14 Aug

Appearances can be Deceiving


Don’t be fooled. If you take a look into the world of insects it won’t take long to see that it’s a dangerous place. Insects blur the lines that separate predator and prey. Spiders aren’t even safe; they must be careful or they can end up being a meal themselves. You might think that some prey insects are harmless, yet their fragile bodies can hide certain viciousness.

The Furry Menace
A prime example is the Puss Caterpillar. Their bodies are covered in a soft yellow to orange fur. People have compared them to Persian cats, hence the name “Puss”. If you see one slowly moving across a branch, you might be tempted to run a finger across their downy fur. Don’t be fooled. Beneath that soft fuzz, the Puss Caterpillar hides an array of venomous spines. You’ll find that severe skin irritation will be the least of your concerns. Headaches, blisters, difficulty breathing, and stomach problems could occur if you get stuck. If you live in the Southern United States and get stung by a colored cotton ball, use packaging tape to remove the spines and seek medical attention.

Strange Bug

Wart Removing Beetles
Beetles come in all shapes and sizes. You can find them on land, water and in flight. There are more beetles than any other insect. Most beetles are harmless, while others simply look the part. If you see a slender beetle about the length of a dime, zipping around flowering weeds, don’t be fooled. Blister beetles range in color from black to yellow with hundreds of different patterns. You can find them all across America. There is a reason they’re called blister beetles. If one lands on your skin and you decide to smash it, the beetle will release a defensive compound that will cause severe blisters. Next time you get a wart and start using wart remover, you can thank the Blister Beetle. Many wart removers contain Cantharidin, which is the blistering compound extract of the Blister Beetle.

Not an Ordinary House Fly
People hate flies. They ruin our food and transmit diseases. The sound of their buzzing will make most people go in search for a bug killing weapon. This next bug might make you sleep with a fly swatter. Don’t be fooled. The Tsetse Fly might look like an ordinary house fly, yet it has the mouth of a blood thirsty mosquito. If they just looked scary you might be ok, however the Tsetse fly spreads a disease called the sleeping sickness. Once a person is bitten, the sickness spreads throughout the body and soon finds its way into the brain. Severe lethargy sets in, followed by death. Before you buy hundreds of fly swatters, know that the Tsetse fly is only found in Africa and with treatment, sleeping sickness is rarely fatal. Now you can breathe easy.

If you see a strange bug, just remember that in the world of insects, appearances can be deceiving. Even if it looks harmless, don’t be fooled.

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