Allergies can be caused by numerous types of arthropods. We have already
mentioned the problems with bee stings causing death. Some of the others only cause
irritation to different tissues of our bodies. For example, butterflies have a powder on
their wings that if inhaled or gets into some peoples eyes causes the same symptoms
one might expect with hay fever. Some insects such as beetle larvae have hairs that
break off, work into the skin or mucous membranes, and cause an irritation that may be
an allergic response. As mentioned before, if you suspect this problem, then you
should have it checked by the allergy clinic at your installation.
7-10. TRANSMISSION OF DISEASES
When diseases are transmitted from arthropods to man or animals, it is done by
one of two methods. The arthropod has to transmit the pathogen from itself to us either
a. In mechanical transmission, the arthropod (for example, fly or cockroach)
picks up the pathogen on its skin or mouthparts from a contaminated source, then land
on our food or water source and deposits them. We then ingest the food or water and
contact the disease organism. The best way of handling this problem is to keep the
arthropods from our food and water sources, also control the contaminated sources well
enough to stop the arthropods from breeding there. This is basic sanitation.
b. In biological transmission, the pathogen is actually carried around inside the
arthropod until transmission occurs. The most effective way is inoculation. The
pathogen passes through the mouthparts of the arthropod to the victim during the
feeding process of the arthropod. This would give you much the same effect as if you
were to give yourself a shot or immunization. Mosquitoes, ticks, mites, and fleas are
very efficient with this method.
7-11. ARTHROPOD REGURGITATION
Regurgitation works with arthropods that have to premoisten their food before
they can eat it, such as flies. They literally throw up on your food then you eat it. When
they deposit that vomitus on your food, they leave the pathogens for you to ingest.
7-12. FECAL CONTAMINATION
Fecal contamination is just that. Arthropods defecate on food, water, or eating
surfaces in a way that we come into contact with it. This action, just like regurgitation,
can introduce pathogens to us.