The Most Dreadful and Dangerous Insects that Can Kill Humans

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The world is full of dangerous things that can kill us. There are hundreds of thousands of species of different insects and other creatures that can be found on earth. And among those creatures, there are different insects that are considered quite dangerous for human being as they have the ability to kill them and we have selected this topic in order to discuss some of these insects. The following are some of the most horrifying, agony-inducing, flesh-melting and dangerous insects that are known to man.

1. Brazilian Spider

The complete name of this spider is Brazilian Wandering Spider and this is considered as one of the most dangerous insect. According to Guinness Book of World Records, this spider is responsible for the most human deaths. This spider got this kind of name due to the fact that unlike most spiders, they do not hang out in a web at night, but they wander the jungle in order to search their prey.

2. Africanized Honey Bee

This is also considered as one of the most dangerous insect in the world. There are different types of research studies that have shown this fact that if an Americanized honey bee stings the body, it not only releases its venom, but at the same time, it also releases a banana-scented pheromone which give signals to other bees to attack. It is also said about these bees that they can attack as far as ¼ miles from their hive.

3. Giant Japanese Hornet

The giant Japanese Hornet is also considered as one of the most horrible and dangerous insect of the world. There are thousands of humans that have been died due to giant Japanese Hornet. Those people who experienced being bitten by this bug, said that it created lots of pain and swelling on the flesh of the body. There are also different types of research reports that have shown this fact that each year in Japan; Giant Hornets kill more people than all other venomous animals.

4. Siafu Ants

This is also included in the list of most dangerous and horrible insects of the world. They are most abundantly found in North America, central Africa and East Africa. These tiny ants live in giant colonies of about 20 million individuals. They travel in search of the food in the form of as many as 50 million ants. If some one is stuck in a place where these ants are present, then these ants can kill the human and they can also consume the entire body.

5. African Assassin Bug

There are different types of research studies that have shown this fact that this brightly-colored insect or bug have venom which is more than 10 times potent than a cobra. The single bite of this bug will not provide any problem or trouble to human but if someone is attacked by more than one bug, then they can kill the humans.

6. Kissing Bugs

This is also considered as one of the most dangerous and horrible insect of the world. They are considered dangerous for human beings because they can cause infections of different kinds which ultimately lead towards the deaths of the individuals. According to a data published in 2008, about 16 to 18 million people were infected with the disease around the world.

7. Mosquito

Most of us will surprise to see the name of mosquito in the list. But it the reality that killing rate of mosquito is on higher sides. There are different types of research reports that have shown this fact that these blood suckers kill more people that all other flying menaces and deadly spiders.

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The Bug with a Dangerous Kiss

The CDC Has Reported A Potentially Dangerous Insect in North Carolina, But Is There Cause for Concern?
November 25, 2015


Blown up, and looked at from afar, the triatomine bug — or as it is more commonly known, the “kissing bug” — could be considered almost beautiful. Dark wings and legs and a vibrant striped body set this penny-sized insect apart from many beetles or mosquitos North Carolinians see every day.

Inside the beauty, however, resides a sinister passenger: a single-celled swimming parasite called Trypanosomiasis cruzi (T. cruzi for short) that causes the potentially deadly Chagas disease.

Experts for a long time considered Chagas and the kissing bugs themselves a problem mainly in Latin American countries, occasionally jumping northward into Texas or Arizona. According to the CDC, however, reports of kissing bugs have been coming in from most of the southern U.S., including Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

Kissing bugs, like mosquitos, some species of flies and ticks, are blood feeders. They come out at night and bite sleeping animals — generally on the face, hence the “kiss”. They are not picky, either. Kissing bugs will feed off humans, domestic and wild mammals, birds and even snakes.

Also like mosquitos, flies and ticks, the kissing bugs themselves are not the real danger. Anyone who has had a bug bite knows it can itch and swell and hurt, but the real threats are the parasites, bacteria and viruses that live inside these insects. Epidemiologists call these insects “vectors:” a means of spreading an infection from a reservoir where a disease normally exists, often without causing harm, to a host where it can wreak havoc.

