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Cattle TickOh jeez. This list is seriously making me gag. Ticks are bad enough, their whole nasty family of bloodsucking disease-carriers... but Cattle Ticks? If any of you have ever spent any time around livestock, you know what I mean. Horses, sheep and cattle... you'll be walking by or maybe grooming a horse and GAAAAHHHH! It's the size of a grape. A GRAPE! and it's all white and giant, and filled with blood.And you have to get some horseshoe tongs or something and pull it off and... ok, I'm totally traumatized now. This is why I am not living on a ranch right now, people.
- 3Up 15Down 6Shudder. It's like a cross between two of the most creepy things - spiders and centipedes.House centipedes actually feed on spiders, bed bugs, termites, cockroaches, silverfish, ants, and other things we hate in our house. Too bad they are almost worse. It turns out that the thing that's the most creepy about them, their gazillion long legs, is how they administer their venom! GAH! So strictly speaking they sting rather than bite and they tend to do it at night. When the centipede is in danger of becoming prey itself, it can detach any legs that have become trapped.Of course it can.
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WetaBulbous, shiny and fleshy looking. Also, spikes. Bleech.Weta look a bit like a katydid, long-horned grasshopper, or cricket, but the hind legs are enlarged and usually very spiny. They are nocturnal and different species have different diets. Most weta are predators or omnivores preying on other invertebrates, but the tree and giant weta eat mostly lichens, leaves, flowers, seed-heads and fruit.
Weta can bite and inflict painful scratches, with the potential of infection, but their primary defense is mostly visual -- looking large and spiky and creepy.
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More blood suckers. And these are in your bed while you sleep.
Most species feed on humans only when other prey are unavailable. Their bites are not usually noticed at the time. The neck and jaw line are particularly favored places to feed.
It usually spends less than 20 minutes in physical contact with its host, and once its full, it will not attempt to feed again until it has either completed a molt or, if an adult, has thoroughly digested the meal.
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EarwigThere must be something about a shiny carapace, right? Or maybe it's those little moving pincher things on the butt, which they use to capture and hold prey.Their gross name may be related to the old wives' tale that earwigs burrowed into the brains of humans through the ear and laid their eggs there. Earwigs like hiding in warm humid crevices and I suppose nothing is stopping thrm from occasionally crawling into the human ear canal (much like any other small organism). Not that I've ever heard of something like that happening. (Though a spider did once crawl into mom's ear when she was sleeping. I know. I didn't sleep for a week after that.)Earwigs can also do that cockroach thing and get all flat to fit into the tiniest places you could ever imagine. Barf.