Oh, no, cockroaches aren't enough. Now we appear to be overrun by inch-long millipedes, all over the house. This freaks me out most because they look like a slightly darker-in-color version of baby millipedes I knew in Hawaii, that grew up to be foot-long armored monstrosities that stung like scorpions. (Preferred method of destruction among the local folks I knew: The flame thrower method, using WD-40 and a lighter. There was a LOT of complaining when the WD-40 company changed to a non-flammable formula, most of it revolving around the "Damn it, now I have to get close enough to get stung to kill those fucking millipedes." Plan B usually involved a shovel, boots, and a lot of swearing.)
But I digress.
After finding the baby prodding one of these damn things, I hit the internet trying to find out exactly what toxic bugs there are in South Carolina. You would think, if the bloody military moved me the hell all over the place, they could see fit to provide me with this information when I hit town, wouldn't you? It would be helpful, sensible, and aid public safety. Of course they don't do it.
But I digress again.
Among other lovevly things I've found are two cases of anaphylactic shock triggered by fire ants. The allergic reaction people have to bee stings, when they die? Same thing. Only with fire ants. Aren't I happy to learn that? With my yard full of them? Deeeelighted.
Of course there are nasty spiders all over North America, including where I grew up. There are only two kinds in most urban areas: Black Widows, which have a neurotoxin that can cause pain or other nervous disorders, and Brown Fiddlebacks, which have a sort of tissue-eating venom that has to be cut out of affected skin. The photos I'm running across on the 'net bring back the lovely days of my EMT training.
I've also found that there are insect conservation organizations. What, like we need to save the little fuckers? Okay, I realize we need a few of them to pollinate food crops, and I suppose butterflies are nice, but CONSERVATION? Oy.
Oh, and by the way? You Aussies have some fucking scary bugs. Worse than Hawaii. You win the prize. Congratulations.
Killer bees have killed two people in Argentina this week. There are grasshoppers swarming in Madagascar. Allergic reactions abound. Fish eating fire ants are winding up dead.
Still can't find any information on the bloody damned millipedes.
Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go wrap my entire body in Saran Wrap and get a beekeeping mask to wear.
EDITED TO ADD: Thanks to the University of Florida (I think; having trouble deciphering the .edu addy), I have found the proper information. "These caterpillars feed on vegetation and have spines which can break off in the skin. When the spines break, a toxin flows from the spines onto the skin, causing a burning sensation."
Gag, barf, ick, ack. Bleah.
"When working in an infested area, wear protective clothing."
No shit, Sherlock. Thanks for the help.
Back to the Saran Wrap. Geeeeez. And I'll be having nightmares about the Wheel Bug.