Things They Don't Tell You Before You Move To Texas

I am not a native Texan, which of course will forever count against me here in the Lone Star State. The good thing is that I am proud to be a Canadian and an Albertan, so it really doesn't bother me at all. I will never forget making the decision to move down to Texas. It wasn't something that I took lightly but I have to admit the lure of the Old West, the legends of Texas and the images the name of the state conjures up in the mind made it much easier than moving to say - Idaho.

What I didn't realize is that there are a heck of a lot of things they don't advertise about the state. I still remember when I turned to my co-worker and said, "I'm moving to Texas" and he said, "Did you know there are more ways to die in Texas than almost anywhere else in North America?"

Ok, maybe that is an exaggeration but there definitely are some things that are very different down here. I am not going to do any topic full justice, but here is just a taste.

Brown Recluse Spiders

This small sized spiders are actually shy and try to stay away from people as much as possible but when they do bite they cause massive horrible looking wounds that take months to heal. The worse part is people that are sensitive to the venom will actually develop necrosis of the tissue that will lead to deep lesions of 10 inches or more.  The poison can also spread to internal organs and lead to eventual death. While this is rare, who wants to take the chance?

Venomous Snakes

Although there are only 4 (make a note they stress ONLY 4) types of venomous snakes native to Texas there are actually 15 subspecies that could potentially be lethal. There are snakes all over Texas. People find them in their gardens, their kid's sandboxes and of course the ever popular snake in the toilet complaint. Since many of the venomous snakes look similar to the less harmful snakes it is generally recommended you just stay clear of anything that slithers.


Bats are something you just can't plan for. They swoop in as you are sitting on the deck having a coffee or just enjoying the millions of frogs, crickets and other weird sounding bugs that strike up a chorus as the sun goes down. There are 32 different species of bats found in the state at any given time. Austin, the capital city of Texas, actually promotes the Congress Avenue bridge as a huge tourist attraction as the bats leave from under the bridge every night in the summer. There are millions of the little things that fly out from the bridge to circle the city. Bats on their own are creepy, but bats in your hair are even worse – trust me!

Oh Wait There Are More

Of course Texas is also home to almost every other type of stinging, biting or menacing insect known to man. Fire ants, very aptly named as they seem to set your skin on fire with their bite, are all over the state. They  make sitting on the grass a very dicey decision unless you are into that sort of thing

Finally, last but not least, are chiggers. I am not making this up, cross my heart. Chiggers are also known as Harvest mites and they chew a tiny hole in your skin, which will soon erupt into an itchy, puss-filled lesion that will drive you crazy.

But hey, what area doesn’t have its own little secrets?

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Comments 52 comments

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 8 years ago from Central Texas

Welcome to Texas and welcome to HubPages! My English husband had the same reaction when he moved here. In fact, I wrote a hub about it. I also have a hub about the Brown Recluse Spider. Check them out if you get a chance. :)

Mardi profile image

Mardi 8 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks KKC, have been here for a few years now and really enjoy being in Texas. Oh and I have to add - you ride a toboggan! Great article you wrote on that, we have had that discussion many times here too.

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 8 years ago from Central Texas

Thanks Mardi! What part of Texas, if you don't mind me asking? We're in Central Texas.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 8 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

I am acctually in the North East corner KCC but with my work I travel all over the state.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Mardi,

I had to laugh when I read this. We love living in Houston but I grew up as a child in Wisconsin and my husband was a child in Iowa. I can relate to the toboggan comment. Loved riding sleds and toboggans as a child! And snowball fights hiding behind a snow built fort! Can't do that down here!

Fortunately in Texas I have never had a snake in a toilet; been bitten by chiggers; had a bat fly in my hair or been bitten by a brown recluse spider. I have seen snakes in the garden and I keep my distance! I think that most of them have been little garden snakes which are actually good.........but I don't care to get up close and personal with them.

We regularly put down insecticides in the grass several times during the year to avoid the fire ants. Ant bites are not fun!

