The sound of a softly buzzing bee means nothing more to people in Northern states than a sign of spring and summer. To those in the South, it can be a prelude to a funeral march.
In late May, Teri Carpenter lost 3 of her prized Rottweilers to a vicious killer bee attack in Arizona. Her fourth dog, Ruby, survived the attack, but is still recovering from the toxic venom that coursed through her body, destroying red blood cells and compromising her liver.
Mary Miranda, of San Antonio, TX, knows first-hand what Teri went through with her Rottweilers because she, too, suffered through the same horror with her own dogs.
On May 22, 5 of Mary's dogs were killed in her own backyard. The dogs, 4 Standard Poodles and a rescued Labrador, were savagely attacked in the yard while they were out happily chasing squirrels. Four of the dogs died almost immediately - the fifth dog, Pinky, held on at the vet for several days, but the trauma to her body was too great, and she also passed away.
Today, all 5 of Mary's dogs are buried in her backyard. Mary is heart-broken, but she is on a mission to help spare others from her heartache. Mary wants to get the word out to as many people as possible about the dangers of killer bees in the southern states.
Residents need to be aware of the threat that killer bees present to animals and humans. In Teri Carpenter's case, she was completely unaware of the threat, having moved to Arizona from Washington State.
According to Paul O'Neill of Desert Sky Pest Control, a homeowner's first line of defense is awareness and vigilance. If bee activity is present, do not investigate - call a professional.
If a hive is discovered, it must be completely removed - simply killing the bees is not enough. If a bee hive is left intact, the next swarm of bees will arrive and take up residence.
Homeowners should eliminate potential homes for the bees. The bees are drawn to water sources (around water meters, ponds, leaky faucets) - it is crucial to be aware of bee activity in these areas and call a professional if hive activity is evident. Do not attempt to remedy the bee problem yourself and keep your pets and children inside until the threat has been eliminated.
Important safety steps for hive prevention include:
- Use caulking around stem walls
- Seal off open areas under sheds or other outdoor structures
- Screen home vents
- Seal off any opening on or around the home that is larger than 1/8 of an inch
- Monitor potential hive activity in trees and around water sources
Mary Miranda, now an unwilling but proficient expert on bee attacks, has some tips to share also:
- If stung by a bee - get to the nearest shelter as fast as you can
- Do not swat at bees, it only serves to aggravate them
- Run into the wind if being chased by bees - it makes it hard for them to sting
- Do not jump into water - the bees will wait for you to surface
- Cover your eyes, nose and mouth if possible - the bees will attempt to attack these body parts
- Carry mosquito netting or Raid if possible, when you are out in areas that may have bees
Mary Miranda and Teri Carpenter have lost companions that were precious to them. The heartache that they have suffered is almost unimaginable. It is important to be aware that these were all large breed dogs that were killed by the bee attacks. Dogs that were large enough to be the same size (or larger) than a child.
The bee attacks are not something to be taken likely. Please help Mary and Teri spread the word about the potential threat from killer bee attacks. Help prevent tragedies such as this from happening to one other living soul.
If you have an animal rescue organization in a state located in the south, please share this article - print it out and post it in areas that are in the eye of the public. The more people that are aware, the greater the chance that future deaths can be prevented.
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