The Maricopa Harvester Ant is one to fear for humans. They possess venom that is roughly 10 times stronger than what you might find in your average bee. Of course, this is still only 0.12 mg/kg when measuring its LD50 value in mice. This roughly means 12 stings could kill a 2kg mouse. That might take a bit more to kill your average human. Officially speaking, the Maricopa Harvester Ant is the most toxic insect on the planet.
In humans, the pain from their bite is intense and lasts around four hours before letting up. One portion of their venom is an alkaloid poison that actually releases a pheromone as an alarm signal. This version of chemical signaling will trigger other Maricopas nearby to come by to help. That can then lead to several coming by and all stinging at the same time. Some humans are allergic to several things in their venom, which can cause possible anaphylaxis.
The Tsetse Fly mostly inhabits tropical African regions. They are known as large biting flies that can also spread disease. Yet the big thing about them is that they are literally parasites. They are actually obligate parasites, which are parasites that must exploit a host to complete its life-cycle. In fact, they cannot even reproduce if they cannot find a proper host. They live by feeding off of the blood and even vertebrae of their animal host.
They possess and spread trypanosome parasites, being that they are the biological vectors for them. In humans, it can cause human sleeping sickness. In animals, it can cause animal trypanosomiasis. Both are essentially vertebrae infections. Plus, they can move around from host to host if they need to. This can allow the Tsetse to live a long time, enough to produce up to 31 broods of its own in one lifetime!
Regions Found:East, South, & Mainland Southeast Asia (as well as Far-East Russia & Pacific Northwest U.S.)
The Japanese Giant Hornet gets its name honestly. They are mostly native to Japan and some other areas around Asia. They are also quite large and are a species of hornet. The big problem with the species is that some have slowly made their way into other sectors of the world, including mainland America. This is an issue because the species is actually an ecological disrupter. They have been known to have epic battles with beehives. Sometimes, just one Hornet can surprise attack a hive and kill dozens before the hive can respond.
The hornet is about 45 millimeters in length with a wingspan of 3 inches. Their stinger is incredibly large at 6 mm and injects a major amount of venom. For humans, this can cause severe pain that lasts. When animal expert Coyote Peterson was stung, it hit him with a wave of dizziness immediately. In just 20 minutes, most of his arm was swollen below his elbow. A lump developed at the site of the sting that was roughly 2 to 3 inches in height. In the end, his ENTIRE arm was swollen at double its normal size. Swelling and pain went down after a few days. The venom contains a neurotoxin, which causes most of this.
When you think of a Scorpionfly, what do you imagine in your head? A fly that looks like a scorpion? That is exactly what you get. Males are normally more aggressive than females and will raise their tails as if to strike using it. This is where the fly gets its name. However, they cannot sting with their tails or really at all. The real connection they have to humans is honestly their presence upon our death.
This is where they join our creepiest insects list. Scorpionflies are commonly found around human corpses that they will feed upon. However, these corpses must be fresh for them to do so. Thus, if you spot them at a corpse, it has likely been there for less than a day or two. They will actually feed on the human, both inside and out, for about a day. The species does not exclusively feed on dead humans, however. More often than not, they feed on other dead animals and decaying vegetation.
The Warrior Wasp species is known for its aggressive behavior while guarding its nest. Most wasps can sting a person or animal several times and won’t experience any issues. Yet Warrior Wasps actually have a barbed stinger, resulting in it sticking into the skin of most humans and animals. That will then kill the Wasp. They get their “warrior” portion of their name partly due to this. The species might attack in a kamikaze-like fashion, where it’ll aggressively shoot off to sting a threat.
That makes them some of the creepiest insects to us. One of the few wasps that die when it stings and they go about things in a suicidal fashion. The species tries to deter threats when guards alert others in their hive that a threat is near. That causes them to make a drumming-like sound. If they do sting you, it causes severe pain that can last for several hours. One expert described the sting as “literal torture.”
At one point, very few people ever heard of the Lonomia Caterpillar. It is mostly found in South America and eventually becomes a pretty moth. What makes it one of the creepiest insects around? Less than a decade ago, many people began dying from interactions with the caterpillar species. Roughly 500 people died in a short time period. When studied further, scientists found the sharp barbs on its body happen to be laced with a very effective, deadly venom.
This venom causes “disseminated intravascular coagulation.” Essentially, it causes a person to be unable to clot. Their venom also causes a person to bleed internally. The lack of clotting then causes a person to leak blood from their mouth, nose, ears, pretty much any hole you have. It apparently killed so many because people often stepped on the top of it or leaned on a limb it was on, causing several interactions with its spines. The numerous deaths led to the rise of the “Assassin Caterpillar” nickname.
The Bullet Ant is known for having one of the most painful stings on the planet. They actually have many effective ways to hurt humans. The pinchers from its mouth can latch onto the skin and be quite painful. The species is unique among ants, who would normally bite only. Yet the Bullet Ant happens to have a stinger a lot like wasps. Their sting itself can be painful upon entry, but the true pain happens once its venom reaches the bloodstream.
This is what ranks them among the creepiest insects in our book. This venom is laced with Poneratoxin, which is a paralyzing neurotoxin. It essentially affects one’s voltage-dependent sodium ion channels, then blocks synaptic transmission to the central nervous system. That can cause things like edema, tachycardia, and even lymphadenopathy. Pain has been described as “burning, throbbing, all-consuming pain that continues unabated for up to 24 hours” by sting expert, Justin O. Schmidt.
Regions Found:India, Southeast Africa, Australia, North & South America
We should first mention that the Tarantula Hawk Wasp has one of the most painful stings on the planet. Justin O. Schmidt gave it a 4.0, his highest pain score. While this is pretty bad, that is not what makes them one of the creepiest insects on the planet. This wasp species preys on tarantula spiders. They are also a form of parasitic wasp too. The species will sting a tarantula between its legs, which will paralyze the creature.
It will then be dragged back to the wasp’s nest where it’ll feed on the spider but will leave vital organs intact. A female will lay one single egg inside of the tarantula. Once the egg hatches, this wasp larva will literally eat on the still living tarantula. Of course, the larva will finish it off by eating its vital organs from inside. Upon consuming the spider, the wasp when exits from the spider’s body.