How Rain Affects Mosquitoes and How to Protect Yourself

A mosquito found in Wisconsin - Batzner Pest Control

We’ve had some rain this spring here in Wisconsin, and while we patiently wait for the warm days of summer to arrive, we will probably have to deal with a few more rainy days. Most of us do not enjoy this damp weather, but this spring rainfall helps set mosquitoes up to thrive all summer long.

Wet weather conditions give mosquitoes bountiful opportunities to find standing water to lay their eggs on. When warm weather follows the rain, mosquitoes are able to proliferate even more rapidly. Although there’s nothing we can do about the rainfall, there are some preventative measures that you can take to prevent your yard from being overrun by mosquitoes this spring.

Where Do Mosquitoes Live?

One of the most important steps to avoiding a mosquito outbreak on your property is to make your hard less hospitable to them. Since mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water and have a quick reproductive cycle, populations of mosquitoes will hang around their breeding grounds, quickly increasing their numbers. Be sure to pour out any still water that has collected in your yard. Look for it all over your yard, including:

  • Gutters
  • Buckets
  • Playsets
  • Planters
  • Puddles, and anywhere else you can think of

You should also keep your landscape maintained. Mosquitoes like to find shaded areas to rest during midday and at night, so trimming your trees, shrubs, and bushes will reduce the number of hiding places that they can find in your yard.

How to Protect Yourself From Mosquitoes

There are bound to be mosquitoes out and about anywhere you go this summer, especially after a rainy spring. Here are a few strategies to protect yourself from mosquitoes wherever you are:

  1. Use insect repellent. Look for an EPA-approved bug spray at a local store. You can apply it to your skin and clothes, but make sure you read the label on the bottle for additional instructions and safety tips.
  2. Wear protective clothing. Limit the amount of skin that you expose by wearing long sleeves and pants. This can be a bother in the hot summer weather, but it is much harder for mosquitoes to bite through most fabrics.
  3. Limit your exposure. Because direct sunlight and dry heat can dehydrate mosquitoes, they are usually most active around dusk and dawn. Stay away from untreated areas around nightfall and limit your time in the shade during the day to avoid mosquitoes.

Professional Mosquito Control in Wisconsin

If you need help keeping mosquitoes out of your yard this spring, it’s better to call a professional mosquito exterminator sooner than later. Our technicians at Batzner Pest Control can use a variety of strategies tailored to your yard to ensure that your spring and summer are mosquito-free. Reach out today for a free quote!

Afraid of Rodents and Bugs? 2021 May Not Be Your Year

Batzner pest control in Wisconsin - Serving New Berlin, Green Bay, Milwaukee, Madison, Racine and surrounding areas

Entomologists from Batzner’s parent company, Rentokil Provide their Pest Predictions for 2021

READING, Penn. (Jan. 4, 2021) — As if 2020 didn’t present enough challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 could be a banner year for pests around the country.

To help residents prepare for 2021, entomologists from Rentokil used field knowledge and data to provide their predictions for pests in the upcoming year.

1. Rodents, Rodents Everywhere:

With shutdowns across the country, it’s no surprise that rodents are on the rise nationwide. Empty buildings, the scarcity of food and warmer winters have combined to create a rodent apocalypse.

“We’re seeing more rats in urban, suburban and rural settings because of the shutdowns,” said Marc Potzler, Board Certified Entomologist. “Food sources are cut off, and rats are having to travel to scavenge for food. We’ve seen rats out in public during the day, which is highly unusual.”

Warmer winters have also allowed for mice populations to boom in residential areas as it allows for a longer breeding season and there is a lower population loss due to hard freezes.

“Right now is the perfect time to rodent-proof your home,” said Potzler. “Make sure to repair any gaps on the exterior of your home, such as around garage doors, windows or pipes.”

2. Mosquitoes on the Move:

Mosquitoes populations have been increasing over the last few years. Aedes species, which are disease-carrying mosquitoes, are also moving to new areas. These mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Zika virus, among other diseases.

“There is an increase of mosquitoes across the country, but notably on the West Coast, and they are adapting each year,” said Eric Sebring, Associate Certified Entomologist. “We have seen evidence of behavior adaptation, where mosquitoes lay their eggs strategically to hatch throughout the season.”

Protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes by removing any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water. Also, wear EPA-approved insect repellent while spending time outside.

3. Bed Bugs:

The chatter about bed bugs was quiet in 2020, but that’s not because they have gone away.

“As people begin to travel again, we will start to hear about bed bug infestations,” said Sebring. “Bed bugs can be dormant for several months at a time, so they can emerge when a food source, humans, become available.”

Bed bugs are considered hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on people, luggage, clothing and other personal belongings. Homeowners and businesses such as hotels, colleges, hospitals, senior living facilities, retail stores, and libraries have experienced problems with bed bugs.

If traveling, inspect the bed by pulling back the sheets to examine the mattress. Check your luggage before packing and unpacking, and look for signs of living or dead bugs the size of an apple seed or black fecal smears.

4. More Time Outdoors = More Pests.

From hiking to gardening to dining al fresco, there is no doubt that the pandemic has forced people to spend more time outdoors.

In 2021, we will see the outdoor pest pressures continue:

Ticks: Ticks are responsible for transmitting several diseases, including Lyme disease, to humans and animals. These small insects are found in grassy areas and in the woods, so it is important to inspect yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors. Cover as much skin as possible while outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and tuck pant legs into socks. Light-colored clothing will also help any ticks you pick up stand out.

Ants: “As soon as the weather starts to warm up, we will see an increase in ant populations,” said Tom Dobrinska, Board Certified Entomologist. “Most of the ants we are dealing with are odorous house ants. When spending time outside, make sure to clean up any food, water or sugary substances and ensure that your home is free of any holes or cracks for them to enter.”

Stinging Insects: Stinging insects, such as wasps and yellow jackets, emerge at the first sign of warm weather, and as warm weather seasons are getting longer, stinging insects have more time to create issues. Make sure you check for nests early in the spring as they are smaller and get early nest treatment. Make sure to keep windows and doors shut, and secure outside bins so stinging insects are not attracted to the contents.

5. Termites Aren’t Going Anywhere

Termites are a pesky problem, and unfortunately, are not going anywhere. Termites can cause extensive damage to structures, especially homes. As people are moving out of cities during the pandemic to more suburban areas, education about termite protection is key.

“We received more calls for termites this past year than we have in many years,” said Potzler. “It’s important to raise awareness for homeowners now to have proactive protection to keep from costly repairs in the future.”

6. Pests in the News:

There are a few pests that will continue to steal the limelight in 2021.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive pest that has been making its way across the country since it was first introduced from Asia in 2001. Besides its pungent odor, this stink bug has become a nuisance for homeowners as it gathers in large numbers on the sides of houses and buildings and enters through small cracks in the home. “The brown marmorated stink bug is here to stay,” said Dobrinska. “We will continue to see this species emerge in late spring in large numbers.”

The Spotted Lanternfly will continue to wreak havoc across the Northeast and beyond. The invasive pest, first found in Pennsylvania in 2014, is spreading across the Northeast, with New York reporting its first sighting this year. The pest can significantly damage trees and plants.

“The Spotted Lanternfly is becoming a big problem in the Northeast, and it will continue to spread,” said Potzler. “It can be devastating for agriculture and is a nuisance for homeowners.”

The egg masses look like a smear of mud on trees and outside of homes. It’s important to scrape the egg mass off, put it in a bag with rubbing alcohol and throw it away, and then call the state department of agriculture.

The infamous “Murder Hornet,” also known as the Asian giant hornet, grabbed many headlines, causing homeowners to panic trying to decipher the difference between stinging insects in their yards and this aggressive species. The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world, growing up to 3 inches in length. Currently, the Asian giant hornet has only been found in the Pacific Northwest.

“We know that there was one colony found and eliminated in Washington State,” said Sebring. “Unfortunately, if there is one, there will be more.”

While your chances of being stung by an Asian giant hornet are fairly low, the sting can be dangerous as the venom volume is higher, causing more pain. The hives are primarily built underground or in hollows in trees. If you suspect it is an Asian giant hornet or any stinging pests, call your pest management provider to assess the situation as soon as you spot activity.

