Seeing an insect in your shower is a good reason to freak out. But imagine how you would feel if thousands, or even millions of insects were swarming at you simultaneously? This is certainly not a pleasant thought, even for the most die-hard of insect lovers. Some individual insects may frighten you despite knowing that they cannot hurt you. These sorts of fears are irrational. But being afraid of insect swarms is, on the other hand, quite rational. One single insect may not be able to inflict much harm, but a swarm of insects is a different story. Of course there are insects like hornets and bees that become life threatening once a swarm of them are after you. However, there are other types of insects that you would likely not expect to be dangerous, even when they are swarming.
A locust is not a particularly dangerous insect to humans, and some argue that they are not dangerous to humans even when they are swarming. But locust swarms become massive, and they can be terrifying to humans. There have been stories told about people, mostly farmers, dying as a result of locust swarms. In theory, locusts could starve people to death if they are relying solely on food produced by crops. This is because locust swarms settle on crops in order to eat as much food as they can. Locusts can consume everything edible within an entire crop in a short amount of time. Luckily, people losing crops to locust swarms, and then starving to death as a result, is a rare occurrence these days. Even the most isolated farming villages tend to survive massive insect-induced crop loss as a result of food donations made by the United Nations and other organizations. However, there is a good reason as to why locusts are depicted as horrifying creatures in biblical literature.
Fire ants can most definitely kill you. One single fire ant will just cause intense pain. A swarm of fire ants can theoretically kill a human, and they often kill small mammals. Fire ants inject an alkaloid venom into their victims. If enough venom is injected into a human, then death will result. If you ever sustain a fire ant bite, then remove yourself from the area quickly, as more fire ants are certainly in close proximity. Fortunately, very few humans have died as a result of fire ant venom, but people who are allergic to fire ant venom face a serious risk of death whenever fire ants are nearby. Unfortunately, recent research has shown that fire ant populations are beginning to move farther north as global temperatures rise. So residents of North Dakota should be prepared.
Have you ever found yourself in the middle of an insect swarm?
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