Few tv shows surpass the generational barriers between different age groups, shows that are so well-loved, just about anyone can appreciate them. One such series is Avatar: The Last Airbender (ATLA), which has recently returned to the spotlight now that it can be streamed on Netflix. With a complex storyline, rich characters, and family-friendly fun, ATLA is a great show for all ages.
An important feature of the show is the respect shown for all lifeforms, animals included. The writers took quite a few liberties when designing the creatures Team Avatar encounters, sometimes blending multiple existing species, such as the scorpion bee, or creating a new species entirely, such as dragons. Even with a completely different ecosystem, ATLA has pests of their own. While some of these animals are not true “pests,” they are insect- or rodent-based which we will examine in comparison to common pests we see in North Texas.
Flying pests like mosquitoes and swarming ants are all too common in Dallas TX
Air-based pests are worse than land-based for one reason and one reason only: they can fly. The most terrifying insect hybrids we see are the scorpion bee and the buzzard wasp. These creatures are exactly what they sound like: a scorpion that can fly and a wasp the size of a large bird. These animals are native to the Earth kingdom along with giant flies: house flies that can grow to the size of house cats. Thankfully, we don’t have anything similar to these three monstrosities. However, bees, wasps, and flies can certainly be a pain to deal with (sometimes literally). Scorpions are just as dangerous, but they are not as common throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, except in some rural areas.
In Avatar: The Last Airbender, they also have more friendly and beneficial insect-like creatures, including the glow fly and the dragonfly. A glow fly is remarkably similar to a firefly but the light they give off is much brighter and more intense, more like a spotlight than an insect. Dragonflies however are not like the dragonflies we see in DFW; they are long, slender lizards with wings that fly. These animals are less of a threat and more of a marvel, just like fireflies and actual dragonflies. An insect that creates its light? A bug whose head is mainly eyes and has four wings? Nature seems more unreal than not sometimes. Thankfully these evolved animals leave humans alone for the most part.
On the other hand, ATLA also has land-based animals, like the Giant Rhino Beetle. Hailing from the Earth nation, Giant Rhino Beetles are exactly what they sound like: rhino beetles the size of actual rhinos. They can be used as transportation, similar to riding a horse (Can you imagine if we had insects that size?). Team Avatar also encounters elephant rats, which thankfully are not the size of elephants. These rodents are quite similar to the rodents we see here in North Texas except for the long trunk they have that they use to find food. Another rodent in the ATLA universe is the meadow vole, which looks like a small, white mouse. I imagine these rodents can cause just as much damage as actual rodents can, and that is not something taken lightly in North Texas.
A less common land-based pest includes Cavehoppers, which look like albino grasshoppers. Though they only live in caves, they eat, jump, and act like regular grasshoppers, which can be just as scary as flying pests if you ask me. While it would be astounding to have animals such as sky bison and badger moles, we are probably better off dealing with the species we do have. After all, the folks in ATLA have bending on their side. While we don’t have any sort of powers, we do have pest control technicians who can handle troublesome pests just as well as benders. If you’re worried about pests invading your space, Eco-Safe can help! Call or text our office at 214-358-5201 and we can schedule a free inspection with an experienced Pest Professional.