CacheCrazy.Com: BITE ME!

Saturday, May 4, 2013


By: Bloodhounded
Note from the author: Don't kid yourself, you are a tasy treat to some inhabitants in the great outdoors. Prepare yourself for your adventure and you'll be safe.

We’ve all been there, out in the middle of nowhere and all of a sudden a swarm of bees are everywhere followed by that oh so familiar burning sting associated with bees. Are you ready to deal with that? If you start to feel shortness of breath and swelling in your throat, do you know what to do? Do you have any Benadryl like I’ve preached so many times? It’s scary to even think about but, bee stings are lethal to someone who is allergic. Even if you’re not allergic, it hurts like hell!

Maybe your horror story involves another form of insect, mammal or reptile? In any case and in all cases, they bite!

A bad day might include a few mosquito bites, a snake sighting and you ate several black gnats while they were feasting on your face. Then after a nice hot shower you find two “bumps” on your leg that weren’t there before, ticks! Good Lord, is there anything you can do about it? The answer is clearly, yes!

This is a short list of “biters” and how to avoid them from having you for a snack.

Most common here in NEPA are mosquitoes and probably the most frequent pests in the field. They are everywhere and you’ll need to prepare for them BEFORE you encounter several welting bites and a risk of West Nile Virus. A quality insect repellent will be your best friend along with some back up repellant wipes. DEET is probably not the greatest thing for you however being eaten alive is a worse alternative. Black gnats can get around you fast and swarm your head. They get in your eyes, ears and yes, your mouth. In fact, the average person eats two pounds of insects per year in various forms. The same treatment for mosquitoes is effective for gnats and don’t forget those biting deer flies, ouch! They smell your perspiration and then move in for a quick bite. All you know is something is pinching you followed by a big red welt that hurts and once they get “in your face” you just can’t seem to get rid of them. They fly around your head just waiting for the right moment. Repellant will keep them off of you but not away from you so they are still annoying.

In my area, there are many Timber  Rattlesnakes. They show up at the most inopportune times. You’ll be rummaging around looking for that cache in the rocks and all of a sudden you spot him, he spots you and let the rattling begin. The only thing going through your mind is to get the hell out of there! Be smart when caching in a “snaky” area where you are best to use a staff or stick to do your poking. Be careful when stepping over logs, walking along rock walls or turning over rocks. If you get a venomous snake bite, call 911 immediately. You are in danger right away of the venom getting into your bloodstream so lie still, don’t panic and pray that help is on the way. It is unlikely that you are going to die but the longer the bite goes untreated, the more you will wish you were dead. It’s a bad time. Don’t underestimate the common black snake. They are territorial and will strike out at you and even chase you down (not much more terrifying than being chased by a four foot snake). While they are not poisonous, they can lay a pretty nasty bite on you and they won’t just bite once, oh no, they will repeat strikes until you get the hell out of there. If they break skin, medical attention is likely the best advice.

Spiders are just nasty and can make you so sick you’ll think you’re going to die. You won’t of course but they have venom and you may want to get medical attention. When in doubt, get checked out. Watch out for them in woodpiles, brush piles and where webs are present. Don’t be stupid and play around with them. Leave them be and they won’t bother you (unless one decides to run down your pants while you’re sitting on the ground checking out that cache you just found) ouch!

Some critters are so cute. Take an opossum or raccoon for example. You may come across one tending to her new babies or find a sickly animal in the field. Leave them alone! They may look all fuzzy and cute but let me tell you, a raccoon can really put a hurting on you followed by a painful series of rabies shots. You may have good intensions to help but that critter doesn’t know what you’re up to and he thinks you want to eat him so, of course they’ll be a little defensive. I don’t think I need to get into bears, coyote, mountain lion or foxes here do I? Didn’t think so….

Ticks gross out everyone! I don’t know anyone other than a guinea hen who really “likes” ticks. With the recent scare of Lyme disease, everyone is tick crazy. First of all there are two types of ticks here in NEPA that you’ll encounter. The deer tick which is small in size but packs the Lyme disease punch and the dog tick which is larger and just gives you the skivvies. Once you find one it all over! For the rest of the day or night you feel them in your hair, crawling up your legs and worse! If you start to feel flulike symptoms shortly after you must get medical attention. Soar joints, fever, and achiness are other signs of the onset of Lyme disease. Insect repellant will help prevent them from hanging on and digging in for dinner. Make sure to spray your cloths too or you’ll be bringing some home for dinner. Also, check your dog before they get in the car.

So while you’re out there in the great outdoors remember that you are the visitor and they are the resident. Respect their existence and prepare for your trip with the proper products and you are sure to live to tell everyone about your encounter. Don’t let me scare you because the severity usually falls under their “bark is worse that their bite” but one thing is for sure, they all want to bite me!


Dodger said...

Right on cue, my friend - first tick of the season today crawling on my jeans! Now THAT'S a sign that winter may finally be over!

Man, it MUST have been a long winter when you're excited to find a *@$%^& tick!

BigAl said...

You hit the bullseye on this one my friend. Those bugers are starting to come out already. I was recently caching in Texas and was still in the mindset of NEPA and did not take any bug spray. My bad. I got bit by those pesky little sand fleas and no-see-ums. I went straight to the local Walmart and bought some spray. Sure glad I did. Thanks for the reminder. (You'll read about my Texas trip tomorrow.)

Lindsay said...

I added Benadryl and chewable Benadryl to the caching bag. And might I add sometimes wasps Are nesting in the ground. I think I must have stepped on their nest, as they chased me down and stung me at least 14 times. Thankfully we had Benadryl in the bag, because I started to feel really weird. Pretty certain I had added it because you had mentioned it on the blog.

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