The Deadliest Creature on Earth is Back to Hunting in Wyoming
Wyoming has its fair share of deadly creatures. Wolves, rattlesnakes, black widows, bears, and cougars stalk the wilds of Cowboy State, fearsome predators in their own right. Shoot - add in bison, moose, and the errant ticked-off elk, and even our herbivores pose quite a threat to animals and people.
But the deadliest creature to stalk prey in Wyoming isn't one of Yellowstone's vicious predators or large mammals. It's not even a reptile or arachnid.
It's an insect.
The Earth's Deadliest Critter (to Humans) Hunts in Wyoming
When you think "deadliest creature on Earth," what comes to mind? Perhaps a Great White Shark? Maybe a grizzly or lion?
King Cobras? Rattlesnakes? Guess again.
Scorpions? Nope. Brown Recluses? Uh-uh.
No, the deadliest creature on Earth averages under .5 inches long and weighs in at 2.5 milligrams. It has wings, uses a proboscis to feed, and shares Dracula's penchant for blood.
You guessed it - mosquitos are the deadliest creature on Earth...at least when it comes to human victims. And these buggers are waking up and ready to chomp on Wyomingites.
Mosquitos Are the Deadliest Creatures on Earth? No Way!
Yes, way. Mosquitos may not outright murder their victims, but they carry many diseases known to ravage human populations. The primary threats to humans are the Aedes, Anopheles, and Culex genera of mosquitos, reports Conde Naste. These vicious bloodsuckers carry devastating pathogens like Malaria, encephalitis (brain swelling), West Nile, Yellow Fever, and Zika. Their propensity to spread disease racks up a million deaths annually since 2022, according to numbers experts at Statista. BBC notes that Malaria is the cause of 96% of mosquito-caused deaths worldwide.
Find more statistics at Statista.
What Mosquitos Buzz Around Wyoming?
According to the University of Wyoming's Entomology Department, the Culex tarsalis mosquito is the primary "vector of West Nile Virus" in Wyoming. West Nile can, in rare cases, cause meningitis or encephalitis. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, "They typically bite at dusk and after dark. By day they rest in and around structures and vegetation."
When is Mosquito Season in Wyoming?
Star Valley Health cites Wyoming's mosquito season as typically starting in Summer though once temperatures reach 50 degrees F., mosquitoes start waking from hibernation. In a typical Wyoming spring, where temperatures veer closer to 50 degrees F. and maybe reach the 60s in May (plus the occasional blizzard,) mosquito season doesn't start until the warmer, more humid days of June.
But, the Cowboy State has already reached 80 degrees F. in some cities and consistently hit the 70s in the Central and Southern portion of the state. So, the temps and humidity are just right for mosquitos to thrive in Wyoming.
How to Prevent Mosquito Bites
The Centers for Disease Control has several suggestions on how to prevent mosquito bites and mosquito-borne illnesses:
- Use an EPA-registered insect repellent, examples:
- Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus
- Wear loose-fitted long sleeves and pants when mosquitos are most active at dawn and dusk. Treat clothes with insect repellent for added protection.
- Use screens and mosquito curtains in your house and while camping to prevent mosquitos from entering tents, campers, and homes.
- Dump stagnant water around houses and fill any dips in the lawn that create space for puddles.
Want to mosquito-proof your yard naturally? Horticulture Magazine recommends planting or hanging Lemongrass or Citronella Plants, which contain the citronella compound that deters mosquitos and is found in citronella candles and some mosquito sprays.