Kids love bugs, but not all creepy crawlies are safe for little ones to explore. Some bugs and insects can cause injury, illness or even death with their venomous bites and stings. Many dangerous insects are also common household pests, which makes them even more of a risk to curious children. If you have kids and find any of these four bugs in your home or garden, call pest control as soon as possible to keep your family safe.

American Oil Beetle

The American oil beetle looks like a harmless black beetle, but this crawly critter has the potential to inflict painful blistering wounds. This beetle’s large size, lack of wings and slow movement make it an easy bug for children to pick up. When the beetle is squeezed or feels threatened, it defends itself by emitting a chemical that is caustic to human skin. The resulting injuries are painful and can become infected.

Hornets and Wasps

Honeybees are fun for children to observe as they bounce from flower to flower, but their fellow stinging insects are not so nice. Wasps and hornets are far more aggressive than bees and can inflict serious injuries to small children. Unlike bees, these insects can sting over and over again. A swarm of hornets or wasps can even kill a child, especially if the child has an allergy to bee or wasp stings.

Bedbugs

You probably caution your children against letting the bedbugs bite as part of the traditional bedtime nursery rhyme, but a bedbug infestation can actually make your child sick. These microscopic insects don’t spread any known diseases, but they do inflict bites that cause itchy welts. Children may be sent home from school or daycare if they have bedbug bites to prevent spreading the pests to others.

Black Widow Spider

Commonly found perched on webs or hiding beneath logs and rocks, black widow spiders announce their deadly potential with a bright red spot on their backs. A bite from this arachnid can cause tachycardia, severe pain, muscle spasms and loss of consciousness. Left untreated, a black widow bite can easily kill a child or pet. Take your child to a doctor immediately if you suspect a black widow bite.

If notice any of these menacing creatures around your home, don’t panic. Closely supervise your children and teach them how to recognize and avoid bad bugs. Get an exterminator to deal with the infestation as soon as possible and consider removing young children and pets from the home until the pests are gone.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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