All Creatures Great and Small

Bites and Stings

How do you avoid getting bitten or stung by nature’s inhabitants? Here are some scenarios I went through and you will be able to see what not to do.

About 37 years ago I was crawling under a house in Bloomfield, NM doing a termite inspection. I wasn’t wearing a shirt. As I was crawling along, I felt a stinging sensation on my stomach. I aimed the flashlight there and saw a partially crushed black widow. Apparently I crawled over her and she bit me. I got out of the crawl space and told the person I would have to reschedule the inspection and I drove home to Albuquerque. I sat in a chair for a few days and the pain went away and I went back to work. Don’t crawl under houses half naked.

On another occasion, my friend Cal and I were in the Magdalena Mts. near Socorro. I saw a small rattlesnake crawl under a rock. I grabbed it by the rattle to pull it out. It didn’t like that and turned around a bit my finger. That was my first snakebite and we didn’t know what to do. So we sit down and drank beer for about an hour, but my hand and arm were swelling up. Call took me to Socorro hospital but they had no experience with snakebite so they put me in a ambulance and drove me to a hospital in Albuquerque. Several days in the hospital then got released. Never grab a rattlesnake by the tail.

Recently I saw a yellowjacket floating around in the dog’s water bowl. I put my hand down and lifter her out. She was wet and sliding around on my wet hand, so she thought she could stop sliding by inserting her stinger into my hand. It worked but it was painful. I flicked her into some weeds where could dry off. If you pick a yellowjacket out of a water bowl, put her on the ground to dry off.

I had a terrarium with about a dozen bed bugs in it. I took them to seminars for show. I always stuck my hand in the terrarium once a week and they would all come out and feed on my hand. It takes a bed bug about 6 minutes to get a meal. Never any bad reaction to that. I used to feed them at seminars and freak a lot of people out.

One time I found a house spider in my bathtub. I took her out and put her on the floor to run around the house. That night as I was sleeping, I rolled over and felt a sharp pain in a delicate area. I slapped the area and that hurt worse. When I looked down there, I saw the house spider I let loose on the floor. Apparently she got in bed and wanted to sleep next to me but I rolled over on her. If you find a spider in your bathtub, put it outside. And don’t sleep naked.

One more. One night when I lived in Rio Rancho, I felt something biting my shoulder. I rolled over on a centipede and it was hanging onto my shoulder. I knocked it off and started slapping it on the bed, but because the mattress is slow, I never hurt it. I just pissed it off. It finally jumped off the bed and ran off. Don’t roll over on centipedes when you are asleep.

Hope these messages were helpful in not getting stung or bitten.


About askthebugman

I have been in the pest management industry for over 40 years. In that time I have used almost every pesticide available to control so-called “pests”. With this experience, I have learned over the years that the pesticides we use are far more dangerous than the pests we are trying to control. As a result, it has become a passion for me to improve the quality of life for humans and the planet, by assisting people to not only become more educated and aware of their environment – but also by learning to manage their home and business with a sustainable and healthier approach to tending to unwanted infestations of bugs. Please enjoy my blog posts, check out my publications, utilize my services, or simply stay in touch if you have a bug question…


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