The World’s Most Deadly Animal

by | Sep 19, 2017


The mosquito is by far the most deadly animal in the world.  Mosquito-borne diseases include malaria, dengue virus, West Nile virus, yellow fever virus, Chikungunya virus, Zika virus, and many others.  These diseases kill over 1 million humans each year and cause a great amount of suffering to those they do not kill. The biggest killer is Malaria which kills 600,000 people per year and infects another 200 million. No other animal comes even close to causing as much disease, death and all-around unpleasantness than the mosquito.

Some interesting facts about mosquitoes:

  • There are over 3,500 species of mosquito – about 150 of them are found in the U.S.
  • They are found in every region of our planet except Antarctica.
  • During peak breeding season mosquitoes outnumber every other animal other than ants and termites
  • Only female mosquitoes bite
  • A mosquito can drink up to three times its weight in blood.
  • It would take about 1.2 million mosquito bites to drain an average sized human of all their blood
  • Mosquitoes don’t have teeth – they “bite” with a long, pointed mouth part called a proboscis. They use the serrated proboscis to pierce the skin and locate a capillary, then draw blood through one of two tubes.
  • Mosquitoes hibernate. They like temperatures above 80 degrees and hibernate below 50 degrees.
  • Male mosquitoes have a lifespan of about 10 days. Females – about six-eight weeks.
  • Mosquitoes detect humans via the CO2 we breathe out as well as our body heat

Mosquitoes do “like” some people more than others – its not just your imagination. Some factors that influence whether a mosquito will bite you:

  • Mosquitoes like pregnant women.  That’s because they expel more CO2. An experiment found that pregnant women attracted 2x as many mosquitoes as others on average.
  • If you are sweating. Mosquitoes like the lactic acid found in sweat.
  • You have type O blood – there is a type of odor that type O people excrete that mosquitoes find yummy
  • You just had a beer.  This one doesn’t have a scientific explanation but mosquitoes appear to enjoy biting people who just consumed a beer.
  • Genetics – some people just naturally produce a chemical that acts as a mild mosquito repellent.

Good news – CRISPR technology likely will allow us to either get rid of mosquitoes or eliminate or reduce their disease carrying properties.


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