Pest Seasonality in Wisconsin

Stink bugs are a seasonal pest problem in Wisconsin - Batzner Pest Control

Here in Wisconsin, pests are a problem all year-long. Different weather conditions and seasonality plays a large role in what pests are most active during certain parts of the year. Some pests that prefer warmer weather nearly disappear in the winter, while other pests in the fall will overwinter in your home until spring rolls around. To better prepare yourself for a possible infestation, it’s important to know which pests are common during certain parts of the year. With information from the NPMA, we are here to share all you need to know about pest seasonality in Wisconsin.

Fall & Winter Pests

Colder weather and snow will always drive more pests indoors in the fall and winter months. In 2020, it has been predicted that a milder winter than usual will result in prolonged Asian lady beetle and stink bug activity. Tick problems may also be active for longer this season. Other pests to be wary of during the colder months of the year in Wisconsin include rodents, boxelder bugs, carpenter ants, and more.

Winter pests in the Great Lakes United States map
 
Beetles
 
Stink Bugs
 
Ticks

Spring Pest Problems

Pest activity springs back into action once winter comes to an end. Blooming flowers, warming temperatures, and heavy rainfall encourages pests of all kinds to resume activity and reproduce. The common spring pests in Wisconsin include:

  • Ants. Certain ant species will forage for food in the warmer months. Rainy weather also drives ants out of their colonies and into homes for shelter.
  • Termites Every spring, termites leave their nests to mate and start new colonies. This is called “swarming”.
  • Mosquitoes. When we experience heavy rainfall, mosquito season will burst into life. With their peak season in the months following, they start to be more active in the spring.
  • Bed Bugs. While these are a year-round problem, increased traveling in the springtime always leads to an increase in bed bug activity.

Summer Pest Threats

Summertime in Wisconsin is the busiest pest season. Summer temperatures cause many types of pest colonies to mature and grow in size. Here are the ones to look out for in Wisconsin:

  • Mosquitoes. These parasitic insects lay more eggs in the summer and tend to be our biggest pest problem this time of year.
  • Stinging insects. Wasps, bees, and hornets are at full force in the summertime. They can build nests near residential areas.
  • Flies. Summer is the peak breeding season for flies. They are infamous for being a nuisance at outdoor summer events.
  • Termites. Warm weather is when termites are able to thrive and cause the most damage.

Year-Round Pests in Wisconsin

To better prepare yourself for an infestation, it’s important to understand the pest seasonality here in Wisconsin. Our colder winters may deter some pests, but they also can drive certain pests right into our homes. To protect your property from pests year-round, contact the pest control experts at Batzner.

6 Ways to Keep Your Outdoor Space Pest-Free

Tips to stay pest-free in your Wisconsin yard - Batzner Pest Control

Are you spending more time in your backyard than ever this year? If so, you’ve likely noticed just how many insects are sharing that space with you! Mosquitoes in your pond, flies around your barbecue, or wasps building a nest on your deck can all quickly ruin your time enjoying your outdoor living space. It can be hard to avoid insects altogether outside, but there are a few things you can do to make your yard less appealing to pests. The experts at Batzner have gathered their top tips to keep your outdoor space pest-free. Read on to learn more!

Tips to Keep Your Outdoor Space Pest-Free

There are likely a number of things in your backyard that, unbeknownst to you, are attracting all types of pests. Each year, it’s important to implement a number of pest prevention methods to reduce the chances of an infestation inside or outside your property. These methods include:

  1. Getting rid of any standing water. Stagnant water is one of the biggest attractants for mosquitoes.
  2. Regularly trimming your lawn and shrubs. Ticks and mosquitoes will shelter in overgrown vegetation or tall grass.
  3. Keeping an eye out for ant hills. Even a tiny mound can contain thousands of ants inside.
  4. Inspecting all wood structures. Wood-destroying pests (carpenter ants and mosquitoes) will damage your wooden decks or porches.
  5. Applying an insect repellent. Most store-bought repellent containing DEET will help repel mosquitoes and ticks.
  6. Cleaning your patio or space regularly. Spills or leftover food will surely bring ants around.

What Pests Infest Your Yard?

Here in Wisconsin, we deal with many types of pests all year long. They are especially active this time of year, and may end up right in your backyard. Some can be dangerous, which is why it’s so important to learn how to keep them away. A few of the most common pests we get calls about this time of year include:

Need Outdoor Pest Removal?

