Mosquitoes, & Creepy South Texan Bugs

Their are so many different species of bugs. They all have their place in this world to be beneficial in the chain of life and preservation of our ecosystem. They are useful as food in the food chain, they pollinate flowering plants, some produce useful substances like honey, wax, and silk. They also help as decomposers, and help create top soils full of nutrients…….Yes….That’s True…..Having pointed all that out….It doesn’t mean I have to like them……Yuck….I Hate Them……They are ugly, some are aggressive and some just want to be left alone…..I still Don’t like them.

Living in Illinois, I grew up with our bugs. Mosquitoes, ants, spiders, bees, wasps and all those nuisance bugs. Now down here in Texas I have learned all about the bugs that are common in this area.

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The first bug I experienced was the awful…..”Palmetto Bug”…..Alias, Cockroach. I found out they are everywhere. We,ve had them in the trailer, in the hall. Their everywhere. I grew up thinking if you had Cockroaches, it was because you were a bad housekeeper, to say it politely. Not down here. It turns out they love the hot tropical climate. They like to hang out in Palm trees, (hence their nick name) wood, and composting leaf areas. They are really an American cockroach. The can grow up to 1 1/2” long……They are gross. Everyone down here sprays their trailers once or twice a year. The park has the bug man come every month. They still get in and die. My first experience was late at nite. I was home alone watching tv in the MH with only the TV on and suddenly one swiftly crawled across my neck. I was terrified and scared cause I didn’t know what it was at first. They also like to hide in dark places like shoes. One morning, I put on my Sketchers. I didnt notice anything all day but, upon taking them off, I seen BIG dark flakes on the bottom of my socks. Ohhhh, did it STINK….. A Cockroach had died in my shoe. I had walked and squished him all day. ….Ewwww…So GROSS….So now I always turn my shoes upside down before putting them on. They usually come out at nite. The best thing about them is they die after a few days inside……

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The only good cockroach is a DEAD COCKROACH…..They always die upside down. The bug man told me, as they start to die, their legs get weak. They give out and flip over and finish dying legs up…….Its true….I’ve seen them upside down and still moving their legs…..TOO BAD.So what is the purpose of a Cockroach….They help with composting of leafy materials and top soil. They add nutrients to the soil with their waste. They are also a food source for small reptiles and mammals…...Now that’s a good thing. The more cockroaches that are eaten, the happier I’ll be….lol

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The next yucky one is the Hairy Tarantula. I have only seen one alive. They come out at nite apparently. So now I think I shouldn’t be walking around with flip flops at nite. People talk about seeing them in the park. A year ago, they were delivering a new printer in my office. The serviceman bent down in the corner and found a dead Tarantula. He said it was dead about a month. He said it was so big he wanted to take it home to show his wife. Fortunately I wasn’t their that day. When I heard that, I made the cleaning guy come in a clean all the corners of the room. I was so paranoid their was another one.

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About a month ago, Marge opened up the main office, first thing in the morning and their was a live one in the middle of the floor. She called somebody to come and get it….I would have freaked out…..They look so black and hairy and creepy. Their body is from 1 to 4 inches. Their leg span can be from 3 to 12 inches……People say they won’t bother you. Just leave them be…..”Not in my Office” So what is their purpose…..Tarantulas eat bugs, including crickets and Cockroaches..Yesssssssss…..

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The next freaky creature is the Scorpion. Now this one was in New Braunfels. Scott and Brandy had a reserved a beautiful 3 bedroom complex with his Time Share. This Scorpion was in the middle of the kitchen floor one morning……Sooooo Gross…..So I don’t know if they are in the more desolate areas or not, but I haven’t heard of any in the park. I think they are the scarcest of creatures. They have 8 legs, a set of pinchers, a narrow segmented tail that curves over its back, with a venomous stinger on the end. They are poisonous but not deadly. They prefer deserts and semi arid regions. Most hide under logs, rocks, boards and clutter. So what ever is the purpose of this disgusting creature...….It also eats insects and small vertebrae.

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Now this little cute guy is a GECKO…..Upon looking this guy up, he is actually called a lizard, proper name Brown Anole. They grow as long as 9 inches long. These guys love the heat. You don’t see them so much in the winter, but in the summer, they are everywhere. They just flutter around and crawl up everything in site. They have sticky toe pads.

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I came out the back door one day this one was just sitting their watching me. The orange flap of skin extends and then retracts. It is called a Dewlap. It is used to mark their territory or to attract their mate.

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I walked into my office about a month ago and seen something out of the corner of my. I seen this little guy jump up on my printer. lol. I didn’t mind him like I did the Tarantula. I left him their and closed the door. Their was plenty of room under the door for him to escape. The last bug is the awful Mosquitos. They are everywhere. Especially since we had a heavy rain. I can’t even walk outside cause they will take you away.

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About a month or more ago, the City of Harlingen, along with the school started a study on Mosquitoes. They will be looking for Zika and the West Nile Virus carriers. Out of the 10 buckets placed through out the park, we are fortunate to have one put in our yard.

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They came at first once a week. Now they are coming 2 or more times a week according to the life stages of the mosquito. They check each bucket for mosquitoes. The take a black sticky ring out of the top and examine it closely

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The spread it out and collect a sampling of mosquitoes and attach it to a paper with grids. They can look at these with their naked eye and know exactly if it is the type that carries the Zika Virus or any other virus.

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In asking about the Zika carriers, they showed me the small vials. They said they now have to put the virus carriers in these vials and isolate them. He’s even found them at my house….. I do want to make it clear. They have not found the virus, just the type of mosquitos that can carry it.……They can look close with their naked eye and tell the difference in the mosquitoes…..Right now, they are collecting eggs. This will be going on for the next year.

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Facts from Wikipedia.…..Did you know Mosquito is Spanish for “Small Fly”….Their are 3500 species. These little pests have been documented to have been around 226 million years ago. Their are 4 stages of their life cycle, Egg, Larva, Pupa, and Adult. The first 3 stages take place in standing water or lakes and marshes. Each stage last 5 to 14 days. We all know about the adult stage. The male lives typically 5 to 7 days. The female lives up to 14 days. The female after obtaining a full blood sucking meal….WHICH IS US….will rest while the blood is digested and the eggs are developed. Then the female will lay the eggs, (100 to 200). Then this cycle which is only several days will be repeated. A mosquito can produce up to 1000 or more eggs in a life time……WOW, no wonder their are so many of these little nuisance bugs…..So what is the lesson here. Dump out all standing water after a rain. Don’t let them breed. Every time you kill a blood sucking bug on your arm, you have saved yourself up to 1000 bugs in your neighborhood….lol…

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So what is the purpose of a mosquito.….I didn’t think of them as useful. But they are. The fish, frogs, birds and bats eat the eggs in the water. They are a food source. I guess their is a use and a reason for all of Gods creatures on the earth…..I just don’t like some of them…..

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