It is believed that about 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 insects live in our world today. This is 10 quintillion alive and usually invisible beings. Only about 900 thousand different species, which is 80% of all species diversity on Earth.
In some countries, 73,000 species have yet to be scientifically described and classified accurately. We traditionally consider insects not the most dangerous animals on Earth, but often this view can be fatal. After all, some insects, although their size does not exceed the size of a finger, can be deadly.
We will tell about the ten most famous of them, meetings with which it is better to avoid, and about the terrible consequences which face contact with them.
(Scutigera coleoptrata). This insect, which is also called a flycatcher, appeared presumably in the Mediterranean. Although other sources say about Mexico. The centipede has become very common all over the world. Although the appearance of such insects is unattractive, they generally perform useful work, as they eat other insect pests and even spiders. True, with entomophobia (fear of insects), such an argument does not help. Usually people kill them because of an unpleasant appearance, although in some southern countries the centipedes are even protected. The flytrap is a predator, they inject the victim with poison and then kill it. Often the flycatchers settle in apartments, without causing any harm to food or furniture. They adore moisture, often centipedes can be found in cellars, under baths, in toilets. Flycatchers live from 3 to 7 years, newborns have only 4 pairs of legs, increasing them by one with each new molt. Usually the bite of such an insect is not disturbing for a person, although it can be compared with a small bee sting. For some, this may even be painful, but usually it is limited to tears. Of course, centipedes are not insects that are responsible for thousands of deaths, but many of us will be surprised to learn that every year someone dies from these bites. The fact that an allergic reaction to the poison of an insect is possible, but this still happens very rarely. Ants
. In this kind of stinging ants, about 200 species, including extremely dangerous fire. The very name “ants” does not sound so scary, it seems that this is just an indispensable attribute of any picnic in nature. Indeed, most of these insects are harmless and insignificant in relation to the human body. However, with regard to fire ants, the situation is not so cloudless. And yet many other stinging species. If an ordinary ant just bites and injects acid into the wound, the fiery ants are especially cruel. They bite only to gain a foothold on the body, and then use a sting to bring the toxic venom of saline. A man with a bite of such insects experiences the same sensations as with a burn, which gave the ants their nickname. It is clear that a small number of ants will not do much harm to a person, although it is dangerous for people with heightened sensitivity. But after all, such insects live in the colonies, posing a significant threat. So in their places of residence, it is strongly recommended not to walk barefoot, especially since ants attack everyone who is in their territory. Although there are reports of a 5% mortality due to bites and subsequent anaphylactic shock, this is most likely untrue. But the fact that in the US every year several thousand cases of hospitalization from the bites of ants are recorded is a fact. In addition, patients in addition to allergic reactions experience swelling, blisters, vomiting, nausea. The scale of the problem is quite large – only in the US, the annual damage from these ants, including the treatment of stung, is $ 5 billion.
(Dorylus). These nomadic ants mostly live in East and Central Africa, but are also found in tropical Asia. Insects live in colonies, which can number up to 20 million individuals, all of them blind.Traveling their own they do with the help of pheromones. The colony does not have a permanent place of residence, wandering from place to place. During the movement to feed the larvae, insects attack all invertebrates. Among these ants is a special group – soldiers. They can sting for what use their hook-shaped jaws, and the size of such individuals reaches 13 mm. The jaws of the soldiers are so strong that in some places in Africa they are even used to fix the seams. The wound can be closed for as long as 4 days. Usually after a Siafu bite, the consequences are minimal, it is not even necessary to call a doctor. It is true that young and old people are particularly sensitive to the bites of such ants, there have been deaths from complications after contact. As a result, every year according to statistics, from 20 to 50 people die from these insects. This is facilitated by their aggressiveness, especially when protecting their colony, which a person can accidentally attack. Wasps and bees.
