Things in your backyard that can KILL you or at least put you in a hospital


Two berries can kill a child. Bella donna is extremely toxic and it's sweet berries and roots are the most poisonous. Known as deadly nightshade (and for good reason), Atropa belladonna is one of the most toxic plants in the Western Hemisphere.

Also known as poke root and pokeberry, pokeweed is a perennial that can grow six to eight feet tall. Every part of this plant is harmful, especially the roots, and contact can cause anything from vomiting to internal bleeding.

Poison Oak can come in several different version, a shrub, a vine.....an oak like leaf in groups of three. Remember leaves of three, DON'T TOUCH ME!

Jimson weed, also called devil’s snare, is loaded with deliriant toxins. The roots, stems, leaves, and seeds are all dangerous if ingested, and they can cause terrifying hallucinations, hyperthermia, erratic heart rhythms—even death.

Giant hogweed is part of the carrot family but has none of the good qualities of the vegetable. Growing up to 14 feet tall, with leaves that span up to 5 feet, it’s topped with flowers so beautiful you might want to reach out to touch them—but don't! The sap of giant hogweed is phototoxic, and it can cause skin irritation and blistering that can result in scars that last for years.

Even more toxic than poison ivy and poison oak, poison sumac packs a serious punch. If you brush against a plant, you can expect rashes, oozing blisters, and mucous membrane irritation.

The seeds of the castor bean are among the deadliest on earth, and they are hazardous to both people and pets. While some varieties are intentional additions to ornamental gardens, castor bean also grows as a weed that can reach 15 feet tall.

Most famously used to poison Socrates, poison hemlock has no relation to the evergreen hemlock tree. Its fringy leaves can be easily taken for parsley—a dangerous mistake if ingested. If you find the weed on your property, it’s best to remove it carefully while taking precautions, as its toxins can also be absorbed by the skin. This video shows the difference between poison hemlock and a plant that looks very similiar, Queen Anne's Lace.

No list of poisonous weeds would be complete without poison ivy. Growing throughout much of North America, poison ivy causes a rash upon contact that’s accompanied by severe itching and blistering. Its trademark hairy vine is punctuated by three-leaf clusters and white berries.

The venom of a Mojave rattlesnake is widely considered the most potent of all rattlesnakes, even surpassing that of the tiger rattlesnake.

Compared to the two species that came before it and the one next up on this list, the prairie rattlesnake is practically harmless. Well, maybe not, but this rattlesnake is still responsible for far less deaths than its diamondback cousins. It can be found across the Western United States, southwestern Canada, and northern Mexico. Its venom contains potent neurotoxins as well.

The eastern diamondback is the largest of all North American venomous snakes, and it is arguably the most deadly. It has the largest fangs of any rattlesnake species in the world, a very high venom yield, and an absolutely devastating potency. The venom is so powerful, it can induce bleeding from the mouth and from the wound site. A bite from this snake has a mortality rate as high as 30 percent.

The western diamondback has a relatively weak venom, but it can pump it out in high quantities, making it incredibly deadly.

Eastern coral snakes are very reclusive and are rarely seen, which is great for hunters and hikers across the American Southeast. The eastern coral snake was once seen as the most dangerous snake in the region.

The copperhead is perhaps responsible for the most bites of any snake on this list. It’s not because the snake is inherently more aggressive, but because copperheads tend to “freeze” when met with approaching humans—instead of fleeing like most other, sensible snakes—and will bite when stepped on.

The tiger only lives in a small area near the Arizona-Mexico border and few bites have been documented. The small amount of venom it injects per bite also means that fatalities are very rare.

The cottonmouth is one of the most feared venomous snakes in North America. Its powerful cytotoxic venom is so destructive that it can eat away flesh and result in grisly amputations.

Spiders can get you too! Meet the brown recluse spider that is showing up in lots of places.


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