Ants are some of the most common household pests in Texas. Most ant species that invade homes make their nest outdoors. A few may nest in walls or interior areas of homes. Fire Ants, Carpenter Ants, Sugar Ants, and Pharaoh Ants are some of the most common in this area and the primary species that we treat.
Ants do have the potential to be dangerous depending on the species. Some species such as Carpenter Ants can be destructive to property. Other types of ants can introduce diseases and bacteria into a home, and others such as Fire Ants can sting which may cause physical harm to humans and pets.


Centipedes (like millipedes) are members of the subphylum Myriapoda which means “many legs.” Most of these creatures live in humid, moist environments such as in soil, leaf litter, under rocks, and under wood. The house centipede may be found around damp areas such as closets, bathrooms or underneath the home. House centipedes search for insects at night.
Most centipedes can attack only with their poison claws, causing a beelike sting. However, some will cause harm with the sharp claws of its many walking legs. Each walking leg is tipped with a sharp claw that can make tiny cuts on human skin. A poison produced from the attachment point of each leg may be dropped into the wounds, causing inflammation and irritation. It is best to never handle centipedes.


The most common cricket found in Texas is known as the black field cricket. Known to spring up seasonally in Texas, crickets can be found more often in late summer and fall. They are nocturnal creatures, preferring dark, damp areas in which to live and reproduce. Crickets are attracted to cooler temperatures and lights around homes.
Although they do not directly harm people, they do attract a multitude of other predators. Be aware that a cricket infestation can cause damage to carpets, fabrics, woods, and other common household materials in addition to spreading bacteria.


Earwigs are among the most easily recognizable insects. They are abundant throughout Texas and can be a nuisance when they invade houses. Some earwig species emit a foul-smelling, yellowish brown liquid from their scent glands, but the most common complaint against the earwig is its mere presence in homes.
Although earwigs rarely harm people, the insects’ large, pincer-like appendages, called forceps, can appear formidable. The earwig’s name comes from a European superstition that the insect would enter the ear of a sleeping person and bore into the brain. (They don’t actually do this)


Fleas are small, wingless insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. Americans spend about $9 billion a year controlling fleas. In Texas, most flea problems are caused by the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis. This flea feeds on cats, dogs and wildlife. Fortunately, there are many effective treatments for flea infestations.
Fleas can be a source of both irritation and disease. Dogs and cats scratch constantly when heavily infested, resulting in soiled and roughened coats and, sometimes, in nervous conditions. The most serious effects occur when a pet develops an allergy to flea bites. As few as one or two bites can cause severe itching and scratching in allergic pets. Cat fleas do not normally live on humans, but do bite people who handle infested animals. Flea bites cause small, red, itchy bumps, usually on the ankles and lower legs.


Millipedes (like centipedes) are members of the subphylum Myriapoda, which means “many legs.” Most of these creatures live in humid, moist environments such as in soil, leaf litter, under rocks, and under wood. Millipedes feed primarily on decaying organic matter and some eat other animals. Many millipedes may move into a home after heavy rainfall or during drought.
Millipedes are not poisonous but have glands that produce a smelly fluid that can be irritating, especially if rubbed in the eyes. After handling millipedes, wash your hands with soap and water until the odor is completely gone. Millipedes occasionally damage seedling plants by feeding on stems and leaves.


Also known as “roly polies,” Pillbugs are common inhabitants of landscapes and garden sites around buildings.  Occasionally pillbugs become pests around the home. In most years pillbugs content themselves in feeding harmlessly on decaying vegetable matter in and on the soil. In Texas, pillbugs may produce two to three generations per year. Adult pillbugs are relatively long-lived, with some surviving several years.

Pillbugs are not dangerous to humans. However when abundant - as in years of high rainfall - they can become a significant pest of landscape plants. 


Cockroaches are among the most common pests in homes, schools, and businesses. They like to eat many of the same foods we do and are especially troublesome wherever food is prepared or served. They also may transfer disease-causing organisms.

