Adult brown recluse spiders range from tan to dark brown, and they have six eyes in three groups of two. These spiders could bite and inject venom that requires a trip to the emergency room. The venom might cause dead tissue and may require plastic surgery, in some cases, Campbell says. Not all brown recluse spiders result in ulcer formation, and other spider bites might cause a similar reaction, too.
How to protect yourself: Preventing brown recluse spiders from entering your home is the main way to avoid bites, per Campbell. Seal any small openings or holes in your house to keep them out. Wear protective clothing and gloves when moving firewood, since spiders like to hide in stacked wood. Try not to leave clothes and shoes on the floor and shake them out before wearing, especially if you store them in the basement, garage, or other dark areas.
With a crab-like appearance, scorpions are predatory and often come out at night. Scorpions like warm, dry climates and are often in deserts. Take precautions when hiking and camping by keeping shoes, blankets, and towels secured indoors. Stings can feel much like a Honeybee sting with mild swelling, a rash, or they may be more serious.
How to protect yourself: You can protect yourself from scorpions by also eliminating standing water, sealing cracks around your doors or windows, and turning your outdoor lights off at night to ward off crickets—an insect scorpions love to eat.
Ticks automatically come to mind when you think of the most dangerous summer bugs. But, ticks are technically arachnids, not insects, Campbell says. Still, you need to especially watch out for “hard ticks” which feed on humans and pets. Ticks can carry Lyme disease along with other diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, or tularemia, among others, according to Campbell. These diseases could result in rashes, fever, chills, and headaches. Plus, Lyme disease also affects joints along with the heart and nervous system if untreated.
How to protect yourself: Ticks can attach themselves to exposed skin so after time spent outdoors, it’s important to do a full body check for ticks. “Check children for ticks when they come into the house because it takes up to four hours, possibly longer, for the tick to start feeding,” Campbell says. It’s also a good idea to use tick repellents, tuck your pants into socks or boots while outdoors, and keep grass, weeds, and other debris piles low. Here is how to effectively protect yourself from ticks.