With the heat of Summer, comes the threat of insects searching for cool spots to call home. Most of us are familiar with spiders being located in some work areas or in some of those dark hidden spots within our garages. These are considered hazards. Because it’s so hot in garages, barns, and storage areas, we tend to stay away this time of the year. If we decide to do a bit of cleaning or straightening up, we are going into places that may not have seen the light of day for quite some time. It is in these places that many spiders like to live and set up their homes. If your task will require you to clear out some long standing items, you will want to inspect around the area first and check for any signs of spiders, spider webs, and you should ALWAYS wear sturdy gloves when picking/cleaning up items, even if it is just a stack of rags, as spiders do like to set up in those types of places as well.
There are a couple of spiders, that are common in many areas, are considered dangerous and that we may come across both at work and home. They are the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse. Both have a mean reputation and are not to be toyed with, as both kinds have venom that is toxic to humans and their bites can be quite painful. Typically speaking, although their bites can be fatal to humans, it is actually quite rare that that happens (in less than 1% of bite cases) and usually happens with the very young, the very old, and the very infirm. But we still should not take them lightly. There can be lasting effects from a bite, especially from the Brown Recluse, which can cause open sores that heal poorly and can leave a permanent scar. In many cases if you are bitten you might not feel the bite, or at most it will feel like a pinprick. Symptoms of a bite are varied, but include chills, fever, generalized weakness or listlessness, as well as swelling and rashes in the area of the bite.
If you do get bitten, the best course of action is to stay calm, don’t panic, and get yourself to an emergency room to be checked out. If you are working in an area and you spot either of these two spiders, leave them alone, (as neither is aggressive, and will only bite if disturbed). You can then call for an exterminator to come out and clear the area.
It is also important that we use this hidden hazard thought process for things other than just spider findings. Whenever we approach a task, we should just stand back for a second or two, and think “what hazards do I or don’t I recognize”, “what could harm me” and “what do I need to do in order not to be injured?” It is typically the thing hiding in the dark, the thing we did not see or did not think of, that gets us.
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