Neighborhood Bugs: Are Some Dallas ‘Hoods More “Buggy” Than Others: Skeeters & Such — A Guide to the Buggiest ‘Hoods in Dallas

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!

 

 

 

14 Comment

  • my two cents, for those of you who are pet owners make sure your pets are on heartguard or something similar.

  • my two cents, for those of you who are pet owners make sure your pets are on heartguard or something similar.

  • I have lived in the Park Cities all of my life. Currently, in UP, between Lovers and Southwestern, just east of Preston, we have terrible mosquitos and terrible roaches. This is the first year that the mosquitos have been awful during the day time, (usually they only came out in the evening). We, too, have had a roach visit us in bed and it was a horrific experience. We have a 'green' pest control service that comes out every now and then so it's usually dead roaches that we find. I used to live in HP, right by the DCC, (so we were very close to the Creek), and surprisingly, roaches were not a problem, (we'd see them in the garage but that's to be expected!). Mosquitos were never a problem at that house until the last 10 years or so, (my parents currently live in that same area in HP, right by the Creek, and they are eaten alive when they go outside). Finally, fleas!! In UP, my husband and I have been fighting fleas for the last 2 years. We finally have it under control but it was terrible! We have several rescue animals and they are all flea-free now! One last thing….in the Park Cities, I don't think it's a rare thing to have an encounter with a rat every now and then. They lived in our walls at our old house in HP and we see them on the fences all the time in UP, (and I think we all are aware that rats are great carriers for terrible things like fleas!)

  • I have lived in the Park Cities all of my life. Currently, in UP, between Lovers and Southwestern, just east of Preston, we have terrible mosquitos and terrible roaches. This is the first year that the mosquitos have been awful during the day time, (usually they only came out in the evening). We, too, have had a roach visit us in bed and it was a horrific experience. We have a 'green' pest control service that comes out every now and then so it's usually dead roaches that we find. I used to live in HP, right by the DCC, (so we were very close to the Creek), and surprisingly, roaches were not a problem, (we'd see them in the garage but that's to be expected!). Mosquitos were never a problem at that house until the last 10 years or so, (my parents currently live in that same area in HP, right by the Creek, and they are eaten alive when they go outside). Finally, fleas!! In UP, my husband and I have been fighting fleas for the last 2 years. We finally have it under control but it was terrible! We have several rescue animals and they are all flea-free now! One last thing….in the Park Cities, I don't think it's a rare thing to have an encounter with a rat every now and then. They lived in our walls at our old house in HP and we see them on the fences all the time in UP, (and I think we all are aware that rats are great carriers for terrible things like fleas!)

  • I used to live in Houston and OY!! the roaches and the mosquitoes were the worst. There could only be one mosquito in the entire county and it will hunt me down every time.
    From Jan through mid-March, we are in a midrise apt (7 floors) in Uptown. In the past 5 years we have hardly ever seen a bug in our apt, no matter what floor we were on. The management does a good job of maintaining regular pest control schedules. Of course I have to do my part by not letting food sit out too long.

  • I used to live in Houston and OY!! the roaches and the mosquitoes were the worst. There could only be one mosquito in the entire county and it will hunt me down every time.
    From Jan through mid-March, we are in a midrise apt (7 floors) in Uptown. In the past 5 years we have hardly ever seen a bug in our apt, no matter what floor we were on. The management does a good job of maintaining regular pest control schedules. Of course I have to do my part by not letting food sit out too long.

  • Cheryl, I am a total clean Nazi because of bugs — from being terrorized by New York City roaches. Oh they scarred me for life. Now when I see that occasional roach, I can slap him with my hand — no mercy. But I'm told by entomologists that being clean doesn't guarantee no roaches — I always thought crumbs attracted them. (I will wipe any counter I'm standing in front out out of sheer habit!) What have you heard about cleanliness and bugs?

  • Cheryl, I am a total clean Nazi because of bugs — from being terrorized by New York City roaches. Oh they scarred me for life. Now when I see that occasional roach, I can slap him with my hand — no mercy. But I'm told by entomologists that being clean doesn't guarantee no roaches — I always thought crumbs attracted them. (I will wipe any counter I'm standing in front out out of sheer habit!) What have you heard about cleanliness and bugs?

  • I can see that could be true, that cleanliness doesn't guarantee a bug-free zone. I know that roaches are usually found in areas heavily treed and in higher humidity areas, so I guess they can still decide to go into homes, with or without the available "buffet". I just know that my Mom was a fanatic about keeping the kitchen clean (never went to bed with dirty dishes in the sink, no boxes or bags of food left open) but we also had frequent visits from the exterminator. Seemed like every other month, I had to help her get the dishes out of the cabinets so they could be sprayed. Reading this article makes me appreciate living in the prairie with our lone anemic urbanite tree, but we do have the spider issue.
    Guess no matter where you live, there's always going to be that one "fly in the ointment". 🙂

  • I can see that could be true, that cleanliness doesn't guarantee a bug-free zone. I know that roaches are usually found in areas heavily treed and in higher humidity areas, so I guess they can still decide to go into homes, with or without the available "buffet". I just know that my Mom was a fanatic about keeping the kitchen clean (never went to bed with dirty dishes in the sink, no boxes or bags of food left open) but we also had frequent visits from the exterminator. Seemed like every other month, I had to help her get the dishes out of the cabinets so they could be sprayed. Reading this article makes me appreciate living in the prairie with our lone anemic urbanite tree, but we do have the spider issue.
    Guess no matter where you live, there's always going to be that one "fly in the ointment". 🙂

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