The largest animal group in the world, the most successful animal group and the most cooperative type of animals – these are just a few of the descriptions that would best fit the insect category. They come in groups, clusters, swarm and colonies. But no matter how small, some animals that belong to this category are considered the most dangerous in the world.
Some of these insects pose risks directly to humans while some to its surroundings. This article will help you spot them, give tips on how to get rid of them and the dangers they may bring.
Bed bugs feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals. Two main species of bed bugs are known to consume human blood and these bugs have been existent since 3500 years ago. The earliest discovery of these insects was through the tombs of early Egyptians. They have later on evolved as nest dwellers to home dwellers.
These insects can be found in homes, dormitories and motels. The initial signs of the presence of bed bugs are bed bug bites. Bed bugs suck blood from the host in a painless way. If there is a single host for bed bugs for a few days, the host will likely develop an allergic reaction and will develop rashes and red bumps. These bumps are itchy, red and can be slightly painful and can last up to a few weeks.
Bed bugs can get into your home when you stayed in a bed bug infested room and these insects are transferred through your luggage, clothes and beddings. It can also be through a recent purchase of a second-hand mattress. Bed bugs can also migrate from one room to a neighboring room, unit or house.
The most significant risk bed bugs can lead to is skin infection caused by scratching. A host with high blood sugar may find the bed bug bites more itchy than a person with regular blood sugar. Bug bites can also cause interrupted sleep, anxiety and discomfort. The best way to get rid of bed bugs is through professional extermination.
Venom is a word that we commonly associate with the poison from snake, spider and scorpions bite. But there are a specific ant species that secretes a so-called venom when they sting.
Each sting can result in an instant, intense and burning pain. Fire ants don’t just sting, they do it multiple times and will surely bring agony to the victim. The affected area will result in skin irritation for a few hours to a few days. Fire ant rash will look like a pimple with pus inside or pustules.
Some people might have an adverse and allergic reaction to the fire ant venom and can lead to anaphylaxis or a severe allergic reaction that can cause breathing problems, blood pressure drop and anaphylactic shock.
Fire ants live in mounds but are also adaptable and can nest in other habitats like home walls and floors, foundations and sidewalks. Fire ants are prevalent in eleven (11) southern states and have recently reached Northern California where quarantine is now being done by the US Department of Agriculture to control the movement of agricultural items that might transmit these ant species to uninfested parts of the USA.
Soil and perimeter treatment are done by professional exterminators is the best way to get rid of fire ants. The sting can also result in secondary skin infection if the skin is broken due to scratching and bacteria get into it.
Termites are known as the silent killers of our homes. These insects work in colonies, live in a nest within the perimeter of an untreated home and garden and can cause destruction inside the house in their search for food for their colonies. They can bite humans, but that has no known direct effect on us.
Every year, termites cause structural damage to properties that cost millions for repairs and reinforcements. But just as they slowly destroy the wooden frames and compromise the physical stability of our homes, they can leave behind threats that can put the inhabitants of the house at risk.
Termites leave behind mud trails which they use as protection against light and heat. They build these tunnels from their nest to their newly-found food source. When these trails dry up, it can leave dust around the house.
Dust and termite droppings can trigger respiratory allergies and asthma attacks. There are also reports that these droppings, more commonly known as “frass” can cause contact dermatitis or skin rash and irritation that can lead to scaling and skin infections.
Termites can be prevented by subjecting your home to an annual inspection by pest control experts. If you are building a new home, the soil and wooden materials must also be treated to be termite-proof. Termite baits can also be installed in the perimeter of your home.
Black and red – these are your warning signs for Black Widow spiders. There are two types of Black Widow Spiders, the Southern Black Widow and the Northern Black widow. Both are black in color but the Southern has an hourglass mark and the Northern has several red spots on its abdomen.
Black widow spiders are considered the most venomous spider in North America. Only the female bite and they do when they feel threatened or once their habitat is disturbed. They like dark and dry places and can be found in garages, holes in dry walls, basements, storage and barns.
According to studies, the venom of a Black Widow Spider is 15 times potent than that of a rattlesnake. However, despite the venom’s strength, the bite is rarely fatal unless the one bitten is already sick, children, old people and people with a weak immune system.
The bite can be painful right away. It will turn red and swell and in some cases, two fang marks might be visible. Muscles in the affected area will experience spasms. The other signs and symptoms of a Black Widow spider venom poisoning:
If you suspect Black widow spider bite but cannot confirm the bite location especially on children, bring the patient to the nearest hospital as possible.
Most people treat their pets as companions, best friends and family members. Fleas are the most common insects that can endanger our pests. There are different types of fleas and they have one thing in common, they all stick, draw blood and cause various illnesses to their hosts. Fleas can bite humans, but they are not likely to stay in a human’s body. The perfect hosts for fleas are cats, dogs, guinea pigs and rodents.
One widespread health issue arising from fleas is flea bite dermatitis which is common to dogs and cats. This is an allergic reaction to flea saliva resulting in itching, hair loss, skin breakage and infection. This can be resolved through complete eradication of fleas and treating the wounds and scabs, to completely heal the skin and promote hair regrowth.
Younger pets can also suffer from anemia due to the low count of red blood cells. Since flea feed on the host’s blood, it may cause the pets to be anemic and can be life-threatening if left untreated. The vet can supplement low red blood cell count with Iron and remove fleas from your pet.
Another problem is tapeworms. When your pets ingest flea, it becomes tapeworm. It can result in weight loss and uneasiness to our pets. Veterinarians can easily cure tapeworms, but fleas on your pet must be removed to avoid recurrence.