(Vespula Germanica / Apis Mellifera). It would seem that wasps and bees can be found everywhere. If the weather is warm enough, it’s enough to have a flower or a sweet smell, like they are here. Yes, and the hives can be completely in an unexpected place for a person. Almost every one of us at least once, let the bee bite, so we know from experience how painful this is. As a rule, such an unpleasant event does not require medical assistance, unless you have an allergy. If there is no inclination to unexpected reactions to the bites of bees or wasps, then there is nothing to worry about. But with the presence of allergies, serious problems are possible. According to statistics, about 50 people die each year due to an allergic reaction of the body to the bite of such insects. The poison causes anaphylactic shock, which manifests itself in hives, difficulty with breathing, confusion of consciousness and blanching. The extreme stage is loss of consciousness, and even death. Dangerous toxic reactions from bites in the head, blood vessel and mouth. Swallowed bees can cause swelling of the pharynx and death from suffocation. It is useful to know that when bitten by a bee, do not immediately kill it. Firstly, she will die without a stinger (unlike a wasp that can sting several times), and secondly, a dead bee will release into the air a special chemical substance that will be a warning signal for other of its relatives.
Asian giant bumblebee
(Vespa mandarinia). Many of us have seen bumblebees, they seem rather small, and there is no special reason to be afraid of them. And now imagine a bumblebee that has grown, as if on steroids, or just look at the Asian giant. These hornets are the largest in the world – their length can reach 5 cm, and the wingspan is 7.5 centimeters. The length of the sting for such insects can be up to 6 mm, but with such a bite it can not be compared to a bee or a wasp, bumblebees can also sting repeatedly. Such dangerous insects in Europe or the US can not be found, but traveling through East Asia and the mountains of Japan, you can meet with them. To understand the consequences of a bite, it is enough to listen to eyewitnesses. They compare the sensations from the sting of a bumblebee, with a red hot nail driven into the leg. The poison of the sting has 8 different joints that cause discomfort, damaging the soft tissues and creating a smell that can attract new bumblebees to the victim. People who are allergic to bees can die from reaction, but there are cases of deaths due to the poison of mandorotoxin, which can be dangerous, getting deep enough into the body. It is estimated that about 70 people die each year from such bites. Curiously, but the sting is not their main hunting tool – the bumblebees of their enemies are crushed by large jaws.
African honey bee
(hybrid Apis Mellifera scutellata). Most of us have dealt with normal bees in our gardens, but if you came into contact with African honey bees, you would definitely get a series of troubles.This insect is very aggressive, besides the African breed is characterized by the ability to sting repeatedly. In the sting there are no pronounced chinks, the bee easily removes it from the body of the victim. The danger is caused by the fact that these insects live in large families up to 100 thousand individuals. So there is always the possibility of attacking several furious insects. Although the bee venom is not very dangerous, the bite contains only 0.3 mg, it is similar in properties to the venom of a number of snakes. The danger in the case of an African bee is the ability of one individual to make several bites and attack the whole swarm in general. In 1956, the bees were brought to Brazil, to improve the breed. However, most bees quickly wild, their swarms reached Central America and even the southwestern United States. The danger of a swarm of bees is quite large, it is believed that he can even knock the horse off his feet. On account of the aggressive African bees, there are already more than 1000 human victims, in Brazil alone in 1982, 58 people died.
(Triatomines). For the first time this insect was discovered in the 19th century by Charles Darwin himself. In total there are 138 known species of these insects, which mainly feed on the blood of vertebrates. They are found mainly in South and North America, but some species are scattered throughout Asia, Australia and Africa. It is believed that all species of this beetle are able to tolerate and transmit the infection Trypanosoma cruzi, which can become fatal for a person. This effect was first discovered in Brazil in 1909 by the physician Carlos Chagas. He found that the poor at night bite insects, which then cause an illness, later named after him. A potentially fatal insect in 5% of cases in general lives either in a person’s house, or in close proximity to him. At night they are attracted by the warmth of a person and the carbon dioxide of his breath. Usually the spread of this insect is promoted by the untidiness of the human dwelling, where traces of feces of an insect, eggs can be preserved. It is estimated that about 50 thousand people die each year from the bites of such beetles. After all, as a result, Chagas disease with a fatal outcome can develop. First, the place of the bite simply swells, then the infection penetrates into the intestine and heart. Most deaths from Chagas disease are associated with cardiomyopathy.
