Animal Crossing: New Horizons is one of the most popular video games in the world right now. As the player, you create a charming community on an island, build your house, charm animal friends, and help out the town museum by collecting fish and bug specimens. While many elements of the game, like talking to animals, exist only in fantasy, every bug that you can capture actually exists in the real world. And many of them can be found right here in Texas. Now, we won’t blame you if you call pest control services because some bugs don’t belong in our yards. But they’re still fascinating to learn about!
There are many varieties of cicadas that reside in Texas. The giant cicada is known for its shrill song that sounds more like an alarm to many listeners. Cicadas come in all different colors, but most are a shade of green or brown. On average, they’re around 1 to 1.5″ in length, but some can reach two inches. Due to their excellent natural camouflage, you may not see them in the grass, trees, or bushes, but you can certainly hear them. Their high-pitched trilling signals the end of the summer. You might think all this noise would let predators know where to find a tasty snack, but this noise actually helps them repel birds. It also helps them find each other during the mating season.
Often mistaken for dragonflies, these two bugs do share many characteristics. Damselflies are smaller, however, and have rectangular heads with eyes farther apart. If you ever see these quick-flying creatures, you should say “thank you.” Their preferred meal is mosquitoes. Not only do these little critters look cool, but they’re also helping to protect you!
Everything’s bigger in Texas, and the bugs are no exception. While giant stag beetles are on the rarer end of the spectrum, you can still find them. Their peak season is in late May or June, and they like to seek out damp or decaying wood to nest in. With giant pincers, these are definitely one of the more sinister-looking bugs. However, you don’t need to break out the DIY pest control if you see one. They actually aren’t a threat to humans, but they can bite if you handle them, so it’s best to take a picture as a keepsake.
If there’s one bug that’s creepier than the giant stag beetle, it might just be the tarantula. In Animal Crossing, these guys will actually chase you if you get too close. In the real world, they will stand up on their hind legs to scare off attackers. They’re equipped with fuzzy hairs that will irritate your eyes and skin, so we recommend not touching them if you find one. It’s rare for them to bite humans, and the bites are generally not serious. If you dislike the trilling of cicadas, it’s best to leave tarantulas alone – they love to dine on cicadas!
Also known as a water strider, these fascinating bugs can skim across the surface of the water. They feed on tiny crustaceans that live near the surface. Being only 1/4 to 1″ in length, you may not notice them darting across the water, but they sometimes appear in a swarm, so if you’re near a pond and see the surface rippling, lean in for a closer look!
The bugs we’ve talked about aren’t hazardous to humans, but other bugs, like fire ants, fleas and ticks can pose a very great risk to your health and safety. At Lawn Lab, we believe your yard should be a place to relax and spend time with family – maybe even by playing Animal Crossing together! It shouldn’t be a place you fear to go because of a pest infestation. We offer flea and tick control as well as a fire ant treatment program to combat some of the nastiest bugs in the Lone Star State. To learn more about these programs or to schedule service, call (972) 287-7400 to speak to a team member or leave us a message online here. We host a monthly blog, so if you’re curious and would like to learn more, you can read it here or follow us on Facebook.