Brown Recluse Spiders Cause Evacuation in Nebraska

February 15, 2009 – 11:36 am

Brown Recluse Spiders Evacuate OfficeThe powerful bite of the brown recluse spider is well-documented and, consequently, when people hear of or think there is a brown recluse in the area, they leave as quickly as possible.

In Lincoln, Nebraska, the brown recluse spider has sent an entire office running as a company found itself forced to find new office space.

According to KETV-7, the Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation Office has been infested and extermination thus far as resulted in the elimination of literally hundreds of the spiders which are known to have venom equivalent to the bite of the rattlesnake.

The office supervisor said that they had planned to move the offices in the summer but the spiders caused them to expedite their schedule.

At just over an inch long with a quaint, violin pattern on its back, the brown recluse has once again served notice as one of the most feared of all spiders in the United States.

Woman Compensated for Flea Bites in UK

February 15, 2009 – 11:19 am

Flea Bites Reward UK WomanAs incredible as it may sound, a woman in the UK has actually been compensated for her flea bites.

According to the BBC, waitress Maria Moon initially paid the price for complaining about the flea bites inflicted by rat fleas in her workplace. She claims she was fired for having the gall to object to the nasty red bites which were driving her crazy at night with itching and fever as she attempted to sleep.

Recently, a court has found in favor of Ms. Moon, who was originally told she was let go in May of 2008 because of over-staffing concerns.

As the recipient of a small windfall, now Ms. Moon can buy all the flea repellent she could ever want. Hopefully, she won’t have to go through the pain and suffering of flea bites and its attendant health and safety issues again.

Fire Ants on the March in California

October 3, 2008 – 8:56 am

Fire Ants BiteSouthern California health officials are concerned about recent fire ant infestations that threaten crops and annoy humans with their stinging, annoying fire ant bites in Rialto, California.

According to an article in the Press-Enterprise, the fire ants made their way to North America in the 1930s via cargo ships, which docked in Mobile, Alabama, from South America. By 1998, the fire ants had crossed the country and made a home on the West Coast.

In speaking about the fire ants bites, Les Greenberg, a UC Riverside entomologist told the Press-Enterprise, “If you’re sensitive to the venom of stinging insects, then you have to worry about [fire ants.]”

In fact, there are a small percentage of people who are allergic to fire ant bites according to the article and may suffer from anaphylaxis, also known as anaphylactic shock.

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Bed Bugs Infestations in Columbus, Ohio, Cause Concern

October 1, 2008 – 9:14 am

Bed Bugs InfestationIn the 1950s, bedbugs were nearly eradicated from the United States according to an article from The Columbus Dispatch. But, today the bed bugs are back and biting, and health officials in Ohio are becoming concerned enough to create legislation and convene meetings to find solutions to bed bug infestations.

How bad is it in some areas? The Cincinnati Health Department received 737 bedbug complaints in 2007.

In Columbus, Ohio, health officials are split between calling this a nuisance issue and a serious health concern. After all, the bites are annoying but not lethal or harmful to your health such that Columbus Health Department spokesman Jose Rodriguez told the Dispatch, “Bedbugs are really looked upon as a nuisance issue.”

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Black Widow Spider Injures 17-Year-Old

September 30, 2008 – 7:45 pm

Southern Black Widow Spider BiteA southern black widow spider is believed to have been the culprit behind a recent, powerful spider bite and subsequent reaction from 17-year-old, Brad Gregory from Beldin, Michigan, according to WOOD-TV.

The southern black widow is not native to Michigan and is thought to have been a stowaway in a dishwasher box sent from Mexico. Black widows do appear in the midwestern United States, but they are not the venomous southern version.

After helping his grandfather unload the dishwasher, Gregory told WOOD-TV that he smashed four black widow spiders. But, within a half-an-hour, a bite appeared and he began to vomit. After visiting the second of two hospitals – the only hospital in Michigan with the proper medicine – he was given a dose of antivenin.

