The World’s Spookiest Pests
It’s that time of year for falling leaves, the color orange, ghostly visions, homicidal maniacs with knives lurking in alleyways, and a general murder-and-mayhem feel to the new and distinct chill in the air.
While many terrors are man-made or invoked for the cinematic screen, there are others that lurk just out of sight waiting for their moment to wreak havoc with any humans who have the misfortune to dare to be in their way. Just consider that bugs and insects outnumber humans 200 million to one and there are an average of 400 million insects per acre of land! Therein lies the backdrop for the next All Hallows Eve horror flick.
Insects rapidly develop from egg to adult and they have crawled their way across the Earth for at least the last 400 million years. Scientists surmise that arachnophobia (fear of spiders), may well be the result of evolutionary psychology. Coming into contact with venomous spiders was commonplace in man’s early history. A fear of spiders developed as a survival tactic. In modern times, they have made their name in the world cinema, and since the 1950s have been the stars of many horror films.
Halloween, Spiders and Superstitions
The most popular symbol of Halloween is the spider. The reason for this concerns an association between spiders and witches that dates back to medieval times. Along with black cats and rats, spiders are believed to be the evil consorts of witches and warlocks. There is also the spider web and its connection to dark and dreary places like graveyards, caves and haunted houses.
Superstitions abound about their presence in a home. In some cultures, a spider seen in the morning is an omen of impending death, and if a spider should fall into a candle-lit amp and becomes consumed in the flame, it is meant as a warning that witches are lurking nearby (even if your in-laws are out of town).
Some Creepy Insects You’ll Never Want To Encounter
This South American critter is also lovingly known as the Assassin Caterpillar, and its powerful venom is responsible for many deaths each year. The larvae of this caterpillar have tiny bristles that release a toxin that is highly poisonous to humans. It causes symptoms similar to gangrene throughout the body, the leakage of blood into the brain and death. In addition, the toxin’s anti-clotting properties make it impossible to stop the bleeding, and this is the ultimate cause of death. It is this horrifying aspect that has caused scientists and researchers to study this caterpillar more than any other found anywhere in the world.
The Australian Funnel Web Spider
The toxin from this critter can kill a human being in 15 minutes. There are 35 species of funnel web spiders, but only one holds the title of the world’s deadliest. The Sydney Funnel-Web Spiders are relatively large and aggressive, and their big, rear-ward-facing fangs are capable of piercing through fingernails. The males are particularly deadly because they often wander into human settlements in search of mates. Before the development of an anti-venom in 1981, this spider caused at least 13 deaths including seven children.
The Titan Beetle – The World’s Largest
The world’s largest beetle can grow to be about six and a half inches long. Indigenous to the depths of the tropical rain forests in South America, especially French Guiana, these enormous insects will hiss if threatened but are usually not aggressive. Watch out if they become so, however, as their sharp spines and powerful jaws are strong enough to break a pencil, dent a plastic ruler, or cut into a person’s flesh. The Titan beetle, like so many creatures, is threatened by the deterioration of its rainforest habitat.
Army Ants – Also Known As Killer Ants
Also known as soldier or killer ants, these giant bugs are blind and travel by the millions throughout western Africa and tropical Asia, terrorizing and attacking everything that crosses their path. They forage simultaneously over a certain area and their power lies in this and the fact that jaws are powerful shearing machines that can rip apart cattle, elephants and humans. Army ants kill and eat up to 100,000 animals per day. Together they can kill lizards, snakes, chickens, pigs, goats, scorpions, and many others. The nest of these insects is comprised of the ants themselves. Their sheet volume forms walls and they fasten onto each other via their mandibles and claws.
At Presidio Pest Management we are professionals that can help you keep spiders and other creepy crawlies out of your home this fall, as well as year-round. If you want to take every precaution you can from these little buggers, please give us a call.