(Glossina morsitans). Flies irritate on their own, imagine only that they can also suck blood from animals and humans. The tsetse fly lives in tropical and subtropical Africa, having chosen the Kalahari and Sahara deserts. Flies are carriers of trypanosomiasis, which lead to the disease of animals and humans by sleeping sickness. Tsetse anatomically very similar to their usual relatives – they can be distinguished by the proboscis on the front of the head and the special manner of the addition of wings. It is the proboscis that makes it possible to extract the main food – the blood of wild mammals in Africa. On this continent there are 21 species of such flies, which in their length can reach from 9 to 14 mm. It is not necessary to consider flies as such harmless for the person, after all they really kill people, doing it quite often. It is believed that in Africa, up to 500 thousand people are now infected with a sleeping sickness, carried by this insect. The disease disrupts the endocrine and cardiac system. Then the nervous system is affected, causing confusion in consciousness and sleep disturbance. Fatigue is replaced by hyperactivity. The last major epidemic was recorded in Uganda in 2008, in general the disease belongs to the list of neglected in WHO. However, in one Uganda for the past 6 years, 200 thousand people died from sleeping sickness. It is believed that this disease is largely responsible for the deterioration of the economic situation in Africa. It is curious that flies attack any warm object, even a car, but they do not attack a zebra, considering it only as the flickering of bands. Tsetse flies, moreover, saved Africa from soil erosion and overgrazing caused by cattle.The man came up with different methods of fighting these insects. In the 1930s, all wild pigs were destroyed on the west coast, but this only produced a result of 20 years. Now they are fighting by shooting wild animals, cutting down bushes and treating males with radiation to prevent them from multiplying. Rat fleas
. Fleas are usually represented by tiny insects living on a cat or dog and causing itching. Usually fleas are from 1/16 to 1/8 inch long, their body is green, and the structure of the mouth is such as to be able to suck blood. The body of the insect is built to jump over great distances. The flea bite is accompanied by a red mark and itching, both in man and in the pet. It is during this time that pathogens are transmitted. Although different types of fleas live on cats and dogs, the most dangerous are those that can be found on rats. These animals are terrible, and being infected with fleas, they become even more terrible and are forced to avoid them in every possible way. Let the fleas themselves and small, but they can tolerate microbes and serious diseases. The most famous of them is the bacterium Yersinia Pestis. It was she who caused the Black Plague in Europe in the XIV century, destroying up to half the population of Europe. The number of victims was estimated at tens of millions! The spread of diseases was promoted by rats traveling on merchant ships due to the lack of adequate sanitization of ships. The first case was recorded in 1347, when the ship that arrived in France brought a lot of dying sailors and passengers. On each ship there lived rats, who on arrival at the port mixed with their local relatives. Those transferred plague fleas, which infected the new owners. When the ship’s rats began to die, fleas began to drink the blood of sailors. Dirty and overpopulated ports in Europe have become a great place to spread the disease. Then the plague was not completely destroyed, it came back and came back, taking numerous lives. Thus, at the end of the 19th century, a new epidemic in India alone killed 6 million people. Today, these bacteria are extremely rare in most countries of Europe and the United States, but for third world countries there is still a danger.
(Anopheles quadrimaculatus). As soon as the temperature on the street becomes above 10 degrees, we can see these annoying insects. Their greatest activity is manifested with sunset. Only females bite a man, but many kinds of mosquitoes carry dangerous diseases. In total, there are about 400 of these species, while studies have shown that they carry diseases such as yellow fever, encephalitis and even heart worms. These insects themselves are usually tied to reservoirs where eggs are laid and larvae grow. Mosquitoes bitten each of us, we all know how the trace of their bite looks. This is a red dot, which slightly swells and is very itchy. Usually a great trouble does not happen, but often a bite can lead to a dangerous illness and even death. One of the most well-known diseases carried by mosquitoes is malaria. The mosquito is infected by plasmodia from the human carrier or patient. The malarial virus in the insect organism undergoes a complete cycle of sexual reproduction. Already 4-10 after infection, the mosquito itself becomes a source of malaria, being as such up to one and a half months. In tropical countries, such epidemics are very frequent. Every year, there are about 350-500 million cases of diseases, with up to 3 million deaths from malaria every year. It is believed that malaria affected at least 10% of the world’s population. The greatest mortality is observed in African countries, where almost no fight against malaria occurs, 90% of all patients are on this continent. The main means of fighting mosquitoes is draining the marshes and improving sanitary control. So, in the USA in 2002 there were only about 1000 cases and 8 deaths.