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The Most Dangerous Insects in the World

Many insects are vital to life on Earth. Some insects provide beneficial services in pollination, recycling, biological control, medicine, and as food for animals and humans. On the other hand, many insects are quite dangerous to human life. They are capable of destroying farm crops and property, and some can serve as disease carriers and transmit deadly diseases to animals and humans.

Many insects such as aphids, grasshoppers, corn earworms, spider mites, corn rootworms, and others are dangerous in terms of their effects on farm crops. Some are particularly harmful to humans with their stings, bites, and with the possibility of causing death by transmitting diseases. Based on studies by The Mysterious World, these are the top five most dangerous insects in the world.

Mosquitoes

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Mosquitoes are a species of the order Diptera. Due to their enormous effects on humans, they are the most dangerous insect/animal in the world. This is according to Matan Shelomi, a Professor of Entomology from the National Taiwan University. Mosquitoes transmit parasites that cause diseases that include malaria, West Nile, yellow fever, Dengue fever, zika, and chikungunya.

According to UNICEF, the female Anopheles mosquitoes that carry the malaria parasite kill close to 3,000 children—mostly under the age of 5—every day. Over 1 million people die each year from it with 90 percent of these cases occurring in Sub-Sahara Africa. Malaria could result in maternal anemia in pregnant women and low birth weight in newborn babies.

In the US, as of 2017, the West Nile Virus (WNV), followed by malaria, Dengue, and chikungunya represent the most common mosquito-borne diseases, with an estimated 2,097 cases and 106 deaths in the year 2016.

Driver Ants

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Driver ants belong to the order Hymenoptera. Some experts regard these nomadic carnivores as the most deadly insects in the world. They live in colonies and have the largest colony compared to any other insects in the world. They attack everything on their routes, including other ants, birds, snakes, mammals, and humans with their powerful cutting jaws.

Though uncommon, driver ants can kill humans. They attack “en masse” by continuously biting anything they perceive as a threat to their colony. Once they stick, it can take a while before the victim is able to detach them. Driver ants can be found in the southern United States, though they are not as fierce compared to those in tropical regions.

Killer Bees

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Killer bees are also referred to as Africanized honeybees. They belong to the order Hymenoptera. They live within a colony that can contain more than 80,000 killer bee members. They are dominant and aggressive in their operations. They too attack their victims “en masse” and could follow their target for more than a mile. They attack by making repetitive stinging and target the eyes and face of humans. Once they perceive a threat to their colony, they can attack any animal or human for the next 24 hours within their range.

Tsetse Flies

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The tsetse fly is another deadly insect that is native to rural Africa. They are blood-sucking flies that feed on the blood of vertebrates. According to research, 500,000 people have lost their lives in Africa because of the tsetse fly. The tsetse fly is responsible for transmitting sleeping sickness (African trypanosomiasis) in humans. This can result in death without any proper treatment. The Tsetse fly is not in the U.S., however, according to the Centers for Disease Control, a traveler to the African continent could be infected if bitten.

Giant Japanese Hornet

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The Giant Japanese Hornet represents the largest species of hornet in the world. They can grow to two inches long and they live in colonies that can contain close to 700 members. The fearless, aggressive insects secrete venom when they sting, which dissolves in the body tissues. Each year there are close to 40 deaths recorded because of their sting. The Giant Japanese Hornet insect is not in the U.S.

Insects are vital to the balance of life and our ecosystem. However, some are deadly to not only plants but also animals, including humans. The key point is education and awareness and to protect oneself as much as possible from the harmful and deadly ones.

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