We all know Dallas is buggy. Let’s face it, you move to a warmer climate, you get bugs. When I grew up in Chicago we had millipedes and spiders in summer months, but not even an amoeba survived the tundra months of winter. I will not step foot in Main until July 1 because of the black flies. They are VICIOUS!! And I think the mosquitoes on the east coast are the worst, confirmed by this Off Insect Repellent study. After leaving Vail I checked for ticks as I always do when out in the western woods. In Johnson City, I know that scorpions are waiting to get me inside my boots and shoes so we shake ‘em before we put them on.
But Dallas is not terribly buggy when measured up to the rest of the nation: we are number 17, behind Austin and San Antonio. Of course Houston is way buggier — it’s a swamp! According to a recent article on The Huffington Post, only about 9 percent of people nationwide say they don’t walk outside without bug spray, and nearly 10 percent say they use bug spray when out for more than 30 minutes. (I have to. Do you?) Just over a quarter of respondents said mosquitos are only bad in the evening, or come out occasionally and don’t pose much of a problem. Nearly 30 percent said mosquitos are rarely a problem. (Where are these peeps? In Kansas City.) In the buggiest cities, however, these stats are drastically different.
Then I saw this story about tarantulas in Bastrop, and I paid attention. It seems that the mild winter and fewer arachnid fungal infections [or] diseases, plentiful food (um, like my legs?) is helping create a bumper crop of tarantulas in central Texas. They are migrating and actually walking across the roads, trot trot trot. Jesus — people see them while driving. That might cause an ACCIDENT. The homeowner interviewed says she’s had ten tarantulas in her home this past month. EEEEEEK. Full disclosure: they scare the beejesus out of you but do not bite.
“Why we’re seeing them more this year could’ve been the early rains and the lack of rain when it really mattered last year, our drought,” said a board-certified entomologist in Bastrop.
I call BS: I swear every year the entomologists and Orkin guys tell us “this is the worst year ever for bugs.” I’m waiting for someone to say, hey, this year will actually be a good year for bugs because of x, y and z.
Seems like EVERY year is the worst year.
And I think the bug problems are DIFFERENT in different parts of town, of Dallas. We confirmed this at lunch today when my host told me that Lakewood has terrible skeeters — of course, the water — and even the Pyrethrum misting systems don’t really help.
Like worse than other places in Dallas, I asked?
Yes, he said, far worse. In fact, that’s why he’s MOVING!
I know this for a fact: we had a few roaches when we lived east of Marsh for a few years, mostly spiders and pinch bugs, and a ton of mosquitoes. Moved further east to Melissa Lane, east of Midway: almost no roaches, few spiders, a garden snake in the house one time. Park Lane Old Preston Hollow was roach central. We found one in our bed one night, I am not kidding. Little bastard fell right off the rafters. (Yes, try negotiating with your husband to change the sheets at 3 a.m. He gave me all of 5 minutes.) I had one in my shoe, found it while I was driving and thankfully did not wreck the car. This was during one of my au natural granola phases when we had four dogs and a duck and the bird and I swore off chemicals and pesticides. After that night with our little bed mate, I begged for poisons. Moved north of Royal, east of Preston, I see one, maybe three roaches a year. Lots of spiders but I have geckos all over the place and I love them: they eat roaches and mosquitoes.
Bluffview I hear has even more roaches than Preston Hollow. Scorpions are prevalent in new home subdivisions far north and anywhere the soil has been recently churned. Tarantulas — have they walked up here from Bastrop yet? After all that exercise, they will be famished. I sure hope they try walking on I-35!
When you buy a downtown Dallas condo, do you get rid of bugs for ever?
Tell us about your neighborhood bugs. Are there really more skeeters in Lakewood? More roaches in the woodsy parts of Preston Hollow? What critters bug the Park Cities, I have never been a Parkie, unfortunately? Do North Dallas and Plano still have to fear scorpions? Where are mosquitoes the worst in town, and what kinds of bugs bug you in Oak Cliff/Kessler? What about Lake Ray Hubbard — tell us about the bugs that bug your ‘hood!