They might not be the reincarnation of a tortured soul on the loose for a revenge every time, but insects can be really dangerous and life threatening in real life too. It is one thing to buy one spray and kill those helpless creatures in your home but when it comes to poisonous insects like a Japanese giant hornet, you might want to think twice about what it can do before you execute your spray with that assured malicious grin. Research says more than a 100 people die a year because of poisonous insects or bugs in the US alone. Jeff Hanneman, the founder of Slayer, who wrote bold songs like ‘Raining Blood’ and ‘Angel of death’, was not pulled out of this world by some angel of death but a spider and its cute little bite. With a silent prayer for Hanneman’s departed soul, I present to you the list of top 10 poisonous insects in the world.
10. Harvester ants
If there is ever an army who can be in square with the royal marines of the UK, it would be the army of these ants. They work no less than like a military unit serving in a forward area. They are organized, aggressive and when confronted- would not back out. Equipped with very toxic venom these ants are responsible for those un-grassy patches you see in a golf course or those mournful laments of the farmers over the sudden destruction of their farm crops. If you are thinking these ants are dangerous only in the fields you would be so wrong. At least 5 deaths in the US alone have been credited to their stings. So next time you go hiking on a desert or some arid land, pirates or zombies might not be the only things you want to be fearful about. There are harvester ants too!!!
9. Great giant hornet
They say anything that is yellow might not be gold. True, just modify the quote and put it in this way, “every being that has a yellow head might not be a grandpa smurf”, and it will be legit. These insects with a large yellow head and a large mouth are one of the poisonous insects in the world. Their venom can paralyze a person and even can send him to a hospital. And the way they eat their diet…viewers discretion advised…they kill the prey and make its corpse one tasty paste and feed themselves…so next time if papa smurf visits someone with a yellow head, you might want to gasp, “GOSH!! WHAT IF IT IS A GREAT GIANT HORNET!!!”
8. Tse Tse fly
So you think they have a funny name and you could write one sweet rhyme about them? Yeah write but don’t forget to put one ‘god watch my back’ in the end. They have been lurking in this earth since 34 million years, ages before the humans did. So they know better if not they kill better. Found only in Africa, the pores in their skin excrete a toxin which can even kill people or at least give them a disease commonly understood as sleeping sickness. Thanks to the almighty that the pores in our skin yield only a cute smelly sweat.
7. Anopheles mosquito
The US might want to wage a war against terrorism against these mosquitoes because they are accounted for more than five hundred thousand deaths a year worldwide. They are the primary cause and carriers of malaria. They might not be a sparkling vampire but they do suck blood and in return give a life threatening dose of malaria and other disease. The females do the holy work of sucking blood because they need the protein that is found in human plasma for reproduction. The males apparently seem peaceful. HELLO FEMINISM, PLEASE HAVE YOUR SAY.
6. Brown Recluse spiders (Corner spider)
Seems Ron Weasley did have his grounds to be so restless about spiders. These spiders, commonly found in the USA and Mexico (may be in Hagrid’s hut too) are poisonous than most venomous snakes. Their bites can result in death of tissues. They usually dwell in dark sheltered places like your attic or basement and would not attack unless you go all Harry potter and provoke them to help Dumbledore out! So next time you see a brown Recluse Spider hanging in your bathroom just give one peaceful hello, just don’t provoke it.
5. Lonomia Catterpillar
Ever watched a tree and suddenly found a portion of its bark moving?? Hold your horses and don’t put one ‘saw a miracle’ facebook status just yet!! It may be Lonomia Caterpillar. Extremely well at blending with the background, these caterpillars are one of the most poisonous creatures alive in the face of the earth. They are commonly found in South America and are credited for no less than 3 deaths a year. Their sting can cause internal bleeding including bleeding into the brain. Sounds funny, doesn’t it?? Caterpillars are supposed to go through one inspiring journey and become one always-happy-and –fluttering butterfly but here they are, killing people. MAD MAD WORLD!
4. Brazilian wandering spiders
Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you, the many times record holder of ‘the most venomous spider’ in Guinnes world records, BRAZILIAN WANDERING SPIDERS!!! Like the name implies, they keep on wandering in search of prey but at night. They are nocturnal so they usually hide in dark places during the day, like the inside of your shoes or your car. They have killed no less than 15 people till date. Their venom causes extreme pain and inflammation, breathing problems and paralysis too.
3. Africanized honey bees
In the 90s when the US was busy with its cold war against the Russians, a band of bees called Africanized honey bees entered the country through Texas and no radar or a SAM site could know about it……………..
Well, these bees are the result of one sexy love scene between the Brazilians honeybees and their South African counterparts. Seems some crossings should never happen. They have a nick name too- ‘killer bees’. They are known to react to even very slight disturbances within a very wide range of their hives. They attack in large numbers and the females die just after they sting.
2. Fire ants
Most of us are very well acquainted with these ants and very well know what they can do. Yeah ,red bumps and a very ridiculous irritation. But there is more than just red bumps and irritation, the FDA estimates that more than 5 billion dollars a year is spent on medical expenses and control of these insects in infested areas. They are notorious not only because they sting bad but also because their heap building activity can damage plant roots which leads to loss of crops.
1. Giant Weta
They are the dinosaur of the insect world- have large heads and strong jaws and to our utter relief, they are classified endangered and are protected by the department of conservation. They were treading on this earth even before the dinosaurs did and are found only in New Zealand. They look fierce and when threatened will go all Salman Khan and throw their legs in the air and they bite only if they perceive an immediate danger.
Even though this list might have given you an apprehensive chill about insects, they are actually the main contributors to the smooth functioning of our eco system. If all the insects were to be wiped out from the earth we wouldn’t last even for a month. They are the principle predators and their biomass is the largest of all species. Most of these poisonous insects do not attack unless provoked. So, with this happy thought about insects I want to conclude this column. I have prepared this list with an immense help from my friend Asmita Paudel, taking in account the magnitude of harm these insects’ venom can do. Thank you for reading. And thank you Asmita.