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The first week we were in Texas we had a copperhead run over in the street, one of the local PD brought by a baby rattlesnake he'd killed, we found two blackwidows and a several brown recluse spiders. We were second guessing ourselves for a week or two.
...if you do not coat yourself a couple of times in bug spray. They are not deadly, just annoying.
I agree with the other posts, especially with the bug spray. Mosquitos are the biggest pests around here.
I've known a couple of people bitten (my cousin for one) by brown recluses. Make sure if you are in a rural area you shake out your shoes and such if you leave them in the garage or front porch, etc). Occassionally, I see a black widow or 2 on my aunt's farm (Ennis, Tx). Bodies of water (creeks, ponds, lakes) can have water moccasins (only snake I truly fear in this area as they can be aggressive. We've only ever run into them while fishing remote areas. You're more likely to see a copperhead than a rattlesnake. Like the others said, they're (rattlesnakes) more west of this area. Unless you are way out in the country, your chances of running into any problems are slim.
Lets see what wild animals varmints I've seen recently:
Snakes: actually we have had two in the last few weeks in the backyard. One was in the pool skimmer (they get in the pool and can not get out) and another was on the sidewalk in the back. Both were about 8" and were quickly disposed of. During the same period one neighbor also spotted two snakes in their yard but he did not tell his wife what size they were and they got away by the time he retrieved a tool to permanently get rid of them. BTW, according to one neighbor the guy told him one was pretty big.
Rabbits: TONS of rabbits. We have "fluffy" now living in our backyard on the porch. She is so cute. I think mama bunny is the one we see in the front yard in the early morning hours, "floppy". There are many more around and the only thing keeping me from getting some rabbit food for "fluffy" is the snakes. I don't want to attract them to her/him. But every morning on the way to school we see at least 4 rabbits. If we are coming home late at night in the alley we always see at least 1.
Ducks: Our mallards are back. They come back every year. They have had their eggs in a nest in my front and backyards over the years. Last year something got the eggs before it was time for them to hatch (no eggshells left at all so I figure a slimey reptile got them and AND . So when mommy duck came back to start nesting again I ran her off as I did not want the snakes coming back to our backyard. So they are in one of the ponds on the golf course .
Turtles: In the ponds on the golf course. Saw the whole family the other day sunning. I swear there were a dozen lil turtles and their mommy. It was so cute.
Skunks: Every now and then we smell one. We just accuse the kids of doing something horrible
Armadillos: Have not had a problem w/ them in awhile, thank goodness. If you do find large ruts or trenches in your yard, shrubs, flower beds just go to the nearest feed store and buy a trap. Trap them and haul them off to some other area not near other houses.
Opossum: Yep. See them in the roads every now and then.
Racoons: I've always like racoons. Really don't like seeing them in the roads.
Coyotes: They are around. This was their natural home and we took it from them. They are usually only out at night. Last year I did see one on the golf course headed for our neighborhood at around noon. I called animal control and they already knew about it. The only reason I called on this particular coyote is because it was DAYLIGHT and coyote are not typically out in the broad daylight in the wide open like that except for two reasons: 1. rabid or 2. VERY, VERY HUNGRY! Every now and then we will see coyotes that have been run over on the road. Several times up on 190.
Owls: Every winter they show up. We have two of them. They are SOOOO COOL! Except when they land on our roof at 2 am on Christmas morning. Suddenly made very quick believers of Santa Claus out of the hubby and I. THUD! "uh, honey, did you hear that?". "uh, yeah". "what was it?". " santa clause?" LOL!!!
Spiders: little bitty ones that die as soon as they make their way onto our property. LOL!!! We have a pest control company that comes out every 3 months. NOTHING gets in this house. If you are seeing brown recluse all the time, they are not brown recluse. Hince the name, "recluse". I've known one person that has been bit by one and he never saw the spider.
Mosquitos: I don't spray myself crazy w/ insect spray. Can't stand the stuff but it is much better than it used to be. We use tiki torches in the backyard w/ the citronilla oil and it REALLY helps. Also if we are having a gathering in the backyard or down at the lakehouse I'll use those outdoor foggers that day before anyone shows up and they really do work. Plant marigolds as they are a natural repellent. I always plant marigolds scattered around in different areas of the backyard and put some in my flower pots on the front porch w/ the other flowers. Cana's attract mosquitos so avoid those.
Birds: Lots of cardinals and turtle doves around here.
