4 Worst Stinging Pests in San Antonio

Red ant

San Antonio is a beautiful city with lots of great perks, but there are a few things you need to look out for – like killer bees, scorpions, spiders and more. Let’s take a look at the four worst ones here in the Alamo city.

1. Fire Ants

Molly Keck
Molly Keck

Fire ants are common in San Antonio. According to Molly Keck, Integrated Pest Management Program Specialist and Board Certified Entomologist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Bexar County, fire ants are probably the worst stinging pest in the area.

“They are found everywhere,” she said. “You can get into them without realizing, and they can be an issue on sports fields.”

They build up mounds in yards, and they are difficult to get rid of. In fact, they can even survive torrential storms and rains! These guys are small in size, but big on fierceness. They will defend their mound to the death. If you happen upon a mound or accidentally step in it, they will swarm your leg. Not only will multiple ants sting you, each one can sting multiple times!

Keck says that the best way to get rid of them is by using baits every fall and spring. “Usually baiting in the fall means less bait, fewer ants or no ants in the spring,” she said.

“We recommend baits over other types of pesticides because they are food for the fire ants, less percentage of pesticide in the environment, target specific to fire ants, get picked up and taken into the nest and off the ground by the ants, and overall more environmentally friendly. There’s no way to eradicate them small or large scale, so there isn’t anything that will keep them away. But baiting twice a year will significantly help reduce populations in future years.”

2. Africanized Bees

Africanized honey bee
Africanized honey bee

Africanized honeybees (aka the Killer Bees of San Antonio) first made their way to the city in the early 90s and are here to stay – and they can be deadly.  Says Keck, “Africanized bees have interbred with European honeybees that got out of managed hives to establish feral hives and we now have Africanized/European hybrids in all our feral colonies.”

She also said that they “consider all feral colonies to have the Africanized gene in the state of Texas, so much so that we don’t even do DNA testing to determine Africanization.”

Even those who manage bees as beekeepers will get Africanized colonies if they don’t requeen often and allow their colonies to requeen – the virgin queen mates with feral (Africanized) drones and then every baby is partially Africanized. If you allow that to happen over and over again, the colony gets “hotter.”

If you suspect you have them on your property, don’t approach them. Instead, contact a licensed pest control company for removal.

3. Striped Bark Scorpion

Striped bark scorpion
Striped bark scorpion

Unfortunately, the striped bark scorpion likes to call San Antonio home. In most cases, their sting isn’t fatal, but if this creepy little stinging pest gets you, it definitely hurts! Striped bark scorpions are usually about 2 to 3 inches long and they like to hide out in your yard and your house.

You see them more around San Antonio during the warmer spring and summer months, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t present the rest of the year – they are just hiding, so watch out!

4. Brown Recluse Spider

Brown recluse spider
Brown recluse spider. Credit: Matt Britt

The brown recluse spider is one of the most venomous pests in Texas. And it’s here in San Antonio. It lays its eggs between April and October, and this is when it’s the fiercest. The bite itself doesn’t hurt, but its venom can cause necrosis, which can lead to more serious health issues.

You can identify these spiders by their sandy brown body and dark center marking. Its legs are lighter than its body and it has no other markings. If you spot a brown spider with stripes, spots or other markings, it’s not a brown recluse.

If these spiders do decide to call your property home, they can multiply exponentially. You may find them in places like woodpiles, sheds, or even in drawers or cabinets inside your home! If you discover that you have an infestation, it’s best to call in professional help.

Jennifer Lester

Jennifer Lester

Jennifer Lester is a freelance writer and social media strategist who covers a variety of home and garden topics. She’s a graduate of Texas A&M University and the proud mom of three boys. In her spare time, she volunteers in her community and her children’s schools.