Steve Tvedten's "The Bug Stops Here"
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Have You Just Been Bitten or Stung?

What you don't know can hurt you.

When it comes to bites and stings - prevention is your best medicine.

What can you do?

First, learn which creatures can bite or sting.

Next, understand what you can do to avoid a problem.

Last, know what to do and whom to call if you get bitten or stung.

How toxic are the venoms of stinging ants, bees and wasps? As Justin Schmidt noted: The sting of a tiny fire ant, which weights in at about three billionth of an ounce, can have a terrific impact on a huge person that weights about 10 million times as much as the ant. About 70,000 species of Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps, etc.) can sting. I like to note only the females can sting you. We are all different and unique so we may only experience a little pain, or we may experience extreme pain and allergic reaction. Avoid being stung if at all possible!

How many Texans have felt the "sting" of fire ants? A Winter 2000 poll conducted 2/9-25/00 by the Scripps

Howard Data Center noted 79% of all polled Texans had been stung by fire ants and a majority of the residents had been treated for them in the past year. West Texans were least likely to have been stung (61%) as opposed to Central Texans (90%). Eastern Texans had been stung 89%, Southern Texans were stung 78% and 72% of Northern Texans that were polled noted they had been stung by fire ants. Of the Texans over 60 years old that were stung, 68% were treated, as compared to 37% of the 18 to 29 year olds that were stung by fire ants. Among those treated for fire ant stings, 51% were treated 4 or more times. The margin for error for the whole sample is + or - 3 percentage points, and slightly larger for the subgroups. I would like to add the best repellent for fire ants I have found is baby powder with talcum. No matter how much volatile pesticide poison "they" spray, the spray ants continually are increasing in numbers and in infested territory!

Help is simply a phone call away. If you are bitten or stung, call your local health care provider or physician to determine if you can be treated at home, need to be seen by a physician or should go directly to a hospital emergency department. If you can be treated at home, your health care provider should keep in phone contact with you by calling back and checking on your condition. If your condition worsens, you should go to the nearest emergency department or call the paramedics or an ambulance. The following suggestions are not intended to replace proper medical care. Always treat a small area before using any product, herb, oil, shampoo, soap, cleaner or material on your body.

Things you can do to prevent venomous bites or stings:
(It helps if you do not look or smell like a flower or wear flashy jewelry.)


When hiking -
J Wear plain, light-colored clothing: long, heavy pants, long sleeves, netting and high-top, lace-up leather shoes or boots that cover the ankles. J Donít wave at, yell at, handle, annoy, touch or try to play with wild animals, spiders, stinging insects, snakes or Gila monsters. Walk around them if you can.
J Watch out for snakes and stinging insects. Be extra cautious when daytime temperatures stay over 82o F. Snake encounters are more likely When camping - or at home -
J Use a walking stick - it can be a good hiking companion. It can be used in an emergency to help avoid a snake or creature J Check and shake bedding, clothes, boots and shoes before use.
J Carefully look around rocks or logs before stepping down. J Do not leave any food around that is not tightly sealed in glass. Food odors attract insects and wildlife.
J Watch for bee hives, colonies or swarms when outdoors - Donít poke at or touch them. J Close and zip and then duct tape all tent closures during the night.
K Donít place your hands where you canít see. J Be aware that during the hot summer months rattlesnakes are more active and hunt at night.
J Be very cautious under rocks or logs. J Keep a good first aid kid with you. A snake bite kit is usually not necessary.
K Donít wear scents of any kind, e.g., perfume, after shave or hair spray.



J Get rid of rocks, mulch, litter, wood, paper, logs and debris from your yard.


J Be very careful when operating vibrating equipment (lawnmowers, chain saws, weed eaters, etc.) that may disturb a fire ant, bee hive or wasp nest.

J Wear plain, light-colored and long sleeved clothing, heavy work gloves, high top boots and long pants when working outside around your yard.

J Carefully check all line-dried clothing prior to bringing any of it inside the house.


J Keep doors and windows tight fitting with good weather stripping. J Do not leave shoes, boots, drinks, clothing items and towels outdoors.
J Make sure other openings (such as where air conditioners, swamp coolers or exhaust fans enter your house) are closed, sealed or fitted with a fine mesh screen and are dusted with talcum powder. J Always protect your feet and wear shoes when outdoors, especially around the pool at night.


J Fill all cracks in the foundation of the house and around all water faucets. J Donít aggravate stinging insects that approach you.
J Look before you place your hand under or into something, especially rocks. J Always check your clothing, bed and footwear before getting in them.
J Make periodic checks for bee hives or swarms; if found, carefully follow the directions in The Best Control© or The Best Control II©. J For help in removing snakes or other venomous creatures from your property, read The Best Control© or The Best Control II©. Call 1-800-221-6188 to order your CD-ROM copy or order on-line at: Safe2Use

Repellants - Bathing in a tub of warm water with 2 capfuls of chlorine bleach can repel insects, arachnids and/or mites for hours. Certain bath oils, Noxema®, Vicks Vaporub® and/or some sunscreens also can repel pests. Thiamine chloride (a B vitamin) taken orally or 60 milligrams of zinc taken daily also will act as a natural repellant.

About:  Stingers/Biters/and Blood Suckers

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Arizona Brown Spiders | Bees/Ants | Black Widow Spiders | Brown Recluse Spiders
Conenose bugs (Kissing Bugs)  
Rattlesnakes - Gila Monsters | Scorpions | Ticks | Unknown Bites and Stings | Wasps


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