You are here: Home > Complete Preparedness Library > Preparing for Dangerous Animals > Six And Eight Legged Dangers

Six And Eight Legged Dangers

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.

Dangerous Insects

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 difficult.


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 cabinet.

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 hiding spot.

What To Do If Stung Or Bitten

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.