Graveyard Shift

The Deadliest Bugs On Earth Humans Should Fear The Most  

Eric Vega
3.2k views 12 items

Even though most insects are relatively harmless to humans, it's pretty normal to have a fear of creepy-crawlies. They're tiny, gross, and just generally unpleasant to be around. That's why we tend to overlook the benefits that bugs bring to the table. However, there are definitely a few bad apples working overtime to spoil the bunch.

These aren't your average pillbugs - these are the most dangerous bugs in the world. Some species are responsible for slaying millions of people every year, while others just deliver a big dose of pain if you get too close.

It's unlikely that you'll run into any life-threatening situations with bugs, but you should know what to look out for, just in case. These are some of the deadliest bugs on the planet.

Mosquito is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Deadliest Bugs On Earth Humans Should Fear The Most
Photo:  Alvesgaspar/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

Mortality Rate: 700,000+ lives per year.

Location: Mosquitoes are present around the globe, with Antarctica and Iceland being the only exceptions.

Why They're So Dangerous: Mosquitoes are considered the deadliest insects in the world, but it's not the mosquitoes themselves that will end you. These annoying insects are known to carry some of the world's deadliest diseases - including malaria, dengue fever, Zika, and yellow fever.

Malaria alone can claim as many as 600,000 lives a year.

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Freshwater Snails
Freshwater Snails is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Deadliest Bugs On Earth Humans Should Fear The Most
Photo:  Alan R Walker/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

Mortality Rate: 200,000 lives per year.

Location: Mostly Asia, Africa, and South America.

Why They're So Dangerous: While snails might be slow, freshwater snails are more lethal to humans than your average apex predator. Many freshwater snails carry the parasitic disease schistosomiasis, and it's frighteningly easy to contract the disease from them.

Simply being in the same body of water as the snails exposes you to the parasite, as the organism can leave their snail hosts and swim over to you with relative ease. From there, they will penetrate your skin and begin to lay eggs, which can cause all sorts of havoc to your internal organs. 

Sand Fly
Sand Fly is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Deadliest Bugs On Earth Humans Should Fear The Most
Photo:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Frank Collins/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Mortality Rate: 70,000 lives per year.

Location: Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the Mediterranean region.

Why They're So Dangerous: Sand flies are a carrier of leishmaniasis, an intracellular parasite that can be transmitted to humans by sand fly bites. Sand flies are responsible for as many as 2 million cases of leishmaniasis a year across 89 individual countries.

Due to its massive range, leishmaniasis is considered one of the most harmful tropical diseases in the world. 

Ascaris is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Deadliest Bugs On Earth Humans Should Fear The Most
Photo:  Department of Pathology, Calicut Medical College/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

Mortality Rate: 60,000 lives per year.

Location: Can be found worldwide in warm, moist climates. 

Why They're So Dangerous: Though not an insect, the ascaris roundworm is still a creepy-crawly you definitely want to avoid. It's a parasite that can set up shop in your intestinal tract and cause ascariasis, a condition that affects roughly 1 billion people worldwide.

The parasite is usually found in lower-income nations and considered rare in the United States - but it's still a widespread and deadly creature. 

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