From the name itself, the sting from a single bullet ant is as painful as a gunshot wound. In fact, it is dubbed as the “worst pain known to human.” The largest ant species in the world releases venom when you are stung that contains a neurotoxin and can make you feel the pain for up to 24 hours. Although harmless, the pain is too much that it can make someone pass out.
Bees are crucial to the ecosystem and agriculture. 1/3 of our total produce are pollenized by bees to flower and bear fruit. Africanised honey bee, most commonly called as killer bees are crossbred European honey bees and Southern African honey bees. These bees can quickly adapt to tropical climates and are known to produce more honey than either of its cross-species.
The danger of killer bees comes in numbers. Killer bees rarely attack, but when they do, they attack in a swarm and can easily cause 10 times more sting per bee than a regular bee. They can also raid other beehives, kill its queen bee and set up their own in their newly found place.
A killer bee sting can tremendously affect those who have bee sting allergies and those who have been stung by a swarm of bees. Since killer bees resemble to regular bees but more aggressive, it best to report suspected infestation to a pest control professional.
Where there is food, water, darkness and moisture cockroaches are likely to linger. They can also survive in the filthiest environment like trash bins, dumpsters and sewage systems.
Cockroaches can easily carry with them bacteria and pathogens that they pick up along the way. These pathogens and bacteria cause diarrhea, food poisoning and more.
They also have a long life span and are resilient. Since cockroaches are nocturnal insects, they go around the house to search for sources of food and water. Keeping your home clean and free from unwashed dishes or uncover food can prevent cockroaches from staying in your house.
Extreme cases of infestations are possible as cockroaches reproduce rapidly and continuously. In the absence of food, cockroaches can bite humans too, although very rare. The cockroach droppings and the shedding of its exoskeleton and wings can trigger allergic rhinitis, skin allergies and asthma.
Cockroaches can be eradicated by using cockroach sprays, roach bombs, do-it-yourself traps, pest control spraying and even certain home remedies.
In early 2018, there have been several reports of the increasing population kissing bugs in the USA. These bugs which are native to the Latin American region carries and transmits parasites called Trypanosoma cruzi (T cruzi), these parasites cause Chagas disease.
These nocturnal insects can bite unsuspecting victims’ faces while they are sleeping, leave feces on the skin and infection starts when these feces touch the eyes, mouth or an open wound. Infected patients will feel joint pains and body aches accompanied by fever. Internally, the swelling of spleen or the liver may also be evident. An insect bite is usually on the eye or mouth area and can also appear swollen.
Chagas disease is a silent killer, it may remain unseen or unfelt, but it can lead to cardiac and intestinal complications later on. Suspected kissing bugs in your area must be reported to your State Health Services.
This small insect and its several species are considered to pose a risk to more than 50% of the world’s population according to the World Health Organization. Zika, Dengue, Malaria, Japanese Encephalitis and West Nile Virus are among the deadliest mosquito-borne diseases transmitted by mosquitoes.
When mosquitoes suck blood from humans, they use the sharp tip of its mouth which acts like a straw. During this process, the mosquito will also secrete saliva which serves as a coagulant. Our allergic reaction to saliva is what results to rashes or red bumps on mosquito bites. Diseases are also transmitted through mosquito bites and their saliva.
Three common mosquito species are known to carry diseases:
Anopheles. Unlike Aedes, Anopheles are freshwater dwellers. They are the carrier of the malaria virus and are very active at night.
Malaria is a life-threatening mosquito-borne disease. Mosquitoes carrying the infection transmit a parasite called Plasmodium. Once the parasites get into the bloodstream, it attacks the liver and the rest of the red blood cells in the body. Complications may lead to cerebral malaria and multiple organ failure. There is no vaccine for malaria as of writing.
Culex. These mosquitoes prefer to lay eggs and live near still waters. They are very active at dusk, and they can only live during hot months. They carry the West Nile Virus.
West Nile Virus resemble symptoms to dengue – fever, body pains, diarrhea and rash. Most people recover from it; however, it attacks the central nervous system and 1 out of 10, does not make it or suffer from permanent damage.
Mosquitoes are dubbed as the “most dangerous animals in the world” being responsible to the most number of animal-related deaths in humans. They reproduce fast, some species live long and some can hibernate during the cold months.
Getting rid of mosquitoes is a lifelong effort within our homes, in areas surrounding it and even when in other countries. Mosquito repelling sprays and lotions are the most convenient way to drive them away.
All creations, big and small are wonderful. All of these insects, no matter how dangerous have a few things in common:
1. They have specific habitats and environmental conditions they survive in. Keeping your home clean and free from these conditions, then you can be assured that you don’t have to live with them.
2. Most of these insects become aggressive whenever they feel a threat to their habitat. Avoid touching and handling insects no matter how confident you are that they won’t harm you. Do not disturb their mounds, hives and nests.
3. Signs and symptoms of insect bites are common and alike. If you ever feel weak, experience fever and joint pains after a suspected insect bite, consult a doctor immediately.
4. Most of these insects are seasonal. Keep them away from your home and garden by making sure your pest control treatment is done regularly and covers these insects that we’ve mentioned. Insect traps and bug zappers are also your all year-round solution for these insects that may be passing by your area.
With all of these in mind, insects can remain in their natural habitats as we stay in ours. Insects won’t cause harm if they don’t feel unharmed and this will ensure that we have a healthy and balanced ecosystem.