Malaria, Lyme disease, Dengue fever and Chagas disease are just a few of the infections that use insects to infect humans. Many, like Dengue, malaria and African sleeping sickness are saliva-borne. They live in the mouths of the insects and enter a host’s body directly through a bite.

T. cruzi, the kissing bug parasite that causes Chagas, takes a different and markedly more stomach-churning path. Unlike malaria or Dengue, T. cruzi is an intestinal parasite so it lives in the kissing bug’s intestines and passes through its feces. Kissing bugs will feed as much as they can off a single host and while they are sitting around and drinking up blood, they will defecate. If a host scratches near the bite or brushes against it, the kissing bug feces and the T. cruzi parasites get rubbed into the open bite wound. Also, if the kissing bug defecates on a mucous membrane (usually the eyes, nose or mouth), the parasites can seep in through the membrane.

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Once inside the body, T. cruzi gets right to work at creating Chagas disease. The acute form of Chagas occurs immediately after infection and can cause swelling, fever, rash, and a few other symptoms that tend to go away on their own in a few weeks or months.

More troubling, however, is the chronic form of Chagas. After the acute infection dies down, the parasites remain in the body, just going about their business and for about 70% of Chagas patients, that’s the last they ever hear of it. But about 30% of people with Chagas develop dangerous swelling of the intestines or heart. These complications can pop up decades later without symptoms and the heart issues can even be deadly.

Chagas is treatable, and can even be curable if it is detected quickly enough. The trouble is its acute form is somewhat generic — that is, it doesn’t have a collection of symptoms that screams «I’m Chagas» — and is relatively rare in most of the United States so it is not generally a doctor’s first thought, and both the acute and chronic forms can be symptomless. As a result Chagas often goes undetected until the big heart and intestinal symptoms hit.

So if kissing bugs are flying around the southern half of the United States and spreading potentially deadly Chagas disease, the next logical question is, “Why aren’t people dropping dead right and left?”

Well according to the CDC, getting Chagas from an insect bite, especially in southeastern states like North Carolina is very rare and very difficult for a number of reasons. The first reason is that the mode of transmission (the kissing bug feces getting into a wound or the eye or mouth) requires a lot of steps to go exactly right (or wrong). The bug has to defecate near the wound, which is common but not guaranteed, and then by (un)lucky chance it has to roll into the bite wound, eyes or mouth or the bitten animal has to move it there, which is also not a guarantee.

In fact, a 2013 study by Mexican and French scientists estimated — based on modelling and field data of Chagas disease from the last 10 to 15 years — that the chance of contracting Chagas from a kissing bug bite, in an area where Chagas disease is prevalent (discussed below) is about 58 thousandths of a percent. Put another way, if infected kissing bugs bit the same person somewhere between 900 and 4000 times, he would contract Chagas once.

The way we live also makes insect transmission unlikely. Kissing bugs come out at night to feed while we are sleeping, but they can’t burrow through plaster walls or melt a screen door so by the virtue of just being inside and taking normal bug prevention steps, we can keep most, if not all of the kissing bugs away.

Not just how we live but where we live also pushes down the likelihood of getting Chagas from a kissing bug. Chagas is not what epidemiologists call “endemic” to this region. What that means is that we do not have a high enough population of people with Chagas for the disease to keep surviving and spreading without help from other places.

Endemism is important, especially with Chagas, because of how it spreads. Once a bug infects one animal, then another bug feeds on that animal and is infected before moving on to infect more animals and on and on it goes. Not all kissing bugs carry T. cruzi, and in a place that is not endemic, like North Carolina, there are not as many places for the kissing bugs to pick up the parasites and reload on parasite to pass to other animals. Combine that with an already low transmission rate and T. cruzi has a hard time moving around in the United States.

The CDC estimates there are roughly 300,000 people in the United States who are infected with Chagas, most of who either immigrated to the United States from or frequently travel to Central or South America. That may sound like a lot, but at one tenth of a percent of the U.S. population, that’s not enough to really consider Chagas endemic to the point where insect transmission is a problem for most of the country. States like Texas, however, where there is a comparatively high rate of Chagas are stepping up efforts to curb the disease and monitor kissing bugs.

