Here are eight more creepy crawlies that live way too close to us.
Wasps—paper wasps, yellow jackets, and boldfaced hornets—nest in rotten tree stumps, crevices in rocks, and in mud. A person can develop an allergy to their stings without warning. The daughter of a friend of mine, who had never been allergic to their stings before, went into anaphylactic shock after being stung by a red wasp. She almost died. In others, wasp stings may cause swelling, itching, and possibly difficulty breathing.
Ticks are plenteous in woods, fields, and grassy areas. They mainly feed on the blood of animals, but they will gladly feast on a human being as well. Their bites can cause illnesses as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Ehrlichiosis.
You would think that kissing bugs would make an appearance around Valentine’s Day, but they can appear any time of year and their bite is not so sweet or loving. They feast on the blood of their sleeping victims, and their bites appear as small red blisters. Doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Well, the kissing bug defecates when it bites. When the bite is scratched, the feces of the kissing bug enter the wound. This causes Chagas disease, the cause of serious heart and stomach illnesses.
Fleas can turn into a nightmare. As the owner of several cats and dogs, I can verify that fleas seem to be almost indestructible. If you have a serious infestation, you can have sixty to a hundred bites or more at a time. Their bites, which tend to appear in groups, are terribly itchy and have the potential to drive you to the brink of insanity.
Mosquitoes thrive in standing water. Mosquito bites are small, but they can cause a myriad of illnesses such as West Nile virus, yellow fever, and malaria.
Just the thought of having head lice causes me to lose sleep. Nightmarish visions of little insects crawling on my scalp and feeding on my blood are not comforting at all. Lice spread from one person to another very easily. Shared use of combs and brushes or head-to-head contact are common ways they travel from one person to another. Lice don’t spread disease, but the constant scratching of their bites may break the skin open and allow infection to set in.
Chiggers will gather and feast on you, and you won’t even notice until hours after they are done. Once the fierce itching begins, you will wish you had stayed away from where they thrive. Their bites can cause severe allergic reactions in some people. An overwhelming number of bites from chiggers could also drive one to the brink of insanity!
How would you manage to rescue a character who was trapped in a pit filled with spiders, fleas, bed bugs, kissing bugs, lice, and chiggers? Don’t forget, your character just happens to be terribly allergic to spider bites.
The Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake is the most venomous snake in America. Its potent venom destroys red blood cells and causes tissue damage. Severe pain, nausea, vomiting, along with tingling of the head and extremities, are likely to occur once bitten. Death is probable if one doesn’t get to a doctor.
These snakes do try to avoid contact with humans and will only bite when they feel threatened. The famous rattling sound a rattlesnake’s tail makes will be heard as a warning before it sinks its teeth into the victim’s skin.
If anyone knows of any more creepy crawlies that we live with—the creepier the better—please let me know.
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