While they are not dangerous in the typical sense of the word as they play a critical role in the environment and even in some culture’s diets, they have the potential to cause major damage to crops and infrastructure.
Lice are wingless scavengers that feed on the skin of the host’s body, or on other secretions such as blood. On the average, humans who serve as hosts to lice have about fifteen different species of lice on their heads. Although like termites they are not always dangerous to humans in the classic sense they do have the ability to transmit diseases.
Every year the Deer Tick infects thousands of people with Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease begins with a rash around the bite resembling a bull’s eye. Early symptoms include head ache and fever. As time passes, the victim will suffer stiff joints and heart problems. Few victims die from the disease but their suffering can go on for years.
The first creature on our list that would be dangerous in the typical sense of the word, army ants are known for their aggression, especially as predators. Unlike other species of ants, army ants do not construct their own permanent nests. Instead, they build colonies that move from one place to another. These predators incessantly move during the day, preying upon insects and other small vertebrates. In fact the entire colony put together can consume over half a million prey animals each day.
Although most yellow jackets are little more than a pest, certain species such as the German yellow jacket of North America are bold and aggressive, and if provoked, they can sting repeatedly and painfully. They will even mark their aggressors and pursue them if provoked.
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Although the sting of a female black widow spider can be very harmful to humans due to the neurotoxins released, if medical attention is sought immediately then the effects of the bite can be limited to little more than some pain.
Although they look cute and furry, and even supposedly derived their name from their resemblance to “pussy cats”, do not be deceived. Their fur hides spines that can cause an extremely painful reaction upon contact with human skin and sometime chest pain, numbness, or difficulty breathing.
One of the best known disease carrying bugs, cockroaches have been known to carry numerous disease agents that can be very dangerous to humans. And here’s a fun fact for you – they can live for months without food and water.
Parasitic worms are a type of eukaryotic parasite that get their nourishment from absorbing the nutrients of their hosts by sucking their blood. Most parasitic worms are known to dwell inside the digestive tract of humans and cause insomnia, vomiting, nausea, and numerous other issues.
A longstanding human parasite, while they may not cause excruciating pain or death, their bites can potentially lead to negative psychological effects and allergic symptoms.
Human Bot Flies
Human botflies have larvae that can transmit life threatening parasites to humans. Also known as torsalo or American warble flies, human botflies are typically transfered by mosquitoes and ticks. When a mosquito carrying the larva of a human botfly lands on the human skin, it drops off the larva onto the skin and leaves it there. After a few days, this larva develops under the layer of the skin and may cause serious infection if not immediately treated.
House centipedes are most known for their pairs of venom claws called forcipules. Their bites are deemed hazardous to humans because they are very painful and can cause severe swelling that can last for days.
Black Spitting Thick Tail Scorpion
Although not technically fitting into the bug category, black-spitting thick tailed scorpions are among the most dangerous species of scorpions. Most of them live in South Africa, especially in deserts. They are most known for their thick tails and thin claws. These scorpions have the ability to spit out venom through their tails. They stings can cause pain, paralysis and death among humans.
Well known for carrying Chagas disease, these parasitic bugs often infect people living in poor, rural parts of the Americas.
Called bullet ants because victims often describe the feeling of being stung by this ant as equal to the feeling of being shot by a gun, a person bitten by this ant can feel throbbing and unabated pain that can last for more than a day.
Brazilian Wandering Spider
Also known as Phoneutria, Brazilian wandering spiders are venomous and defensive spiders that live in tropical South America and Central America. In the 2010 Guinness Book of World Records, this type of spider was named as the most venomous spider in the world because of its toxicity.
Best known for transmitting malaria as well as other diseases, these mosquitos have been responsible for numerous epidemics in the tropical regions of the world.
Rat fleas are known for being parasites of rodents and are among the primary vectors of the bubonic plague. They also act as a host for tapeworms and can carry life threatening diseases from one person to another through their eggs.
Africanized Honey Bee
Africanized honey bees are more commonly called “killer bees” because of their capacity to kill humans when they are attacked. This type of bee is known for being the most defensive of all. Their swarms take over European honey bee hives by invading them and setting up their new queen after killing the European queen. They deploy in greater numbers for defense and are seemingly ready to kill whoever attacks their hives.
Although not typically thought of as dangerous, fleas transmit numerous diseases between animals and people and throughout history have helped facilitate things like the bubonic plaque.
Fire ants are a group of stinging ants that can be distinguished from other types of ants through their copper brown head and their darker abdomen. Fire ants bite and spray formic acid on attackers, causing irritation, pain, and in extreme cases death.
The second spider to make our list, the Brown Recluse doesn’t release neurotoxins like the Black Widow but rather its bite destroys tissue and can cause lesions that take months to heal.
Moving in columns, these ants are very similar to army ants in their behavior. Their jaws are very powerful and typically leave two puncture wounds when removed. Although they typically do not kill humans, a large number can easily kill or immobilize small animals.
Giant Japanese or Asian Hornet
Most of these hornets dwell in the rural areas of Japan and are also referred to as the “giant sparrow bee.” This type of hornet is not inherently aggressive and only attacks humans when threatened. Its venom, however, attacks the nervous system and can kill a person with just a single sting.
Also called “tik-tik” flies, Tsetse flies are large biting flies that live by feeding on the blood of vertebrate animals. These flies live in mid continental Africa, particularly near the Sahara Desert. They carry a chemical called trypanosome, which causes sleeping sickness among humans.