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Dangers in the oil field Emergency response to venomous arthropods, snakes, and plants and attacks by wild animals.

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Presentation on theme: "Dangers in the oil field Emergency response to venomous arthropods, snakes, and plants and attacks by wild animals."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dangers in the oil field Emergency response to venomous arthropods, snakes, and plants and attacks by wild animals

2 Africanized bees In West Texas, consider all honeybees to be Africanized -- if a swarm is seen, avoid at all costs! Range of Africanized bees

3 Response to massive bee stings 1. Call 911 and give location 2. If alone, get in truck and turn AC up all the way, cold air slows bees. 3. Carry epinephrine and inject 4. If with other people getting stung, do not try to rescue but yell at them to run to cover (truck, etc.) Do not approach bees within 200 yards. 5. Main threat -- bees go for the face, which will cause airway to be blocked. 6. If person loses consciousness, do CPR

4 Other stinging creatures 1. Scorpions -- not life threatening, unless individual is allergic 2. Wasps -- not life threatening, unless individual is allergic 3. Bumblebees -- not life threatening, unless individual is allergic 4. Horseflies, deerflies -- not life threatening 5. Ants -- not life threatening. Fire ants are only found where soil is irrigated (in and near towns) 6. Centipedes -- not life threatening


6 Spiders 1. Black widow are found in dark areas, under objects, in pipes, and in storage facilities. Any very sticky wiry webbing indicates the presence of a possible black widow. The black widow spider produces a protein venom that affects the victim’s nervous system. Some people are slightly affected by the venom, but others may have a severe response. The first symptom is acute pain at the site of the bite though there may only be a minimal local reaction. * The local pain may be followed by localized or generalized severe muscle cramps, abdominal pain, weakness, and tremor. In severe cases, nausea, vomiting, faintness, dizziness, chest pain, and respiratory difficulties may follow. * The severity of the reaction can depend on the age and physical condition of the person bitten. Children and the elderly are more seriously affected than young adults. * In some cases, abdominal pain may mimic such conditions as appendicitis or gallbladder problems. Chest pain may be mistaken for a heart attack. * Blood pressure and heart rate may be elevated. * People rarely die from a black widow's bite.

7 Black Widows, continued; The decision to seek emergency care is usually easy and should be made early. If the person who was bitten by a black widow spider has more than minor pain or has whole-body symptoms, seek care at a hospital's Emergency Department. If symptoms are severe, call 911 for emergency medical transport so that evaluation and treatment can start en route to the hospital.


9 2. Brown recluse -- 90% are found in dark storage areas. * Apply ice to decrease pain and swelling. * Elevate area if possible above the level of your heart. * Wash the area thoroughly with cool water and mild soap. * Avoid any strenuous activity because this can spread the spider's venom in your skin. * Use acetaminophen for pain relief. Don't do these techniques: * Do not place any heat to the area. This will accelerate tissue destruction. * Do not apply any steroid creams to the area such as hydrocortisone cream. * Do not attempt to remove the spider venom with suction devices or cut out the affected tissue. * Do not apply electricity to the area. Anecdotal reports of high voltage electrotherapy from common stun guns have never been shown to be effective in any scientific studies. Medical Treatment * After initial evaluation, your doctor may provide the following treatment: o Tetanus immunization o Pain medication o Antibiotics o Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) for itch relief * There is no antivenom available in the United States to counteract the poisonous venom of the brown recluse spider.


11 There are no other poisonous spiders in West Texas. Despite many people fearing tarantulas, they are not dangerous.

12 Two diseases with a rodent vector; Bubonic plague -- Packrats have hundreds of fleas, and sometimes the packrats suffer a die-off. Do not go near packrat nests at that time. During big rains, the fleas will leave the nest and be on high ground -- be careful then, as well. If you have a fever, or a swelling in the lymph nodes of the neck, immediately visit a doctor. Hantavirus -- is not common in West Texas, but is found in the urine of several species of mice. If cleaning an abandoned structure, wear a respirator. If flu like symptoms appear, be sure to tell the doctor about being in the proper habitat for hantavirs.

