Beware! This Huge Bug is Called The Texas Toe Biter
TV Station KXAN in Austin, Texas is reporting that this thing is real and it lives in the waterways of not just Texas, but all over the United States. They call it, the "Texas Toe Biter." Just what I needed today, something to give me a severe case of the willies!
This disgusting insect critter, better known as a Giant Water Bug, as mentioned above, is not limited to the Great State of Texas, you can find them scattered all over the US.
Giant Water Bugs are primarily found in creeks and ponds, and are approximately 1.5 inches long, but can grow up to 4 inches in length, and we have about 10 different varieties here in Texas. Did you get the shivers yet?
Growing up in Houston, I know these bugs way better than I would like, see my personal story below.
Here It Comes!
The KXAN report says they have piercing-sucking mouthparts and front legs that latch onto their prey to draw them into the aforementioned piercing-sucking parts.
These creatures can be found in creeks and ponds, mostly in slow-moving water areas, but yes, they can be found on land as well, and even in your house if they live in your area.
The nightmare continues...
Oh, did I mention that the adults can FLY? Oh yes, they can!
The Good News:
Okay, there's not really any "good news," but the not-so-bad news is they don't carry disease. Whew...
So, when they bite you, or if they bite you, all you have to worry about is the pain, not getting the plague. Why is this not making me feel better?
As a young man growing up in Houston, we encountered these creatures often. One night while blissfully sleeping in my bed I felt something tickle my foot, which brought me slightly out of my slumber. It was at that moment of being almost awake, that this thing ran up the inside of my leg, and I kid you not, I went from lying on my back to standing straight up in bed in a split second! There I proceeded to do the "get-it-off-of-me" dance and that's when I saw the giant water bug dropping from my inner thigh to the bed below and scurrying for cover as I tried to kill it. As I recall, it got away that time. The encounter left me with some emotional scars as you can imagine. I'll be ok, but just in case you were wondering if it's the horrible traffic that has kept me from moving back to Houston all these years, think again.
As a proud Texan, I love my state, of that there is no doubt. I'm not going to say it's perfect, but you learn to take the good with the bad.
Giant Water Bug... BAD.
And some people want us to eat these! See the picture above.
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