If you’ve done all you can to prevent outdoor pests and still find yourself with an infestation, it’s important to act quickly. A professional pest control company can help get rid of pests in your yard and help you prevent future infestations from happening. Contact the residential exterminators at Batzner today to get started!

How to Prevent Mosquitoes This Summer

How to prevent mosquitoes in Wisconsin summers - Batzner Pest Control

Summer is just around the corner in Wisconsin, and everyone is looking forward to warmer temperatures and more opportunities to spend time outdoors. Unfortunately, mosquitoes love the warm weather as much as you do! In the coming months, mosquitoes are bound to put a damper on your outdoor events. To avoid that, now is the time to learn how to prevent mosquitoes. The team at Batzner Pest Control is here to share their top tips and tricks for mosquito prevention.

5 Ways to Prevent Mosquitoes

To avoid dealing with a mosquito problem in your yard this year, it’s best to get rid of the things that make your yard attractive to them in the first place. By following these tips, you should be able to reduce the amount of mosquitoes on your property:

  1. Eliminate all standing water. Get rid of standing water in buckets, flower pots, bird baths, tarps, and more. Mosquitoes use standing water to breed!
  2. Install screens on windows and doors. Installing screens on your doors and windows can keep mosquitoes from getting indoors every time you try to get some fresh air.
  3. Place fish in ponds and agitate the water. Certain types of fish will feed on mosquito larvae. In addition, adding an agitator will stop mosquitoes from laying eggs in the water.
  4. Keep a tidy yard. Regularly maintain your garden and lawn to keep the grass short. Also keep plants and bushes trimmed to prevent mosquito resting spots.
  5. Use fans in your outdoor area. Mosquitoes hate wind and are not strong fliers. Use fans to help force them away from your outdoor areas.

Preventing Mosquito Bites in the Summer

If you plan on spending time outside in the coming months, it’s important to know how to protect yourself against mosquito bites. In general, it’s best to avoid going outdoors at dusk and dawn, as this is when mosquitoes are most active. When you do venture outside, wear long-sleeved pants and shirts. It’s also best to wear light-colored clothing. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, consider applying insect repellent that contains DEET. If you plan on using it on your children, always consult your pediatrician before use.

Summertime Mosquito Control

Mosquitoes can be a huge nuisance in the summertime. They’re also dangerous. It’s important to do all you can to prevent mosquitoes–if the above tips don’t seem to help, it’s time to call the experts at Batzner. Our mosquito exterminators will work with you to determine the best course of action in keeping mosquitoes away. Contact us today!

Can Mosquito Bites Transmit Coronavirus?

Mosquito bites do not transmit COVID-19. Batzner Pest Control in New Berlin WI.

At Batzner Pest Control, we are keeping up-to-date with the COVID-19 situation as it unfolds each and every day. Our team continues to be committed to the health and safety of our communities throughout Wisconsin. With so much misinformation about the virus out there, we’re here to help dispel one myth in particular about the transmission of coronavirus. Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that mosquito bites or ticks transmit COVID-19. Although these two insects are vectors for some very serious diseases worldwide, the current pandemic is not included. With information gathered from the CDC on vector-borne diseases, keep reading to learn why mosquitoes and ticks do not transmit coronavirus.

Do Insects Transmit Coronavirus?

Mosquitoes and ticks do not transmit COVID-19. These two are vectors for deadly diseases, but coronavirus is spread in a very different way:

  • Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that currently is spread from person to person, and is increasingly considered an airborne virus.
  • Research has shown that this virus spreads from droplets from saliva or nasal discharge, often generated when an infected person sneezes or coughs. It can also be spread through contaminated surfaces.
  • COVID-19 is best avoided by avoiding exposure with infected persons. This is the biggest difference between mosquito-borne diseases and coronavirus, which is very contagious.

Worldwide Diseases Spread by Mosquitoes and Ticks

Vector-borne diseases are different than coronavirus in several ways. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “vector-borne diseases are human illnesses caused by parasites, viruses and bacteria that are transmitted by vectors”. The most common vector pests are fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, all of which can spread disease with their bites. Mosquitoes and ticks are especially concerning: mosquitoes have infamous transmitted malaria, Zika virus, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, and more, while ticks transmit Lyme disease. Vector-borne diseases are very dangerous and have impacted nations worldwide.

