Whether you love them or wish the world could do without them, insects are a part of life. Some are harmless to humans, some bite the heck out of you but cause no lasting damage, and some are very, very dangerous. Learning which ones are the most dangerous is a great survival skill to have, as it allows you to identify the bad ones from the ones you might roast if desperate enough.
Let’s review a few of the most dangerous insects on the planet.
Ticks are vampiric insects that send most people screaming from the room — or tall grass area. The deer tick is especially problematic, as it can infect its host with the dreaded Lyme disease. And while the disease doesn’t kill instantly, it does result in heart problems, stiff joints, and other health issues that plague victims for years.
If you aren’t allergic to the wasp’s sting, you’re in good shape. If you are allergic, you can go into anaphylactic shock and possibly, you know, die. Some 53 people die from wasp sting allergies every year. Eeesh.
Kissing bugs are found in Central and South America and the southern United States. Their mouths feature sucking tubes that drain their victims’ blood. Yuck. What’s worse, these insects spread the Chagas disease, which causes chronic neurological disorders, heart damage and digestive system destruction.
Japanese Giant Hornet
These hornets grow up to 3 inches in length and top all other stinging insects for the most painful sting. Their venom contains eight different chemicals that cause un-fun problems such as tissue damage. Plus it leaves an odor that attracts more hornets. Greeeat. The insect kills around 70 people every year.
Mosquitoes carry fatal diseases, such as malaria, in addition to vying for the title of “Worst Insect Ever.”
The arachnid has been demonized in books, movies, television and various other media forms, from giant versions looking to wipe out humanity to normal-sized ones insisting on taking a bite out of anybody. Yet spiders play an essential role in our ecosystem, and eat many insects that would otherwise ruin our lives. Some 40,000 spider species exist, and very few are a threat to humans. However, it’s still a good idea to have a working knowledge of venomous spiders, something you can add to your growing list of survival skills! Let’s check out a few of our eight-legged friends that require ER visits if they bite ya:
The mere mention of this spider’s name is enough to send chills through most, and while many spider species are region-specific, the Black Widow is found all over the North American continent. Primarily found in the southwest, Black Widows have poor climbing skills and prefer cluttered areas, such as wood piles. They also enjoy building webs between objects. Adult Black Widows are shiny black save an hourglass-shaped red or orange mark on the underside of the abdomen. Their bodies are generally 1/2 inch long.
Also called the violin spider, the Brown Recluse is commonly found in the southern and Midwestern United States. Brown in color except for a violin-shaped marking on its head, this spider has six eyes instead of the typical eight. Bodies are between 1/4 to 3/4 inch in length. Fond of leaf and rock piles, the Brown Recluse also likes sheltered areas, such as the underside of logs. If indoors, you’ll find them in closets and similar places.
Found throughout the Pacific Northwest, the Hobo Spider is large and brown with clear yellow markings on its abdomen. Similar-looking spiders have bands on their legs, but the Hobo does not feature such markings. Adult bodies are 1/3 to 2/3 inches. These spiders enjoy retaining walls, window wells and foundations, as well as stacks of firewood and bricks. Indoors, you’ll find them in closets, behind furniture, on window sills and under baseboard heaters and radiators.
While the bites of the above spiders are serious (Brown Recluse and Hobo) or fatal (Black Widow), the venom of numerous other species pose little risk to humans. These include Funnel Web Grass spiders and Trap Door Spiders. The venom of spiders such as Black House and Wolf Spiders are poisonous, but not lethal.
by Kent Page McGroarty – www.survivalbased.com
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