What we REALLY LIKE about living in Texas are the abundance of friendly people. Folks are very open and welcoming least that has been our experience here in Houston.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 8 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks Peggy. I do enjoy living down here and find the people are really friendly just as you have.

Julie-Ann Amos profile image

Julie-Ann Amos 8 years ago from Gloucestershire, UK

Hey hey nice writeup! Welcome!

Mardi profile image

Mardi 8 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks Julie-Ann!

Lgali profile image

Lgali 8 years ago

nice hub

LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 8 years ago from London


not quite sure I could handle all those creepy-crawlies!

Mardi profile image

Mardi 8 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

LongonGirl it isn't really that bad if you stay to the beaten tracks! We live out in the country so there are a few more opportunities to see the best and worst of nature.

jissell Cedeno 7 years ago

Oh my god, u answered my questions. I recently moved here, so Im SCARED TO USE THE TOILET!!! I HATE SNAKES, as soon as i got here, my three year old got bites all over her body, horrible i had to call the exterminator, thank God, they are gone, but i still don't know what insects they were!

Mardi profile image

Mardi 7 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author


I hope all is well with your little one. You do get used to it I promise you. Really most of the snakes are more afraid of you than you are of them, but still I know how you feel.

There are some great websites on snakes and insects in Texas that can help provide an easy identification for anything slithery you might come across.

parkerk393 profile image

parkerk393 7 years ago from Arlington, Texas

I love Texas so much! It is the best state ever. :) And snakes don't bother me, but I hate spiders. Thankfully there aren't that many spiders around where I am.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 7 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Parkerk393 - I hear ya! I really enjoy living here it is a terrific place to call home.

Queen of the Lint profile image

Queen of the Lint 7 years ago from The Laundry Room

I had to laugh when I read your Texas hub. I first lived in Fort Worth about twenty years ago and it's true about everything being bigger in Texas - as least the insects. Now i'm back in the state and dealing with those insects all over again!

Mardi profile image

Mardi 7 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks for the comment Queen of the Lint and glad it made you laugh. Also welcome back to Texas!

EverythingMouse profile image

EverythingMouse 7 years ago

I live for some of the time in Southern California and wish they had told me about the black widows and the brown recluse spiders - and the rattle snakes.......

Mardi profile image

Mardi 7 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

I guess every place you travel has their own hidden secrets they don't tell you about. Thanks for reading and commenting EverythingMouse, stay safe!

luvrgrl 6 years ago

Thank you for the warnings!!! I'm planning a move in July from Northern California to Southern Texas. Big move YAY me!!!

Mardi profile image

Mardi 6 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Well welcome to Texas luvrgrl. It is really beautiful here, not sure how far south you mean but lots of different country to see. Safe travels!

profile image

Al Bell 6 years ago

Bats are a good thing. Just think how many mosquitoes you would have. The fire ants are the worst in my mind. How can anything that small wreak so much havoc.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 6 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author


Thanks for your comment and you are so right about bats. I have come to enjoy watching them swoop around the lights at night hunting insects.

The fire ants are a huge problem, I completely agree. Last year they were terrible, hope they are less numerous this year!

vballkel profile image

vballkel 6 years ago from Michigan

Great article, I have lived in Texas in both Austin and Fort Worth and loved it but I agree they don't warn about these things. Personally I didn't like the scorpion which I almost picked up when I saw it thinking it was a rubberband! But recently my husband was bit over 100 times by fire ants... he actually had a very serious reaction to it. After 2 drs visits and scars to go with it we both think twice before standing anywhere!

Mardi profile image

Mardi 6 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author


Thanks for your comments. Fire ants are horrible little things aren't they? I hope your husband is OK, they can be very bad when you get that many bites at one time I can just imagine the pain he was in.

jhnsn283 6 years ago

Of all the insects you should of covered, what about the scorpion?! Here in S TX they are in abundance...I hate those little cridders! I can handle the snakes and spiders, but not them little I grew up on a ranch and have been stung by scorpions so many times I've lost count. I love my state and all it's crazy wonders. There's truly no other place quite like it ;)

Mardi profile image

Mardi 6 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Hi there jhnsn283,

How did I forget those nasty little things? We always get a few in the house right as fall arrives. So far I haven't been bit but I think the cats and dogs all have.

