AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Ever wonder what animals or creepy crawlies in Texas you should avoid at all costs? For everyone’s safety this springtime, it’s important to know the animals that could really leave a mark upon being approached.
Among the ranches, farms, oceans, rivers, and desert lands of Texas live dangerous creatures that would send even the bravest running for the hills.
Take a look at some of the deadliest animals that can be found in Texas:
We often see them at a grandparent’s ranch on the outskirts of town or even in those Texas-based Western movies, as the rattlesnake is known to be venomous.
It’s the Western cottonmouth snakes, along with the Western diamondback, that can be found most often in Texas. According to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s website, cottonmouths are dark colored and marked with wide, dark bands all around. Diamondbacks are brown with “diamond-shaped markings along the middle of the back and alternating black and white rings on the tail,” detailed the Wildlife Department.
According to the Montana Association of Counties, it’s best to stay alert, wear protective clothing such as boots that cover the ankles, check the surrounding area, and never attempt to move or handle a rattlesnake in order to avoid a deadly bite.
There is a multitude of spiders that are seen throughout Texas, however, there are two deadly spiders in Texas that validate one’s spider phobia: the black widow and the brown recluse, which can be seen both indoors and outdoors in Texas.
According to the Texas Health and Human Services, the female black widow is notably black in shade and has a reddish or yellowish hourglass on the underside, while a male black widow is smaller and brown without any distinguishable features. Beware of the black widow’s venom, known to be a neurotoxin, as any type of absorption to the human system can lead to “severe systemic reactions and in rare cases, death,” detailed Human Services.
Brown recluses are golden brown and have dark brown or black “fiddle-shaped patterns on the head region” and, according to Human Services, these spiders will bite when they feel trapped, disturbed or threatened.
Human Services stated that if an individual is bitten, immediately wash the area with soap and water or an antiseptic. Although an antivenom for a black widow bite is available, it is only used in extreme cases as a dose of the antivenom can cause an anaphylactic reaction.
Call the Texas Poison Center Network at 1-800-222-1222 for more first-aid information.
Although it can be a delight to take a trip to the Texas coast, it is important to be on the lookout for any sharks that could be roaming in the waters. The deadliest breeds of sharks in Texas are Bull Sharks and Great White Sharks.
According to a story on AZ Animals, these are the top five beaches near the Texas coast in which shark-infested waters are most prominent:
- Pirates Beach
- Surfside Beach
- Galveston Beach
- South Padre Island
- Mustang Island/Port Aransas
The University of Florida provided safety tips on ways to reduce the risk of a shark bite, stating that it is important to avoid the water during low-light hours as sharks are searching for prey at this time. You should also avoid wearing shiny jewelry because light can reflect off the object, which may resemble fish scales.
The university added that swimmers should stay with a friend and keep close to shore to maximize precaution. Should one come in contact with a shark, always stay calm and avoid making any sudden movements. Easier said than done, but these important facts will aid in any close encounters with sharks.
Alligators are not known to be the foremost deadly creature in Texas, but these creatures have been spotted in rivers and the waters of Lake Lewisville near Denton, Lake Worth near Fort Worth, Caddo Lake near Karnack and more, according to AZ Animals.
Texas Parks & Wildlife advised swimmers to only swim in designated areas and to not feed or harass the alligators as this can cause a dangerous reaction. In addition, it is important to keep at least 30 feet away from an alligator at all times and avoid fishing if an alligator is spotted in the area.
Honorable Mention: Scorpions
Although scorpions are seen throughout Texas there are no reported deadly scorpions in the Lone Star State. Texas Parks noted that the deadliest scorpion is the Arizona bear scorpion, located in the Sonoran Desert, which wraps around the northern parts of the Gulf of California through Baja California. However, the scorpions seen in Texas can still be dangerous and have a painful sting.
According to Texas Parks & Wildlife, in the case of a scorpion bite, one may experience localized pain and swelling which should ease in about an hour. However, if shortness of breath or tingling in the tongue should occur, “seek medical treatment,” arachnid expert Dave Moellendorf told Texas Parks & Wildlife.