Those black birds, grackels, etc: BB GUNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you let one come roost they will bring the entire flock and they also run off all the other birds. Even the city shoots those airguns at them to keep them from roosting. So yes, I have been known to sit out in my backyard in the chaise lounge by the pool w/ my bb gun by my side. We do the same w/ pigeons at the office. I can't stand the nasty things.
Flys: Really bad during the summer months. Hang ziploc bags w/ about an inch of water over your backdoor and in other places outside like under your table umbrella. The flies w/ all of their eyes think they are going to fly into water from the reflection of the water in the bags. Some even say to put a shiny penny in the bag w/ the water but you don't have to. I have them hanging over my backdoor and the kids in good weather can leave the door open and flies do not come in the house. Having a ceiling fan on the back porch also helps in that area.
We moved to San Antonio from Maryland 8 years ago. We bought a house that was 16 yrs old because I heard scorpions like new houses. We had 30+ scorpions in our house the first year, about enough to freak me out. I was PARANOID, they come out at 9 or 10 at night...sometimes I'd see 2 or 3 in a day. We have 4 kids and none of us got stung fortunately. We saw the first one when we were moving in...the previous owner said she saw one in 7 years, yeah RIGHT! Anyways, I think we killed them all, and now we only see about 2 a year in the house. We have had coral snakes on our street. Both of our neighbors have seen rattlers in their yards, but we have not. I am in the San Antonio suburbs, not in "the sticks". Just a regular subdivision. Never seen a copperhead or cottonmouth though, not even at the pond/lake nearby.
I actually saw an Opossum on my front porch last week as I was comming home from a trip.
Scared the hell out of me at first...but I think he was more scared as he scurried into my bushes and out of site. Ever since I've been paranoid everytime I come home at night
I also see rabbits all the time. They are the brown kind...if anybody is familiar with the different species. They stay primarily in the undeveloped areas that are still grassy. But every once in a while I will see one or two run across a front lawn.
One of the things I love about my new neighborhood is our pond/lake which is home to a number of ducks, geese, mallards, turtles, not to mention various fish.
I will try and take some pictures around the 'hood these next few days and post them on here. I've been trying to wait for a clear day, but that has been hard around here lately!
The rabbits are cottontails. They are a brown/gray color w/ a white cotton tail. They don't get real big either. I'm surprised I don't see one in my front yard right now as there usually is about right now. One neighbor had a whole family of them living under their deck. There are a few people that complain about the rabbits eating their flowers but they are just the old codgy people. The rest of us actually plant flowers for them. They won't eat carrots or lettuce if you put any out for them.
Oh yeah, Opossum are more scared of you than you of them. I'll never forget the time one night years and years ago that a baby one was in our tree in the backyard. It was making such a fuss and we went out and saw it. It was petrified. Mama opossum showed up and she was not too happy and so we just went back inside.
I'm glad you did, mom! I would hate to hear that one of you got attacked by an opossum!
That would make an even more amusing story than those you hear of people being attacked my Mockingbirds I actually witnessed that happening one day back in College at UNT while walking through campus. One of the funniest things I ever saw
I also love the rabbits. If you buy rabbit food from the local pet shop and sprinkle it around the grass you will see a whole herd of them come hopping over.
I used to do that all the time back at my old place in Plano. There was a field behind my apartment complex that was home to a whole community of those little brown rabbits. I used to begin to throw some rabbit food down and sure enough, upwards of 20 of them would come right up to me at the grass' edge to eat.
Interesting side note: I saw two of those rabbits almost get blasted by a jet engine a couple of weeks ago at Addison airport. There I was, waiting at the end of the runway for takeoff when two rabbits come hopping along the end of the runway. Soon a jet comes right over their ears for a landing, sending them hopping away in a panic.
>> Armadillos: Have not had a problem w/ them in awhile, thank goodness. If you do find large ruts or trenches in your yard, shrubs, flower beds just go to the nearest feed store and buy a trap. Trap them and haul them off to some other area not near other houses.<<
Believe it or not, we have armadillos here in FL. I constantly find little scratching ruts all over my garden. I've seen a few armadillo road kill, just like in TX
The only thing that would bother me that has been mentioned so far is the scorpions ... just looking at them grosses me out. We use to find them occasionally when we lived in San Antonio and when we visited the hill country. I don't mind the nonvenomous snakes or regular spiders - as long as I know they are there!
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