I appreciate you stopping by and commenting and I enjoy being here in your wonderful state!

moncrieff profile image

moncrieff 6 years ago from New York, NY

That's a funny hub. I also came to live in Texas and I'm loving it. I love the very fact of diverse flora and fauna and terrain.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 6 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks so much for your comment moncrieff and welcome!Texas certainly is diverse, that is for sure.

bam bam 6 years ago

thank all of you for your comments on the creep crawley things that's in Texas I to am thinking of moving to Texas and your comments will make me think twice I do like the fact you said about people being so friendly I am from Wisconsin also but been South several times and loved the southern hospality , thanks yall

Mardi profile image

Mardi 6 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

bam bam,

They really aren't that bad, honest! You just have to watch out for the little critters and all will be well.

Mdgirl 4 years ago

In moving to el paso in november to be with a friend whos husband in the armed forces.... Im kind of nervous... Im from maryland I have a feeling its going to be very very different

Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author


You will find the people are wonderful. Just go with the flow and all will be fine!

Laura 4 years ago

You forgot Black Widow spiders. My brother lived there for 10 yrs,.and my sister 20 yrs.,among other nasty's. I went to visit them once, in a (new) housing development, and someone pointed out a (fire ant) hill,just a few hundred yrds. from their house, the size of a small car. I couldn't believe it. One bite is like a bad bee sting, (or worse). Apparently, no one leaves garbage out, or uncovered, because the cockroaches are so bad, no matter HOW clean you are.I saw a (tree roach) the size of a mouse,I'm (not) kidding.I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes (no thanks).

Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Hi Laura,

Roaches and ants are all across the southern United States. The worse roaches I ever saw were in Las Vegas, so this is certainly not unique to Texas!

Lola 4 years ago

Hi, I am moving to Austin in September from Upper Michigan. I have 3 dogs and am worried about them we really don't have anything here that is harmful to them. We have snakes but really only in the deep woods. Can anyone give me any ideas or warnings for things to watch for or avoid? Any tips at all are welcome. Thank you

Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Hi Lola,

I brought my dogs down from Canada and had no problems with any of these issues. Just make sure you have them on a heartworm program, that is serious here. Regular flea treatment and use a tick product as well, any of the major brands will typically provide that. There are natural products that can repel biting insects but I have never had a problem with these and we are on a farm.

Dogs are naturally going to stay away from snakes so you shouldn't have to worry. Just stay away from woody and swampy areas in the heat of the summer and all will be fine!

Lola 4 years ago

Thank you that makes me feel so much better.

Bob Zermop profile image

Bob Zermop 4 years ago from California, USA

Hahaha, when I read this hub it totally took me back! I moved to the Bay Area about 4 years ago from 2 hours out from Houston, and I absolutely remember the random critters that were everywhere. I admit I miss that more than a little (love animals, even spiders), but the weather here is better :D Plus don't miss the insects at all, besides the crickets.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

I love the sound of the crickets at night but like you I can certainly do without the invasion of other things. The huge horseflies are horrible this year and they really take a chunk out of you when they bite!

abby 4 years ago

Wait until you get stung by a cowboy ant lol

Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Ok, what the heck are those Abby? We have these giant red and black kinda fuzzy ant-like things up here that don't seem to bite but they sure look like something out of an insects attack movie!