It’s not that the bugs themselves are dangerous but the germs and bacteria they bring into your homes can easily contaminate food, toothbrushes, and countertops. Roaches are capable of spreading viruses, bacteria, and parasites that can make humans very sick. Occassionally, their shed skins and feces can trigger asthma attacks in people, especially children.


Scorpions are arachnids, close relatives of ticks, mites and spiders. They are easily recognized by their characteristic shape. Scorpions prefer dry habitats but are common throughout Texas. They can be a nuisance when they interact with humans because they will sting when disturbed.

The sting from a Texas scorpion will produce only moderate reactions in most people because the poison has little effect on the nervous system. The severity of the sting does depend on the individual scorpion and the person’s reaction to the venom. A person who is stung by a scorpion should be watched closely for adverse reactions. As with any arthropod venom, allergic reactions are possible.


Silverfish have tear-drop-shaped bodies covered in metallic scales and long antennae. They move quickly using wriggling fish-like movements. These insects prefer starchy foods such as flour, paper, or glue.

Silverfish are not dangerous to humans but do pose a threat to property. Significant damage occurs only if a large popula­tion is present for a long period. Damage will mostly be found to books and paper. Books or stacks of paper could end up with ragged edges. It is possible stored items could be stained by fecal material, cast skins, or scales.


Spiders are arachnids. They often find their way inside following the insects they feed on. Spiders will hide out and nest in dark, quiet, and out-of-the-way places where they won't be disturbed. Though spiders are extremely helpful out in nature, when they find their way to our yards in large populations or into our homes, you need to take action to eliminate spiders and their prey.

Spiders are naturally reclusive and want nothing to do with people. The vast majority of spiders that people encounter are harmless. In Texas, there are two species that are very dangerous — the black widow and the brown recluse. Both are dangerous not because they are overly aggressive but because if a bite were to occur, their venom is powerful enough to trigger a serious reaction in humans that does require medical attention.

Texas is also home to tarantulas and wolf spiders. These spiders are often mistaken as dangerous spiders because of their large size. While a bite from either can be painful, their venom isn't strong enough to affect a human.


Subterranean termites are some of the most destructive insect pests in the world. All termites feed on the cellulose found in woods and grasses. In nature, subterranean termites are beneficial because they break down the cellulose in wood into usable nutrients and recycle the carbon in wood to produce humus, which enriches the soil. Therefore, termites are extremely important in the ecosystem. When it comes to your home, however, termites are disastrous. 

Termites are extremely dangerous to property and cause billions of dollars in damage each year. Active termite infestations can be difficult to detect so homes should be inspected and treated regularly to prevent severe damage. 


Ticks are parasitic arachnids that are part of the mite superorder Parasitiformes. Adult ticks are approximately 3 to 5 mm in length. Ticks are external parasites. They survive by feeding on the blood of mammals, birds, and sometimes reptiles and amphibians. 

Though many species of ticks are benign, some of them pose serious threats. Ticks are most active during the spring, summer, and fall months. They can carry diseases such as Lyme, Stari, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. It is a good idea to consult a medical professional if you have been bitten by a tick. 


All wasps, bees, and ants belong to the scientific order called Hymenoptera. The Hymenoptera comprise some of the most interesting and important insects, including many species that are beneficial predators and parasites of pest insects, and many useful pollinator species. Besides ants and bees, the most important stinging Hymenoptera belong to the wasp family Vespidae. Most vespid wasps are social insects, living in nests that they build and defend cooperatively. Vespid wasp nests are constructed of a paper-like material and may be found either above or below ground.

Wasp stings typically result in intense pain, with swelling and redness at the site of the sting. While pain is usually localized at the site of the sting, larger allergic reactions are also possible. About 5 percent of people who experience a large local reaction will suffer an anaphylactic (serious systemic hypersensitivity) reaction if they are stung subsequently. These reactions range from a widespread rash, swelling and itching to difficulty breathing. In severe reactions, victims may develop a rapid pulse and low blood pressure, shock or respiratory distress and even death. It is critical to get someone experiencing a systemic reaction to emergency care immediately.