“Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain,” wrote Katharine Lee Bates in her famous anthem “America the Beautiful,” inspired by a trip to the summit of Pikes Peak.
“For purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain,” the verse continues.
It’s clear Bates was smitten with Colorado and the state’s inherent beauty. Perhaps she should have taken a closer look.
Colorado is home to some of the creepiest, creepy crawlies around.
Here’s a look at some of them:
American Dog Tick: This nasty little bug, Dermacentor variabilis, is commonly found in the Rocky Mountains and is known for carrying several diseases including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia.
Acorn Weevil: Fortunately, this evil-looking bug focuses its attention on acorns, not people. It’s long, elephant trunk-like snout is used for sucking fluid from plants.
American Carrion Beetle: This gross little bug has an important, but nasty, job in nature. It feeds off of decaying flesh in both adult and larval form, helping to return dead animals back into the ecological food web.
Black Widow Spider: The female black widow spider is considered the most venomous spider in North America. The venom of the black widow spider is 15 times as toxic as the venom of the prairie rattlesnake. Only the female black widow is dangerous to humans; males and juveniles black widow spiders are harmless.
Assassin bug: This is one bug you don’t want to mess with. Assassin bugs (also known as kissing bugs) get their names from their habit of biting humans on the face near the lips. They like to suck the blood from mammals with vertebrae. Some of the bugs carry Chagas disease, which does damage to major organs and can be fatal.
Bed bug: This apple-seed sized bug doesn’t carry any diseases. Its favorite food is humans, and it’s bite can leave itchy rashes. If you have these bugs in your home, get rid of them — now.
Colorado Tarantula: In the United States, tarantulas are found in southwestern states. The Colorado tarantula differs from its fellow tarantulas in that it is mostly dark brown or black. Despite their fearsome appearance, tarantulas are not threatening to humans. Their venom is milder than a honeybee, according to National Geographic, and though painful, their bites are not harmful. In fact, tarantulas have become a popular pet for arachnophiles around the world.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug: This is a new bug to Colorado, having been transplanted from Asia after hitching a ride in a packing crate. A voracious eater, it damages fruit, vegetable and nut crops. With few predators, it is spreading quickly. The “stink” in its name comes from the scent glands located on the bug’s underside.
Buffalo Treehopper: These eerie green/yellow bugs have a big head, hence the buffalo reference in the name. They can fly quickly from plant to plant, where they eat leaves, fruit, stems, vegetables and flowers They are considered pests.
Carolina Wolf Spider: What? Carolina has a state spider? Come on, Colorado, what gives? (If Colorado had a state spider it probably would be the windshield arachnid).
Although this is the Carolina’s state spider it also resides in Colorado and almost everywhere else.
Wolf spiders are large, dark colored and athletic. Instead of catching prey in a web, they violently hunt down their prey using strong bodies and sharp eyesight.