Kandyn profile image

Kandyn 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

I just moved to Houston Texas from up North (East Coast). I have heard about the spiders which does not interest me because of the fact that I have a major arachnophobia :( I am petrified, so I limit my outdoor exposure. For the first time, I finally had my experience of being bitten by a fire ant. However, I shoved it off before it could do some damage but the sting did hurt (Ouch). For a person to move here from the East Coast, I am not used to all these insects....But I guess and hope in time I will get over my fear. I just hope that I never come into contact with a spider. Once that happens, then the East Coast will be welcoming me back home lol. Other than that, I do like Texas, its so big compared to where I come from (Rhode Island) there is so much to do and so much to see.

Lonnie 4 years ago

Hi! We are deeply considering moving to Austin (after a 4 day stay 5 years ago). We're from Arizona, so snakes/spiders/scorpions are of no concern. Just wondering if you'd be willing to list any other "cons" that one might want to consider before moving to Texas.


Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author


Sorry for the very slow response. I have found Texas to be a wonderful place to spend time. Austin is a typical city but it does have its own unique twists and fun, entertaining and cultural things to do.

Since you are from Arizona the heat is likely not an issue, but remember here it is a humid heat. Austin isn't bad but Houston is horrible in the summer if you don't like 100 plus temperatures with 90 plus humidity!

Thanks also for your comment Kandyn and hope you are able to dodge those spiders!

Renee 4 years ago

Hi, I'm moving to the Longview area from Alaska in September. I've never lived in Texas but I'm really looking forward to warmer weather! LOL! Having grown up in Alaska, we don't have poison spiders, snakes, ticks, fleas, scorpions, or fire aunts and I am a little concerned about that but I figure I'll get used to it. I am curious on how long the hot weather lasts there.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Hi Renee,

You will notice a definite change in the weather. Compared to what I was used to and what you are used to it is the hot season all year round. People here flip if it hits freezing, which it rarely ever does. One or two days you may get snow flurries but that is about it in the winter. Just bring your spring clothes, those will more than do you for winter.

It isn't uncommon for me to still wear shorts even in December during the day - people here think I am crazy but when it is 60 plus it is still warm enough!

P.S I am only about 40 minutes from Longview and you will love the country up here. Big pine woods and not as much bad weather as along the coast or on the west side of the state.

Joey 4 years ago

Contemplating job move to the rockwall area but wanting to live a little east of that. I'm from Virginia. How different is east Texas? I know it will be warmer longer but are there major differences?

tiffany delite profile image

tiffany delite 3 years ago from united states

thanks for this great hub...including the pic of the "icky spider" as we call them in my house ever since i got bit by one. it was totally not a pretty sight...for about 6 months all the while getting antibiotic shots in the booty, taking oral antibiotics (for about a month), and putting topical antibiotics on it. and talk about painful...OUCH! left a nasty, nasty scar on my hip, and i hope i never have a tangle with one of those nasty icky things again!

on another note...moving from canada to texas was probably quite the culture shock! i moved from california to kansas as a teenager, and while i consider this home now, i really struggled with getting used to all the "differentness"...after about 20 years of living in a small community, i finally moved to wichita...the largest city in kansas...and that is when i truly began falling in love with this area. i still miss the mountains, but at least there are trees, and rivers, and some and i am still surprised at all the wildlife i see in the city, racoons, deer, rabbits, tons of squirrels, possums, and i can't even think of what else right now.

anyway, thanks again for this hub...and steer clear of those icky spiders! blessings!

emilynemchick profile image

emilynemchick 3 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

Wow, way to advertise Texas! It's great information for anyone looking to go there, though. Brown recluses are terrifying! I'm from England (where the spiders don't bite) and I now live in Pittsburgh. I got bitten by a spider a couple of days ago (luckily harmless) but nobody ever told me they had biting spiders in Pittsburgh before I moved here!

Janellegems profile image

Janellegems 2 years ago from North Carolina

thinking about moving to Texas, but still looking at other states as well. These are some good things to know. Thanks for sharing this information.

Iowa Mom 2 years ago

We are thinking about moving to Texas - but after this article maybe not. In Iowa there isn't much to kill ya except the weather. We are on a farm here and we were thinking about getting a small acreage in Texas - but I don't think so now - totally freaked out!!!

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