For now, though, the CDC is primarily focused on stopping human-to-human transmissions. Humans can pass Chagas on to other humans, but that is also much more difficult than passing on a cold or the flu. Blood and tissue are generally how Chagas gets from one person to another, so the CDC watches for blood transfusions, organ transplants and pregnant mothers, who could pass Chagas to their babies. The Red Cross now screens blood donations for Chagas, which is one way people find out they have it.

All in all, getting Chagas from a kissing bug is unlikely in the United States. Still Chagas disease is no joke, and with the CDC finding kissing bugs throughout the southeast and entomologists in Texas finding more and more kissing bugs with Chagas, the insect and the disease should be on the radar. Luckily, there are things anyone can do in and around their home to keep their risk for Chagas low.

The World Health Organization, which constantly fights Chagas in its endemic regions, says the best way to deal with the disease is to control the kissing bugs. For North Carolinians, that means keeping them out of your house and watching for them on your property.

Making sure you have good screens, sealing any cracks around doors and windows, and preventing access to attics and crawlspaces can prevent the bugs from getting in. Outside, they like to live in wood piles, rock piles, under concrete and under porches, so periodically checking these locations, and removing whichever ones you can, can cut down on the possibility of kissing bugs.

Kissing bugs also like to live near their food, where animals sleep. Doghouses, chicken coops and areas where rodents have made their homes are big nest spots for kissing bugs. Keeping pets inside at night can keep them safe and keep kissing bugs away.

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If they do manage to get into the house, they will probably make their home near food. Under mattresses, near pet beds, under nightstands and in bathrooms are all likely spots.

If you do happen to see a kissing bug in your house, don’t crush it, as that can spread the parasites. Instead, try to trap it in a small container, then either fill the container with rubbing alcohol or freeze it to kill the bug. You should also clean any surface the kissing bug has touched with bleach (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) or ethanol (7 parts ethanol to 3 parts water). If you see them in your home repeatedly, or find kissing bug eggs, your best bet is to call an exterminator and if you suspect for any reason that you may have Chagas disease, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can do a blood test and if it comes back positive, your doctor can work with you on treating it. As the CDC reports though, getting Chagas from an insect bite would be very rare in North Carolina.

As the CDC continues to monitor kissing bugs and Chagas in the United States, knowing that you found one could be helpful. You can help put yourself at ease and help the CDC by having the bug identified and tested for T. cruzi parasites. You can do this at a local extension service, health department or a university laboratory. If you don’t have any of those near you, you can contact the CDC Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria. For more information of kissing bugs and Chagas disease from the CDC, click here.

All in all though, the last word on the kissing bug in North Carolina is awareness. While the consquences of a kissing bug bite can be severe, North Carolinians deal with similar threats on a daily basis. Just like we wear long pants and check for ticks when in tall grass, steer clear of beehives and keep an eye out for snakes when we’re out in the woods, staying safe from kissing bugs and Chagas disease is a matter of knowing and following the rules and being aware of your surroundings. That is the best way to protect yourself, your pets and your family. Kissing bugs don’t have to be the kiss of death.

Daniel Lane covers science, engineering, medicine and the environment in North Carolina.

science.unctv.org

9 Horrifying Insects That Live In The United States (That Can Actually Kill You)

Now that fall is swiftly becoming winter, there are fewer pests to deal with. Sure, a beautiful summer day would be nice — especially once we get to the snowier months — but having a bit of a break from insects and spiders is always great. Rest assured, the nine insects/arachnids in the U.S. that can actually kill you typically spend their winters far away from humans. Oh, you didn’t know there are bugs native to this country which can actually kill you? Sorry, yeah.

Generally, regions like desolate portions of Australia and sub-Saharan Africa are the ones which boast the most fatal creatures on the planet. Australia’s notorious funnel-web spiders, for example, pack enough venom to practically disintegrate the nervous system of a mammal. In large swaths of Africa, the infamous tse tse fly can render parts of the body completely nonfunctional until the entire system is shut down. After that, you die.

