Michigan has pests...bugs...insects...critters...and we detest most of them. They all have their ways to "bug" us, whether it's simply ants, a housefly, bee, gnat, fruit fly, etc.

But aside from being a bother, there are those that will kill you. So, just what are Michigan's four most dangerous pests?

BLACK WIDOW SPIDER
These babies are usually an inch-and-a-half inch long, with long spindly legs and a red hour glass on their abdomen. They’ll bite you if you mess with their web, so why would you? Your life would be at risk! Symptoms of black widow bites include aches, chills, fever, headaches, muscle spasms, nausea, pains, and sweating. If you’re bitten, better get to a doc quick.

BROWN RECLUSE SPIDER
Between 2011-2017, six populations of brown recluse spiders were discovered in Michigan. Recluses have a violin-shaped mark on their back. They love warm and damp atmospheres and will reside in your old cardboard boxes and wood piles. Bites can sometimes cause death of your flesh, called necrosis. As with the black widow, better call the doc if bitten.

BLACKLEGGED TICK
We all despise ticks, I do believe. The blacklegged “deer” tick is one of three common Michigan ticks. They are brown with black legs and will latch onto you when you walk by in tall grass, brush, or weeds. Their prime source of summer food? HUMANS. Always check yourself when you get inside: check back of necks, back and legs…they love to latch onto the back of necks. Blacklegged ticks are the guilty ones who spread lyme disease, so make sure you always check yourself after doing garden or lawn work.

MOSQUITOES
They buzz. They bite. They keep attacking even after you brush them away. Don’t let anyone call you a sissy if you go out of your way to avoid mosquitoes…they ARE dangerous. They transmit various diseases and are one of the most deadly critters in the world. Some Michigan skeeters have the West Nile virus, so yes…swat ‘em whenever you can! West Nile can cause fever, headache, rash and throwing up…..sometimes encephalitis or meningitis. Avoid skeeter-breedin’ areas when possible. You can wear repellent, but if you prefer not to, wear long-sleeves, and no shorts.

Enjoy your summer, and get along with the pests - if you wish - but do your best to avoid the four baddies mentioned above!