Insect Safety: Pest Control To Prevent Injury

Even small insects can pose a deadly threat under certain conditions, so be sure you take all necessary precautions for protection.

If you find that insects have invaded your home, don't dismiss them as a mere annoyance. Some insects pose a safety threat and must be dealt with promptly, sometimes with professional exterminating help, before they create serious problems.

1. If you live in a warm climate, you may find evidence of fire ant infestation in your yard or outbuildings. These small insects can sting a person with resulting damage that may require medical attention, especially if there have been several bites by multiple ants. If you suspect that these reddish creatures are occupying your property, call a pest control expert for confirmation and have the area treated to remove them.

2. Bees, hornets, or wasps, along with other kinds of flying insects that sting for self-protection, can create life-threatening issues for people who are allergic to their venom. If you have a bee allergy, you may be allergic to these other flying insects as well. Check with your doctor for a skin test if you are stung and the area turns bright red, swells, or creates a red streak from the site of the sting. Emergency reactions such as difficulty breathing or a feeling of faintness should be reported to your doctor promptly and you should seek prompt medical attention.


3. Roaches come in several varieties, but long-term exposure to any of them may increase a child's risk of developing allergies or asthma. If this pest shares your habitat, check with the family doctor about possible allergy testing if symptoms like skin rashes or a runny nose should develop.

4. Spider bites can be toxic or even fatal, depending on the type of insect that gets to you. The brown recluse spider, for example, has a poisonous bite that can cause a serious reaction in some people, possibly leading to hospitalization or even death, though this is uncommon. Find out if toxic spiders inhabit your region and ask your doctor what to do if you are bitten by one.

5. Ticks are not usually a serious problem, since you can pluck them off your skin when they bite. However, certain types carry Lyme Disease, which, if left untreated, may cause progressive symptoms that begin with flu-type illness and advance to neurological problems. These ticks feed on infected deer, which is how the disease is spread.

6. Mosquitoes can spread certain viruses and bacteria as well, so some communities spray for these pests every year to reduce the risk of contact with humans. Get rid of standing water areas in your yard, and keep covered when you go outside after dark.

7. Be careful when handling pesticides that help to control insects. These toxic substances can cause respiratory problems or even more serious illnesses like cancer over a period of time. Use safety equipment and keep pets or children away from areas where they are used.

Most people survive the vast majority of insect bites or exposures with no problems. It's the small percentage of disease-carriers or allergenic reactions that create the most serious threats. Take reasonable precautions and find out which pests live near you so you can avoid contact.

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