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Pirate Bug Bites Make Their Presence Felt

September 30, 2008 – 7:14 pm
Flower Bug, the large cousin of the Pirate Bug
Flower Bug, the larger
cousin of the Pirate Bug
Courtesy of

Oh, the irony!

The Peoria Journal Star is reporting that attendees of the recent Illinois Natural History Survey’s annual Insect Expo were bitten by the minute pirate bug. Joseph Spencer, an insect behaviorist, told the Journal star, “It almost felt like we were being bit by invisible bugs.”

According to the Iowa State University Department of Entomology, are the “rare cousins” of flower bugs and appear in late summer. Reactions vary with pirate bug bites resulting in swelling similar to mosquito bites, redness, no reaction.

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Bed Bugs Infestation Hits Luxury Apartment

September 18, 2008 – 9:28 am

Bed Bugs in CTEven the rich have problems with bed bugs infestations.

A couple in Manchester, Connecticut, recently endured bed bugs in their luxury apartment before they finally had enough and left. According to NBC 30, the management of the complex didn’t help things, either.

Summer Rodgers, the tenant, told NBC 30, “[My husband] had all these bites on him, and they wouldn’t go away, and the way they bit him was in clusters, which wasn’t the normal mosquito or black-fly bite.”

After calling a bed bugs extermination expert and enduring weeks of treatments of the apartment by the exterminator, their place was still infested so they moved out – throwing out their bed and couch in the process.

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Spider Bite Venom May Help With Impotence

September 17, 2008 – 9:21 am

Brown Recluse Spider Bite ImpotenceIt’s not all bad bug bite news here on

From the UK’s Telegraph comes word that spider bite venom may help those afflicted with impotence for arthritis.

Prof Frank Schroeder and Prof Jerrold Meinwald of Cornell University, Ithaca, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that after studying the molecules of venom injected from spider bites of 70 spider species including the brown recluse spider.

In addition to messenger chemicals that go to the brain and nervous system, spider bite venom also carries “different proteins, including enzymes such as hyaluronidase, deoxyribonuclease, ribonuclease, alkaline phosphatase, and lipase, which help to break down tissue, among other things.”

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End of Days? Flea Bites Transmit Bubonic Plague To CT Man

September 16, 2008 – 9:53 am

Flea Bites and Bubonic PlagueTo many, the bubonic plague is a disease of the middle ages responsible for the death of thousands, if not millions of people. Imagine the surprise when Connecticut doctors had the blood sample of their 18-year-old patient return from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta as testing positive for bubonic plague.

That’s exactly what happened according to reporter, Mary Ellen Godin from the Record-Journal, and flea bites in Wyoming may be at the bottom of it.

The man returned from a trip to Wyoming and entered the hospital with symptoms that were very similar to mumps such as “a large swelling on the left side of his neck in the lymph node and parotid gland, according to a report in the Jackson Hole Daily.” In addition, to putting the man on antibiotics, doctors took appropriate precautions with the staff in that the mumps are contagious.

Just before they were to release the man from the hospital as his condition had improved significantly, the test came back with the bubonic plaque result.

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Chiggers and Fire Ants Cannot Stop Hero EMTs

September 15, 2008 – 10:43 am

Chiggers and Fire AntsHurricane Gustav may have been a destructive hurricanes, but it didn’t remove the annoying threat of chiggers and fire ants in Louisiana.

A group of emergency medical personnel from Somerset County, Pennsylvania, found out the hard way that chiggers and fire ants are “friendly” when they went to down to the Gulf Coast to help out with relief operations near Alexandria, Louisiana.

According to the Daily American, when the group arrived after a 27-hour car trip, their accomodations weren’t quite ready so they went to Wal-Mart and bought camping equipment including a tent.

After a night in the tent, the chiggers and fire ants bites were enough to let them know they were welcome.

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