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Surrounded by Creepy Crawlies
Things that we are afraid of can be used to develop really terrific stories. Did you realize we are surrounded by creepy crawlies? These creatures are enough to induce nightmares if you think long enough about them. Any one of these could be used as fodder for a nightmare-inducing tale.
If your character has acarophobia (an irrational fear of small bugs), murophobia (irrational fear of mice and rats) or ophidiophobia (abnormal fear of snakes), your tale will have the ability to raise chill bumps on those reading it.
1) Do you sleep with bed bugs? These nasty little creatures are annoying, hard to get get rid of, and they bite. While not all people are allergic to their bites, they still itch. They are so small, they can hitchhike a ride on just about anything! Has there been a bed bug infestation in the area in which you live lately?
2) Dust mites (pictured above) thrive on dead skin cells shed by humans and their animals. Though their bites are harmless and donít carry disease, problems from them can arise in asthmatics and those allergic to dust mite feces. They wonít bite you since they only feed on dead tissue, but your typical mattress can contain tens of thousands of them. One square yard of carpet can be home to nearly 100,000 mites. That information alone is enough to turn anyone into a house cleaning fanatic! And just the thought of having thousands of these creatures in bed with you would be enough to bring on some nightmares.
3) They donít look dangerous, but mice and rats can carry over 35 diseases, such as salmonella and meningitis, which they can transmit to us through their droppings and saliva. They love to chew and will destroy whatever they decide to nest in, whether it be an old book or an expensive piece of furniture. As soon as the weather begins to turn cold, they will try every way possible to get into your house and live with you where it is warm. This should be incentive to add some cats to your family!
4) No one wants their house invaded by cockroaches. These extremely hardy creatures that spend daylight hours hiding under appliances and in cracks have the ability to cause allergies and asthma attacks in people. It is a nightmarish thought, but cockroaches can live for up to a week without their head. I doubt any of us have ever seen a headless horseman, but have you ever seen a headless cockroach running around?
5) Leeches can be found in shallow water under logs, stones, and docks. They attach themselves to aquatic plants. When a leech attaches itself to a person and bites him, it releases an anticoagulant into the victimís bloodstream, thus allowing it to feast until its appetite is sated. Then it falls off of the hostís body. The blood the leech fed on remains in its body for months, so it can pass on any diseases from its previous host or hosts. It is possible to contract HIV from the bite of a leech.
6) The brown recluse spider is an expert at hiding in basements, attics, and closets. They mainly live in warm, dry climates in the Southeast and Midwest. These spiders inject a poisonous venom into those they bite. The bites can take months to heal or, if the poison gets into the bloodstream, it can cause one to fall into a coma or die.
7) Not only am I surrounded by brown recluse spiders where I live, but black widows are also frequently seen. Black widows are identified by a red hourglass on their back. Their extremely poisonous bites cause one to become very ill, but rarely end in death. These spiders like to hide away from the house in places like garages and sheds.
8) Most people tend to think of honeybees as relatively safe. I even have a hive of them in my backyard. If you happen to be allergic to bees, though, their sting can cause great discomfort, even unconsciousness. Multiple stings would require medical attention for the safety of the victim. Honeybees don't usually try to sting people, but if you make them angry by messing with their hive, especially if it is a cloudy day, they will chase you down.
Now take one of the creepy crawlies I mentioned above and write a story around it. What other creepy crawlies do you know of?
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