species Zopherus Nodulosus, also known as the Haldeman’s Ironclad beetle, belongs to the Zopheridae family. Both North America and Central America are home to this insect. The nodes, or bumps, on the beetle’s back are described by the species name nodulosus.
According to a compression test, this incredibly strong types of insect in Texas can endure a force 39 thousand times more than its own weight.
This beetle’s exoskeleton has a lot more protein than that of other beetles in its family, which contributes to its strength and toughness.
The extensive connections between various parts of the insect’s exoskeleton allow the hardy beetle to survive being run over by a car.
Emerald Ash Borer
The emerald ash borer, also known as the green buprestid or jewel beetle, or by its abbreviation EAB, is from northeastern Asia and eats different kinds of ash trees.
Female species of emerald ash borer deposit eggs in the fissures in the bark. The larvae feed beneath the bark and become adults in one to two years.
It doesn’t do much damage to the local trees because it is usually found in small amounts. It is an invasive plant outside of its natural area and severely harms European and North American ash trees.
Before it was found in North America, not much was known about where the emerald ash borer came from. However, this is one of the types of insects in Texas you don’t want invading your space.
The moth subfamily Lymantriinae belongs to the Erebidae. George Hampson created the taxon in 1893. Many of its constituent species go by the moniker “tussock moths” in one form or another.
The caterpillars or larvae of these species often look strange, with bristles and hairy protrusions on their bodies. Many tussock moth caterpillars have urticating hairs, which when in touch with skin, can lead to painful reactions. These hairs are frequently concealed within longer, softer hairs.
Hyles lineata, also known as the white-lined sphinx, is the scientific name for this moth, which is a member of the Sphingidae family. They occasionally go by the name “hummingbird moth” due to their size and flight patterns that resemble those of birds.
The white-lined sphinx exhibits a variety of color phenotypes as caterpillars, but their adult color is constant. This is one of the many types of insects in Texas that span a large portion of Central and North America.
As caterpillars, H. lineata eats many different kinds of host plants, and as adults, it pollinates many different kinds of flowers.
Larvae are known to gather in large groups and have a voracious appetite, making them capable of ruining gardens and crops. As adults, they seek plants from which to gather nectar using both visual and olfactory awareness.
Southern Flannel Moth
If you ever see one of these types of insects in Texas, you won’t be able to miss it because of the way it looks.
Its larval form is very distinctive, and it goes by a variety of names, including opossum bug, asp, wooly slug, and fuzzy puss caterpillar, to name a few. One of Texas’ most hazardous bugs, the caterpillar form is likewise extremely poisonous.
The imperial moth, Eacles Imperialis, is a Nearctic member of the Saturniidae family and Ceratocampinae subfamily. The species’ mature wingspan ranges between 80 and 175 mm, and Dru Drury provided the first description of it in 1773.
Furthermore, variation within this species is substantial. The coloring of an adult can be very different, but it is usually mostly yellow with patches of red, brown, and purple.
Salt Marsh Moth
The salt marsh moth, also known as the acrea moth, is a member of the Erebidae family of moths. Dru Drury published the first description of the species in 1773.
They also dominate large parts of Texas, making them one of the most fascinating creatures to look out for.
The abdomen of these types of insects in Texas is golden orange with a row of black markings, and the head and thorax are white. Additionally, the forewing is white with a sporadic pattern of black specks, with no markings present in some individuals.
Respectively, the hindwing of a female and a male is white and orange. Moreover, the hindwings of both sexes bear three or four black blotches or dots. The wingspan ranges between 4.5 and 6.8 cm.
The eight-spotted forester, or Alypia Octomaculata, is a moth belonging to the Noctuidae family. It can be found in Texas, as well as in some regions of Canada and Mexico.
This moth is black with two pale or yellowish markings on each wing. The wing span ranges between 30 and 37 mm. In the north, the moth has a single generation that flies from April to June.
A second generation that flies in August is found in the south, and Virginia creeper serves as food for the larvae.
The largest native moth in North America is called Hyalophora Cecropia, or the Cecropia moth. This is one of the types of insects in Texas belonging to the Saturniidae family of enormous silk moths. Females’ wingspan measurements range from 5 to 7 inches.
Cecropia moth larvae can be found on many different types of trees in Texas, although they are most frequently seen on maple trees. Carl Linnaeus published the first description of the species in Systema Naturae, 10th edition, published in 1758.
Given that it can defoliate a citrus tree in less than 24 hours, it is thought to be a major pest of agricultural and ornamental plants. It can also collect leaves from more than 200 different plant species. You’d also find that there are numerous queens and up to 2 million workers per colony.
The biggest butterfly found in North America is the Giant Swallowtail (Papilio Cresphontes). This insect is prevalent in many areas of Texas.
While its stunning appearance is frequently prized in gardens, its larvae stage may be a significant problem for citrus orchards. Due to this, the caterpillars became known as “orange dogs” or “orange puppies.”
On the other hand, swallowtail caterpillars are very hard to find because they look so much like bird droppings. To protect themselves against predators like wasps, flies, and vertebrates, they use this in addition to their osmeteria. This is a gland that produces a terrible odor in order to chase away predators.
Texas is home to the pipevine swallowtail butterfly, often known as the blue swallowtail or Battus philenor. This butterfly has iridescent blue hindwings and is black overall. Although they can be found in a variety of locations, woodlands are where you’ll most often find them.
Caterpillars, which are frequently black or red, eat plants in the genus Aristolochia that are compatible with them. They are renowned for storing acids from the plants they feed on so that they might become deadly when eaten. The adults can also consume a variety of flowers’ nectar.
The Corydalidae subfamily of insects, which belongs to the Megalopteran family Corydalidae, includes dobsonflies. Dobsonflies are one of the types of insects in Texas commonly called hellgrammites.
The adults of hellgrammites are frequently found near streams, and their larvae live in an aquatic habitat. You should know that the nine dobsonfly genera can be found in Texas, South Africa, and Asia.
Oriental cockroaches are a large species of cockroach, with adult males measuring 18 to 29 mm and adult females measuring 20 to 27 mm. They are one of the types of insects in Texas, often referred to as water bugs or black cockroaches.
This insect has a glossy body and is dark brown or black. The female looks somewhat different from the male: she has non-functional wings right below her head, despite first appearing to be wingless. You’d also find that she’s larger in stature than the male.
The male has a narrower body and lengthy, brown wings that extend over three-quarters of the abdomen. They are both incapable of flight. Due to their similar appearances, it’s possible to mistake the female Oriental cockroach for the Florida wood cockroach.
If you would love to have the benefit of appreciating insects from their habitation, reading the article on types of insects in Texas will be of great significance. Texas is home to many insects, both good and bad, despite the fact that this makes the area full of unending genuine beauty.