Top 10 Most Dangerous Insects In The World

Which animal species scare you the most? Wild animals or insects. Wild animals is probably your answer. But did you know that many stings and bites from insects are much more dangerous and painful and can cause all kinds of nasty diseases. Without proper medical treatment, some insect stings and insect bites can even lead to death. The following list contains the top 10 most dangerous insects in the world.

10. Bullet Ants

Dangerous Insects Bullet Ants

Source: Bernard DUPONT | CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic

Bullet ants are the largest ants of all ants on Earth. They are mainly found in the rainforests of Nicaragua and Paraguay. Bullet ants are named for their painful sting. After a victim is bitten by a bullet ant, the pain would feel like a shot from a handgun. In fact, a bullet ant sting is 30 times more painful than a wasp or honey bee sting. The bullet ant is therefore also called the ’24 hour ant’, because of the pain that follows after a sting that can last up to a day. Each bullet ant colony contains hundreds of ants. They usually make a nest at the base of large trees. Bullet ants also give off an unpleasant odor once they discover a predator. If this ruse didn’t work to scare the predator away, they would attack together with their powerful stinger.

9. Hornets


source: pixabay

Hornets, not to be confused with bloodsucking horseflies and stinging hornets, cannot bite or sting, they have neither moving mouthparts nor a stinger. However, the larvae of hornets are harmful because the larvae parasitize in living animals. The only species that parasitizes humans is Dermatobia hominis. Also, this hornet cannot bite, but allows the larvae to be transported to the human skin by a mosquito. Usually the larva crawls inside through the hole of the mosquito bite. When fully grown, they are sneezed out, but they can also eat through the skin and pupate in the soil.

8. Fleas

fleasSource: NY State IPM Program at Cornell University | CC BY 2.0 Generic

The cat flea is the most widespread flea on Earth, and it can be found on cats, dogs and many other mammals. Cat fleas can bite humans, but they cannot survive on humans alone. Flea infestations are usually seasonal, involve pets or wild animals, and can transmit disease to animals AND humans!

Fleas are external parasites that suck blood from humans, birds, reptiles, wildlife and pets. The fleas can cause itchy patches on the skin of hosts. Fleas are very small insects about 2-3 mm in size, brown-black in color with long legs and they reproduce very quickly. Each female flea lays about 2,000 eggs during her lifetime. Young fleas can imbibe more than 15 times their body weight in blood. The effects of the flea bites on the human body result in red bumps. Flea bites are often found around the waist, knees and elbows. Flea bites are very itchy and can also lead to serious infections.

7. Fire Ants

Dangerous Insects Fire Ants

Source: William Cho | CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic

There are more than 285 different species of fire ants in the world. Once disturbed, they would stab intruders repeatedly. Fire ant stings are very painful. Once you have been stung by a fire ant, a kind of white pimple appears that is visible for weeks. The venom of fire ants could also cause various skin problems. Fire ants usually attack in groups numbering ten to hundreds of ants. Also, the poison of fire ants leads to unpleasant allergic reactions.

6. Kissing bugs

Kissing bugs

source: pixabay

Kissing bugs grow up by sucking the blood of vertebrates. Kissing insects are named for their habit of biting humans’ lips while they sleep. They also transmit a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi. Kissing insect disease, or ‘changas’, kills more than 12,000 people worldwide every year. Chagas disease spreads in the same way among animals and pets. Chagas disease leads to immediate observable changes in the victim’s body, such as stretch marks and skin rashes.

5. Japanese Giant Hornet

Japanese Giant HornetSource: Yasunori Koide | CC BY-SA 4.0 International

Male of Japanese giant hornet, Vespa mandarinia japonica.

The Japanese giant hornet is the largest hornet of its kind in the world. This species can grow up to 3.5 centimeters in length, making it the largest wasp-like species in Belgium and the Netherlands. Up to 40 deaths are recorded each year from the sting of the Japanese giant hornet. The venom of the Japanese hornet could trigger an allergic reaction with disastrous consequences for the victims who are stung

4. Tsetse Fly

tsetse flySource: Oregon State University | CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic

The tsetse fly is the insect that carries African trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness. (Photo by Geoffrey Attardo, assistant professor, Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of California Davis).

The tsetse fly is a deadly biting insect native to Africa. They mainly feed on the blood of vertebrates. The extremely dangerous insects inject powerful poisons. It is estimated that about half a million people have been killed by tsetse fly attacks in Africa. In the initial stage, the venom of the tsetse flies would cause sleeping sickness on the victim. But this can also lead to a fatal outcome without proper treatment.

3. Africanized Honeybee

Dangerous Insects Africanized Honeybee

Source: Daniel Plumer | CC BY 2.0 Generic

Africanized honey bee, also known as the killer bee in the United States, is one of the most aggressive and dominant insects in the world. A group of Africanized honeybees can chase their victim for more than a mile. They mainly attack in groups with repeated stings. The Africanized honey bee mainly target the face and eyes of humans. Their poison is not that dangerous. But an attack by a group of Africanized honeybees could prove deadly. They live in large colonies with over 80,000 members. Once disturbed, the bees are notified for 24 hours and attack any animals or humans within their range.

2. Blood-red predatory ant

Dangerous Insects Blood-red predatory ant

Source: Samuel Koivisto | CC BY-SA 4.0 International

Predators have the largest insect colonies of any other insect in the world. Each colony of predatory ants has more than 22 million members. Even elephants run away when confronted and attacked by a group of predatory ants. They try to get rid of any animal that tries to cross their path. Predatory ants usually kill thousands of different animals with a single pass. They repeatedly injure animals and humans using their razor-sharp jaws. Predatory ants also attack other insect nests for food and kill anything in their way.

1. Mosquitoes

Dangerous Insects MosquitoesSource: Alvesgaspar | CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported

A female mosquito of the family Culicidae (Culiseta longiareolata). Size: About 10mm Length Location: Lisbon Region, Portugal

Mosquitoes are the most dangerous insects in the world. This deadly insect causes more than 1 million deaths every year from the transmission of malaria. Mosquitoes transfer malaria germs from one place to another, and spread bacteria in the blood of victims by biting. The World Health Organization estimates that a child dies from malaria every 30 seconds and that 500 million cases of malaria are reported each year. Malaria is a blood-borne disease. The disease is not contagious when you come into contact with a person affected by the malaria disease. It is transmitted by parasites, mainly through mosquito bites. In addition to spreading malaria, mosquitoes also spread dengue fever, yellow fever, encephalitis and West Nile virus.

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