There are thousands of species of insects that call North Carolina home. While some are bothersome, others can be just downright scary. As Halloween approaches, we can expect to see some ghosts and goblins. However, we’re also adding several bugs in eastern North Carolina to the list of frights. Pestech of Greenville created this list of the five scariest bugs found in our state:
1. Black Widow
The black widow spider is considered the most venomous spider in North America. According to North Carolina State University, their venom is 15 times stronger than the venom of a rattlesnake. They typically only bite humans when they’re disturbed. Fortunately, their bites rarely result in death.
Black widows are known for the female’s unique appearance and the tendency to eat their mates. They have shiny black bodies and a red hourglass-shaped marking on the underside of their abdomen. Males are lighter in color and about half the size of females. In the U.S., black widows are generally found in the South and West. They like dry, dark places such as barns, garages, basements, woodpiles, crawl spaces, and attics.
2. Brown Recluse
The brown recluse is often referred to as the “violin” or “fiddleback” spider because of the violin-shaped marking on its back. Adult brown recluses with their legs extended are about the size of a quarter. In nature, they live under rocks, logs, woodpiles, and debris. They’re resilient enough to withstand winters in unheated basements and summers in humid attics. They can even go for several months without food or water. Unlike other types of spiders, the brown recluse does not use a web to capture food.
Although brown recluse spider bites are rare, the venom can cause serious wounds. The initial bite is usually painless until hours later, when the bite may become red, swollen, and tender. Most brown recluse bites heal on their own within three weeks.
3. Kissing Bugs
Kissing bugs get their name from the way they crawl around your face while you sleep and can bite around your eyes and lips. Unfortunately, they also defecate at the site of the bite. The bites often don’t hurt, and you may not even know you’ve been bit. In rare cases, if infected feces from the parasite get into your body, you could develop Chagas disease. Most people have no symptoms or very mild flu-like symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 20 to 30% of people with Chagas disease experience symptoms years or decades later. These symptoms are severe, and some can be life-threatening.
Kissing bugs feed off the blood of humans and animals, including your pets. They are nocturnal, which means they come out at night to feed. There are 11 species of kissing bugs that are found in the United States. Of that, there are at least two species of kissing bugs, Triatoma sanguisuga and T. lecticularia, that are native to North Carolina. Their appearance includes a cone-shaped head, six legs, an oval-shaped body with antennae, and colored markings.
4. Velvet Ants, a.k.a. Cow Killer Ants
Velvet ants are an unusual insect occasionally seen running somewhat erratically around open areas in a yard during the warm summer months. They look like large hairy ants, but they are actually wasps. They are densely covered with short hair and are brightly colored in yellow and brown or red and black shades. The females are wingless but have a very painful sting if handled. The common name “cow killer” is thought to describe the painful sting these insects can inflict. It’s said the sting is so painful; it could kill a cow. However, while the sting may be painful, the venom isn’t very toxic. If you see velvet ants around your home, it’s best to leave them alone.
Unlike the other pests on this list, termites don’t go after people at all. But they do go after wood which can have a deadly impact. Every year termites cause billions of dollars in structural damage. They are often called the “silent destroyer” because they may be secretly hiding and thriving in your home without any immediate signs of damage. There are more than 2,000 different species of termites around the world with 40 of those being in the United States.
Pestech of Greenville can help identify and prevent termites from impacting your home or property. With a routine inspection, we can recognize the signs of termites. Here are some of the signs you should be on the lookout for:
At Pestech of Greenville, we are familiar with removing all kinds of pests... yes, even the really scary ones. Our methods are fast, effective, and efficient and are proven to keep you and your family safe.
If you suspect pests in your home or business, give us a call at 252-353-4760 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free estimate. We are honored to serve you in eastern North Carolina.