I encounter a lot of phobias in my line of work, some are understandable and some completely outrageous. I will admit there are a lot of critters who are really creepy, like the bed bug, but they pretty harmless. Other insects, like the mosquito, kill thousands every year with disease but we really don’t pay them much mind as they aren’t a life threatening pest in Canada. All the Australians are free to skip to next weeks post as pretty much everything there will kill you, and they are laughing at us. I am fairly certain a gentle breeze has fangs there.
So what exactly does kill people here? What phobia might actually be a just, sensible caution? Well, there are a few fun ones I think are worth mentioning:
They are not so much a pest in the traditional sense but like ants they will come to your BBQ or hot tub party. Unlike ants they will also rip your fucking face off if you try to swat them.
Awwww, not bees!!? Yeah, fuckin’ bees. For most of us they deliver nothing more than a painful sting and a few hours of swelling. But, there are those who will get stung and before you can say Anaphylactic shock…you are as dead as a dinosaur, which as we all know is pretty damn dead.
I think most people’s fear is that droves of rats are going to climb out of the sewer, merge into some kind of super rat and then devour you whole. At times they certainly seem capable. Yet their history is actually a little more gruesome. Historically they helped transmit the bubonic plague which killed almost 3/4’s of Europe’s population in very short order. Today, if you are unlucky you can get something called Sodoku. No not the number puzzle, that’s Sudoku. Sudoku will simply bore you to death. Sodoku is also commonly referred to as rat bite fever. It’s exactly what it sounds like. You can get it from a bite, its feces, its urine or even from a gerbil. Gerbils are bad news.
Rats can also transmit viral hemorrhagic fever. Remember the Ebola virus? That is a kind of of V.H.F. It is bad, very bad, because you get this fever you see and then you hemorrhage. In the past small children’s faces would get bitten while they slept as food would often be left on their face. Although not common, it still happens today. You may want to wash your face better.
I feel pretty bad for spiders because a couple of them spoiled it for the whole bunch, specifically the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse. The Brown Recluse gets a very bad rap. It is the mysterious boogie man of the spider kingdom. 99% of the time it is not a recluse you are looking at and it isn’t aggressive at all, it does not bite your ass under toilet seats. In many parts of the U.S. they are a common house spider. Children have collected them with bare fingers without ever getting bitten. However, if you do get bitten, it’s been shown that most bites heal without any medical intervention at all.
The Black Widow is a son of a bitch. Most people don’t believe we have them here, but we do. They are not aggressive but they like dark shady areas, like your shoes. These spiders are not likely to kill you either, unless you are really old, sick or a little kid. But, we all know little kids never put their grubby little mitts in weird places.
We really only have one of these worth mentioning on the list to speak of, the Northern Pacific Rattlesnake. You won’t find this fella in the lower mainland as they like dryer climates. As far as bites go, venom wise, they are middle of the road. That means you will endure excruciating pain, necrosis, swelling, shock and a partridge in a pear tree.
So as a final bonus I would like to present to you the most dangerous fictional creature I could think of that is both lethal, could exist in British Columbia and is extremely frightening. Be thankful that it doesn’t actually exist…yet.