9 Exotic Species Spreading Through Texas

Feral pigs

Feral pigs are invasive. Spaniards introduced them to 29 states. They breed year-round in Texas and ruin vegetation and farms. Texas' absence of natural predators requires hunting wild pigs.

Fire Ants

These ants have no known predators in Texas and attack any animal that crosses their mound. Their enormous mound nests can also damage lawns and crops.

Mediterranean house gecko

Mediterranean house gecko is opposite. These invasive geckos have little impact on the natural ecology, according to experts. They dwell and breed in cities surrounding buildings. They eat moths and other insects.


Over 20 states have beaver-like rodents. With fast maturation and reproductive rates, they threaten their habitats. Texas brought imported nutria to reduce weeds and troublesome vegetation.


Feral cats do yearly environmental damage. Cats are one of the few animals who hunt for fun, catching birds, lizards, frogs, snakes, rodents, and even butterflies. Please keep cats inside or in an enclosed location when outside.

Giant Land Snail

These hungry monsters aren't yet invasive in Texas, but they could be devastating. These mollusks may carry a meningitis-transmitting parasite. I'm pleased this invading species hasn't spread.

European Eels 

European Eels don't harm native species. As natural hosts for Anguillicola crassus, these eels can infect native eels. Our eels don't have nematode immunity, but the European eel does.


Lionfish are unknown in Florida and Texas. Hurricane Andrew may have dumped fish into the Gulf. Lionfish lack natural predators and are opportunistic and aggressive eaters.

European Starling

Many native species have declined due to starlings taking over their nests. These birds breed swiftly and beg for food in US parking lots.

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