As if that wasn’t terrifying enough, there are some insects that may not necessarily be the most poisonous, but are aggressive enough to do some serious damage to a person. That’s the case with the Africanized bee, for example, which can be found all over the US, and is similar in appearance to the far more docile European bee.

Here’s some ammunition for your next nightmare .

Arizona Bark Scorpions

As you might expect, the Arizona bark scorpion can be found in the Southwestern part of the United States. It stands as the only scorpion whose venom can be fatal, though those who do succumb to its sting tend to either be elderly or infants. Symptoms of an Arizona bark scorpion sting include frothing at the mouth, numbness, and convulsions.

Black Widow Spiders

Black widow venom packs quite the punch. The female spider stands as one of the most deadly in the United States, and can be found in warmer regions, particularly the Southwest. Though black widow venom is said to be nearly 15 times stronger than that of a rattlesnake, it’s incredibly rare that such a bite leads to death. Still, symptoms aren’t that great, and include chest pain, swelling, vomiting, and fainting.

Brown Recluse Spiders

True to its name, the brown recluse tends to lurk on the peripherals of homes, in closets and hidden dark spots, as the spider is nocturnal. Brown recluses can be found in the middle of country, as well as the South. Brown recluse bites are incredibly dangerous, and should be treated immediately. Wounds can take weeks to heal, and may even result in fatal infections.

Puss Caterpillars

Don’t be fooled by this creature’s cuddle-worthy appearance. The puss caterpillar is the most dangerous caterpillar in the entire country. Residing primarily in the Southeast, this fuzzy bug’s «hairs» are actually protective spines that can become embedded in your skin, causing an incredibly painful reaction that can last as long as 12 hours. Though a puss caterpillar sting has yet to kill anyone, they’ve sadly come close.

Anopheles Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes can be found everywhere, but that’s not necessarily a reason to panic. It’s not the bug itself which causes harm, but rather the myriad diseases it can carry. Female anopheles mosquitoes can transmit malaria, and according to the CDC, many such mosquitoes are resistant to insecticides, making it even harder to prevent the spread of some of the most damaging infectious diseases on the planet.

Kissing Bugs

Known to scientists as the triatomine bug, the kissing bug inhabits the Southern part of the country. Only recently has it been linked to the debilitating Chagas disease. The nocturnal bugs suck the blood of their victims, usually in the evening, transmitting T. cruzi, the parasite which brings about Chagas. Symptoms can range from stroke and constipation to sudden cardiac arrest. Fewer than five percent of reported cases have been fatal, however.

Wasps

Wasps account for a surprising number of fatalities, primarily because there are so many people who are allergic to their sting. Medscape pegs the animal and those related to it as the most deadly of venomous insects. Symptoms of a wasp sting can range from fairly innocuous irritation to complete anaphylactic shock. Wasps are found all over the country, and tend to be far more aggressive than most bees. Most bees .

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Africanized Bees

Africanized bees look identical to solitary bees, which typically stay far away from humans. Africanized bees, however, tend to swarm their victims and inundate them with stings. According to experts, it’s not that the bee is particularly venomous; it’s that the sheer number of aggravated insects are enough to prove deadly when disturbed. They typically target a creature’s face — particularly the eyes — which is even creepier.

Oriental Rat Fleas

The warning that rats carry the Bubonic plague is a bit of a misnomer. It’s not that the vermin are directly infected, but rather the insects hitching a ride on them. To this day, Oriental rat fleas still carry the bacteria that causes the plague. Fleas are responsible for spreading it between rats, as well as infecting humans. Symptoms include such mild affects as coughing and headaches all the way up to internal bleeding and seizures. The Bubonic plague is most certainly fatal, though modern medicine has brought about lifesaving antibiotics that have considerably reduced the mortality rate for the rare few who do get infected.

