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The warmer weather is indicative of many things: afternoons by the pool, cookouts with family and friends and memorable vacations. The heat also brings animals out. Some critters are harmless, but others can be potentially deadly. Ticks, spiders and snakes are especially abundant in North Carolina.

Ticks are external parasites that latch onto a host in order to acquire food. Unfortunately, ticks can also be hosts. The deer tick, prevalent in North Carolina, can carry an autoimmune disease known as Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease can cause a number of flu-like symptoms as well as rashes and joint pain. If you’re bitten by a tick and have a bulls-eye like mark around the bite area, alert your physician as soon as possible; this mark is symptomatic of Lyme disease. If diagnosed early, Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics.

Spiders can be found anywhere. Almost everyone has experienced the icky feeling of walking into a spider web and then anxiously wondering if the spider somehow got on you. Poisonous spiders in North Carolina include: Southern Black Widow, Brown Recluse Spider, False Black Widow and the Black-Footed Yellow Sac Spider. These spiders are most likely found in abandoned cars and buildings, fields or any other place where there isn’t a lot of human traffic. If bitten by one of these spiders, go to the ER immediately.

Snakes are cold-blooded animals so they can often be found sunning on fallen trees, in the street, limbs or other debris. But beware, they can also hold up under stones, logs or even your car. Venomous snakes indigeious to North Carolina include: copperhead, timber rattlesnake, eastern diamondback rattlesnake, pigmy Rattlesnake, water moccasin and the coral snake. If bitten by a snake, you must remain as still and calm as possible to slow down the spread of venom. If possible, get someone else to contact emergency services.

Tick and spider bites can be prevented by wearing long pants socks and long-sleeve shirts when working outside. Using insect repellents that contain an ingredient called DEET or picaridin can ward off any spiders, ticks or other insects. Snakes should be left undisturbed; if you see one walk away. Learn more about how you can stay safe this summer by visiting Top 10 Spider Repellants, Top 5 Best Tick Repellents and Top 5 Best Snake Repellents websites.


Shelby Kimes is a Marketing Content Writer in the marketing department for NC State Industrial Expansion Solutions. She writes marketing content for various IES and media platforms to communicate the services and values of IES. She also writes the marketing material needed to alert existing and/or potential clients of any updates within IES. She previously interned with the marketing department at Greenville Parks and Recreation in North Carolina. Shelby graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelor’s in Sports Studies and a Minor in Marketing/Business Administration.