10 critters to steer clear of this summer

10 critters to steer clear of this summer


Posted 20th July


With summer fully upon us, it's the ideal time to spend time outdoors

However, there are certain bugs and wildlife we should ensure we remain extra vigilant around, as they have the potential to be deadly, the experts at BillyOh.com have warned.

Charles Walton, CEO of BillyOh.com, said: "When it’s a gorgeous sunny day, you want to be outside, but it is important to be careful and protect yourself from certain bugs and wildlife that can do you harm."

"Whilst hornets, wasps and horseflies are some of the more obvious offenders, there are many others that you’d never know existed in the UK."

"Many are so small they can’t be seen with the naked eye and they dwell in the places you’d least expect in your home, local park and by the seaside."

"We’ve researched into the deadliest bugs and wildlife including where to find them and what to do if you encounter them so you can be prepared."

1 Dust mites

Dust mites will be found in dusty corners, bedding and furniture, but cannot be seen by the naked eye. In fact, they are so small that you can fit 7,000 on a single fingernail. These tiny critters cause a host of allergies and also exacerbate asthma symptoms. You can get rid of them by regularly washing and drying bedding and furniture covers on a high heat and making sure you thorough clean to prevent a build-up of dust.

2 Ticks

Feeding on the blood of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds, ticks are tiny arachnids that are common across England. The endoparasite can be found in trees, grass, shrubs and piles of leaves, and once on the skin, will migrate to warm, moist body parts of the body to latch on to and feed. You can avoid being bitten by taking extra care when outdoors and making sure you check your body after spending time in leafy green areas. If you find a tick, you should seek medical advice, as they are able to spread dangerous diseases including Lyme disease.

3 Weever fish

Weever fish can be found in shallow areas of Britain's water, and are typically so well camouflaged you will miss them. 15cm long, they have a poisonous dorsal fin which is made of five spines. It normally attacks just before and after low tide, injecting venom from its spines into beachgoers feet. You'll feel like you've stepped on something sharp, and over the next half an hour, the pain will worsen, causing headaches, fever, nausea, abdominal cramps and seizures. If you get stung, you should seek medical attention straight away

4 Ants

Warm weather brings ants out of their hiding places, and you won't need to look far to see them. If you do get bitten by an ant, the area could become painful and itchy, even swelling up, while leaving a mark on the skin.

5 Horsefly

You'll be aware of a bite from a horsefly as it will create a large, red, itchy and swollen bump in minutes. A horsefly bite will cut instead of piercing the skin which explains the pain. If you're bitten, you're likely to experience a large raised rash, dizziness, wheezing, weakness and swollen body parts. These bites can be treated with an icepack or damp cloth, but if you get bitten on your face, it's advisable to seek medical attention immediately.

6 Adders

Adders hide in long grass before attacking with venomous fangs. While there have only been 14 adder related deaths since 1876, you should still take care when you're walking through long grass – they will typically attack when they're stepped on.

7 Poisonous plants

Foxglove is the one plant to make sure you avoid this summer - while it is very beautiful, it can be seriously harmful to animals and humans the elderly and the young. Naturally occurring toxins and pollen given off by the plant can have a negative impact on your breathing if you get too close. If you're unlucky enough to inhale, the symptoms can include dilated pupils, drooling, vomiting, abnormal heart rate, tremors, seizures and even death in the most severe cases.

8 Wasps and hornets

Wasps and hornets are particularly unpleasant, not only because they buzz around while we try to enjoy our picnics, but also because they have a sting that can really hurt. Keep calm and avoid batting them away when they’re around- this will only anger them and increase the chances of a painful sting. In some cases, the sting can cause a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, which requires emergency medical treatment. Therefore, if anyone is stung and starts presenting symptoms such as swelling on the throat, difficulty breathing, rapid pulse or lose consciousness, it's advisable to call an ambulance or seek immediate treatment.

9 Biting spiders

There are several common creepy crawlers in the UK, which include the false widow spider, which has a dangerous bite capable of causing severe health complications, the woodlouse spider which has a painful bite, the biting wasp spider which has a fat 2p coin-sized body and yellow and black alarming stripes, and the mouse spider, which has mouse like hairs which grows all over its brown body and gives a particularly painful bite.

10 Yellow tailed scorpions

The yellow tailed scorpion will live in cracks on the walls and can be found in areas such as London, Dorset and Hampshire, and slowly head further North of the UK too. The scorpion has a nasty sting and can kill a human if they are allergic.

Information courtesy of BillyOh.com





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