13 Rattlesnakes Prairie rattlesnake Mottled Rock Rattlesnake only found in very rocky areas

14 Most rattlesnake bites occur 1. Trying to kill the snake 2. Trying to catch the snake 3. Putting your foot or hand where you can not see where you are placing it. Rattlesnakes prefer temperatures of 70-85 degrees. When below 70 degrees, they will sun on rocks and pavement to warm themselves, or seek burrows. When it is hot, they seek shade or burrows. No rattlesnake will chase a human -- you are way to big to eat!


16 We do not have the following rattlesnakes in West Texas; 1. Mojave Rattlesnake - no specimen has been found east of the Davis Mountains 2. Sidewinder -- no specimen has been found east of Arizona In rivers around San Angelo it might be possible to see a Cottonmouth (Water Moccasin). In the canyons of the Pecos it is possible to see a Trans Pecos Copperhead. In that region Black- tailed Rattlesnakes are also found.

17 Trans-Pecos Copperhead Water Moccasin Black-tailed Rattlesnake

18 Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

19 Rattlesnake bite treatment * Wash the bite with soap and water. * Immobilize the bitten area and keep it lower than the heart. * Get medical help. If a victim is unable to reach medical care within 30 minutes, a bandage, wrapped two to four inches above the bite, may help slow venom. The bandage should not cut off blood flow from a vein or artery. A good rule of thumb is to make the band loose enough that a finger can slip under it.

20 DO NOT DO THE FOLLOWING: * No ice or any other type of cooling on the bite. Research has shown this to be potentially harmful. * No tourniquets. This cuts blood flow completely and may result in loss of the affected limb. * No electric shock. This method is under study and has yet to be proven effective. It could harm the victim. * No incisions in the wound. Such measures have not been proven useful and may cause further injury.

21 Threats from mammals; 1. Rabid foxes, coyotes, skunks, feral hogs Any animal that is not scared of a human should be avoided. One of the most effective methods to decrease the chances for infection involves thorough washing of the wound with soap and water. Specific medical attention for someone exposed to rabies is called post exposure prophylaxis or PEP. In the United States, post exposure prophylaxis consists of a regimen of one dose of immune globulin and five doses of rabies vaccine over a 28-day period. Rabies immune globulin and the first dose of rabies vaccine should be given by your health care provider as soon as possible after exposure. Additional doses or rabies vaccine should be given on days 3, 7, 14, and 28 after the first vaccination. Current vaccines are relatively painless and are given in your arm.

22 2. Feral hogs -- Feral hogs have become common in West Texas. Do not ever get between a sow and her piglets, and do not try to catch a piglet, even if it seems to be alone. When they bite, severe wounds are possible. Clean out the wound, bandage it if possible, and get to a medical facility. Call 911 if blood does not stop flowing copiously. 3. Mountain lions -- Very rarely will one seek to attack a human. Stand your ground, stand tall and make lots of noise. Do not run!

23 Plants that sting Stinging cevallia only found in shallow gravel soil to the west and south of Midland Poison ivy only found along creeks and rivers east of the Llano Estacado

24 Yellowspined thistle -- will cause welts and blisters on some people

25 Because oil field personnel are “out in the boonies” the Sibley Nature Center would love to hear your reports of wildlife and wildflowers. Two pumpers often bring in digital photos or specimens of unusual finds they see on their rounds, and we would love to have more folks tell us what they see! We also would like to receive reports of unusual animal behavior. Come see us at 1307 E. Wadley Call us at 432 684 6827 Or email us at

26 Please visit our website; We have 450+ essays about West Texas, and over 2500 photographs by over 40 photographers in over 90 photoessays about West Texas. The website has a search engine, so a person can find everything that we have produced about an organism or location in West Texas. We believe that everyone should become familiar with their own home. Patriotism is the love of one’s home, and to love one’s home, a person needs to learn everything they can!

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