Ticks (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Learn how to prevent ticks on people, how to remove ticks safely, about tickborne diseases and more.

Tick Safety Awareness Guide (Yale Environmental Health & Safety)
This guide intends to:  Increase awareness of risks involved with outdoor activities and tick research; foster best practices when working with ticks and while working out in the field; educate on protection strategies to reduce risk of exposure; review emergency response methods to effectively handle incidents.

Checking for Ticks (US Forest Service)
Tickborne diseases are on the rise, particularly in the spring, summer and early fall when ticks are most active, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means if you are outdoors, you need to take precautions for yourself, your family and your pets before, during and after your visit.

Bear Safety Tips: Bear Encounters (BearWise)
Black bears rarely become aggressive when encountered. However, it’s best to avoid bear encounters, and to know what to do if an encounter happens (keep reading).

How To Be Safe Around Snakes (University of Georgia SREL)
The best way to overcome a fear of snakes is to learn which snakes are harmless and which ones are venomous. Pass this information on to your family, friends, and children. Once you know how to differentiate, you can navigate this setting with confidence.

Venomous Snake Bites: Symptoms and First Aid (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Learn signs of a snake bite and steps to take if you have one.

Snakes (US Forest Service)
We share the outdoors with a variety of animals who make the forest their home. Remember, these are not pets. Keep a safe distance from them and be careful not to disturb their habitat.

Coexist with Snakes (N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission)
Few creatures are as widely misunderstood as snakes. Fueled by myths and old-wives tales, many people fear snakes and worry for the safety of people and pets when snakes are present. In reality, snakes are shy creatures that pose little to no threat to us when left alone.

Red Imported Fire Ant (N.C. State Extension)
The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, continues to spread across North Carolina, in part because of favorable climate conditions that aid its natural spread as well as increased residential and industrial development across the state which provides opportunities for fire ants colonies to be moved around the state in infested soil, sod, nursery stock, and other materials. Although fire ant stings are not usually fatal, they are painful.

Fire Ants Uncovered: Behavior, Impact, and Control Strategies (StaySafe.org)
This comprehensive guide provides insights into their behavior, communication, social structure, reproduction, and diet. Additionally, it examines the impact of fire ants on ecosystems, the environment, and human interactions. Furthermore, the guide offers practical and effective methods for preventing fire ant invasions and controlling infestations.

NIOSH Fast Facts: Protecting Yourself from Stinging Insects (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
Outdoor workers are at risk of being stung by flying insects (bees, wasps, and hornets) and fire ants. While most stings cause only mild discomfort, some may result in severe allergic reactions that require immediate medical care and may cause death.

Fire Ant Bites (Cleveland Clinic)
Fire ant bites happen when a certain type of venomous ant stings. The stings cause a burning sensation, then itchy welts, often in a circular pattern. The welts turn into blisters. Most people can treat fire ant bites at home with antihistamines, over-the-counter steroid creams and cold compresses. But sometimes, the stings can cause systemic or life-threatening reactions.

Outsmarting Poison Ivy and Other Poisonous Plants (U.S. Food and Drug Administration)
First comes the itching, then a red rash, and then blisters. These symptoms of poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac can emerge any time from a few hours to several days after exposure to the plant oil found in the sap of these poisonous plants. The culprit: the urushiol oil. Here are some tips to avoid it.

Stay on the Prowl for Poisonous Plants (National Safety Council)
As the sun beats down and temperatures rise, poisonous plants may be the last thing on your mind. But if you work outside, they are as real
a threat as sun and heat.

Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and 7 Other Plants That Can Give You a Rash (everydayhealth.com)
Being out in nature is good for body, mind, and spirit, but when you come home from your nature walk with an itchy rash — or develop one soon afterward — that innocent outdoor stroll can seem more stress-inducing than relaxing. Chances are, that rash was caused by brushing against a common plant, such as poison ivy. But there are many other plants that can cause contact dermatitis — skin inflammation cause by an irritant or a substance that produces an allergic reaction — or shorter-lived burning or itching. Learn what these irritating plants look like and where you might encounter them so you can avoid them on your next outdoor adventure.

Online Poisonous Plants Database (N.C. Cooperative Extension Service)
Part of the North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox, this is an online database sorted for information about some of the most dangerous poisonous native and invasive plants in the state – occupying every category of plants, from trees and shrubs to wildflowers and vines. The photos are courtesy of J.C. Raulston Arboretum.