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How to Get Rid of Kissing Bugs

Also referred to as assassin bugs, these blood-sucking insects are a troublesome lot wherever they decide to reside. However, eliminating these bugs is not as difficult as it seems. The following HomeQuicks article discusses how to get rid of kissing bugs.

Also referred to as assassin bugs, these blood-sucking insects are a troublesome lot wherever they decide to reside. However, eliminating these bugs is not as difficult as it seems. The following HomeQuicks article discusses how to get rid of kissing bugs.

Did You Know?
These insects, that are around 1 to 3 cm long, are christened as kissing bugs since they tend to bite their sleeping victims near the mouth.

When kissing bugs are camping in your house, it is very difficult to get some quality sleep. Thanks to their blood-sucking ability, they are sure to create a nuisance and give a harrowing night to their hosts. Moreover their feces carry Trypanosoma cruzi, a protozoan known to cause Chagas disease―a condition that is typically marked by swelling at the site of bite, rash, fever, body aches, and swollen lymph nodes. Considering the health risks linked to their association with homes, getting rid of these kissing bugs at the earliest should be your top priority.

Eliminating Kissing Bugs

Vacuum the Area
Thoroughly vacuuming your home can contribute immensely in getting rid of kissing bugs. You need to vacuum all the possible areas that include mattresses, pillows, carpets, floors, drawers, bed frames and other furniture items. When vacuuming, do make it a point to get rid of rat nests (if any) that are known to attract these bugs. Keeping the surrounding clean can certainly discourage these pets from infesting your home. So make sure your house is clutter-free to keep these insects out of your sight.

Mop the Floor
Household bleach can prove lethal for kissing bugs. Hence, mopping your floor with bleach-water solution can also help to exterminate these bugs. However, if you are not comfortable using household bleach, go for a steam mop to eliminate these pests. You can also steam clean all the surfaces and cracks. Steam cleaning devices generate heat, which these insects find difficult to withstand.

Use the Right Product
Well, using the right insecticide or bug spray can go a long way in keeping these bugs out of your house. Look for products that do not emanate a strong odor but at the same time are effective in destroying the pests. Products like Phantom Aerosal spray are practically odorless, and moreover, work against these notoriously difficult pest. A pyrethroid insecticide spray can be deadly against these bugs.

Using home insect foggers, also referred to as bug bombs or fleas bombs that contain active ingredients like tralomethrin or pyrethrins, may also contribute in eradicating these insects. Whichever product you choose, make sure the windows are all open and also ensure that you spray all the infested areas of your house including cracks and crevices.

Insect Repellents
Pyrethrin, which is similar to pyrethroid, is a powerful natural insecticide. It has been used all over the world to control infestation of a variety of insects including kissing bugs. However, when used in lower concentrations, pyrethrin has shown insect repellent properties. So you can use it in small amounts to get rid of these bugs. Generally, an insecticide formulation containing 2% concentration of pyrethrin demonstrates effective repellent activity.

Prevention

Even after getting rid of kissing bugs, your house may get re-infested with these insects, if you do not implement the following preventive steps:

  • Firstly, it is necessary to prevent these bug from re-entering your home. For this, use sealants such as caulk and foam to close (seal) all the cracks and gaps in your home. So check all the nooks and crannies in your house and make sure they are sealed completely. When done properly, it can be extremely difficult for these bugs to take refuge in your home.
  • Installing insect screens is yet another way to protect your house from a kissing bug infestation. Insect screen protection that includes window screen and door screen can immensely contribute in preventing those bugs from crawling into your home.
  • Like your house, you also need to keep your backyard clean. Get rid of dead leaves or other garden debris as any clutter in your yard can prove to be a haven for bugs and insects. In short, ensure that garbage or trash is disposed off on a daily basis. Also, if you have a lawn, make sure it is trimmed on a regular basis so that these insects do not hide in overgrown grass.
  • Hanging a mosquito net over your sleeping area can also prevent these insects from biting you, thereby ensuring a sound and a bug-free sleep.

On the whole, calling an exterminator may not be necessary if you follow these remedies to the T. However, in case these pest control treatment options do not work, seek professional help.

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