Six And Eight Legged Dangers
Although most of us tend to think of dangers as being large
and visible, such as a tornado or an out of control vehicle, there are quite a
few dangers that, while being a good deal smaller in size, can also cause
nearly as much damage to a person as an auto accident. These dangers come with six or eight legs and
are members either of the insect or arachnid order. Most ‘bugs’ are beneficial or harmless to
humans, but there are a number that can cause serious health problems to those
unfortunate enough to be bitten or stung by them.
Insects are the ones with six legs and include the bees,
wasps, and hornets. The stings from any
of these insects can be no only painful, but dangerous if the person is stung
multiple times or is allergic to the venom.
These social insects will usually sting if you come near their nest, but
attacks can be unprovoked as well.
Perhaps the most dangerous are the African-ized honey bees, which are now
infesting the American southwest. While
you may receive several stings when near a bee or wasp nest, the African-ized
bees will attack en masse, and you can literally receive hundreds or thousands
of stings. The amount of poison that is
introduced into the system is often enough to kill someone who is not even
allergic to stings ordinarily. These
bees have caused 7 human deaths since their invasion and unknown numbers of
deaths of domestic animals.
Fire ants are another threat in the southern states,
although their attacks can be even more deadly than those of the Africanized
bee. Fire ants sting, just like bees and
wasps, and they have been responsible for more than 80 human deaths, mostly
children. Ants are generally fairly
aggressive in the defense of their nests, and fire ants are even more so. Eradication of these ants has proved
There are basically two very poisonous spiders in the United
States – the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse.
The Brown Recluse is found in the central Midwest south, although it can
spread by being inadvertently transported in luggage or vehicles. The bite of this spider will often cause
tissue death, and it is important to seek medical help quickly if a bite is
suspected. While they prefer dark,
secluded places, this can include the clothing in your drawers or towels in the
The Black Widow is found everywhere in the United States,
although it tends to be more common in the south. The bite is usually painful and symptoms that progress to nausea and abdominal pain should be seen by a
physician as soon as possible.
We have all heard the story that spiders are shy and will
not bite unless you provoke them. This,
however, simply is not true, spiders will bite you if they want a warm-blooded
meal. I have been bitten many times by
spiders that manage to get under the bed clothes and bite me while I have been
asleep. One spider travelled from the
bathroom nightly, like a vampire, to feast upon me until I discovered its
What To Do If Stung
Although avoidance is the best solution, this is not always
possible, and if any severe symptoms appear, seek medical help at once.
Most animal attacks, no matter how small the animal, take a paramedic to treat. Always keep a first aid kit available to keep minor emergencies under control though. Even if it is just until help can get to the scene. Also make sure that when you are going where small insects maybe, carry a flashlight to see into every corner and be cautious. You can never be to prepared and to cautious of your surroundings.