Our Family is Here For You

Good news is that mosquitoes and ticks do not transmit COVID-19. However, they are still considered dangerous pests. Pandemic or not, Batzner Pest Control is here to provide you with pest control services all year long. We are proud to stay committed to our goal of keeping our communities safe and healthy by all means possible.

With the COVID-19 situation changing on a daily basis, we encourage our customers to seek more information and follow guidelines released by the WHO, CDC, as well as your state and local public health agencies.

5 Prominent Pests in 2020

Prominent pests in New Berlin and Oshkosh WI in 2020 - Batzner Pest Control

When it comes to protecting your family and home against pests, hindsight doesn’t have to be 20/20 this year. Batzner Pest Control is helping homeowners prepare for the upcoming 2020 pest season by offering insights into anticipated pest activity.

The experts at Batzner Pest Control have used their field experiences and examined trends and company data to determine these five pest predictions. Along with the predictions, we are offering preventative tips for homeowners to help keep their homes pest-free in 2020.


Mice

Mice populations have increased over the past several years and this may be attributed to warmer than usual winters. With warmer weather predicted again this winter, mice reproduction may boom, which is bad news for homeowners. Mice are year-round pests that invade homes looking for two things: food and shelter.

Homeowner Tips: Mice can fit through a crack or hole one-fourth of an inch or larger – or about the width of a pencil. To prevent an infestation, seal small cracks and crevices with a silicone-based caulk. Exterior gaps of ¼-inch or larger can be repaired with copper mesh, hardware cloth or metal flashing.


Stinging Pests

Changing climates can cause rippling effects across the pest world, and with mild winters, experts are seeing more yellow jacket and hornet nests. Female yellow jackets and hornets are able to overwinter in freezing temperatures and will invade homes, structures, and manmade or natural voids. When temperatures rise in spring, stinging insects will surface from their hiding places, ready to start populations earlier in the year.

Homeowner Tips: Hornets and yellow jackets can overwinter, so they may be out and about at the first sign of warm weather. Be on the lookout for stinging pests, utilizing a professional pest control service as soon as you spot activity.


Ticks

With outdoor activities, like hiking and camping on the rise, and years of warming winters, humans and their pets may come into contact with ticks more frequently in 2020. The deer tick or black-legged tick, the Lone Star tick, and the American dog tick are ticks of special concern. Nearly 50,000 cases of human tick-borne diseases such as Lyme Disease,  Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever were reported in 2018. Pets are also at risk for some of these diseases.

Homeowner Tips: When spending time outdoors, wear an EPA-approved insect repellent. It’s also a good idea to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks, in areas where ticks may be active. Perform tick checks on yourself and any family members, including pets, after spending time outdoors.


Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes thrive in warm weather, and their populations increased in 2019. If we have another relatively warm, wet winter and spring, we could experience another boom inactivity by late spring and early summer. Areas of the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest are predicted to have above-average rainfall, while most of the U.S. is predicted to be warmer than average this winter.

Homeowner Tips: The risk of mosquito-borne diseases, such as the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) can increase with rising populations. To protect yourself and your family, dispose of standing water from your property and always wear an EPA-approved insect repellent when spending time outdoors.


Termites

Termites are the most destructive pests in North America, causing $6 billion in property damage each year. According to experts, the two main weather factors that affect termite populations are temperature and rainfall. With warmer and wetter weather predicted for spring, the termite swarming season will be ramping up soon.

Homeowner Tips: To deter subterranean termites, eliminate earth to wood contact and avoid moisture accumulation near your home or structures’ foundation. Because termites can cause such extensive damage, raising homeowner awareness around the need for proactive protection for their homes is critical to prevent costly repairs.


The experts at Batzner Pest Control agree that a proactive approach is the first step any homeowner can take to prevent pest issues. Take time to evaluate your current pest control plan and ensure that you have the coverage and protection you need to protect yourself and your family from pests in 2020.

How a Dehumidifier Can Prevent Silverfish, Millipedes, Centipedes and Cockroaches

With summer on the horizon, we can look forward to warmer weather, lots of sunshine, and extra hours of daylight. While we have much to look forward to, we do have to remember that summer brings an increase of humidity with it. Summer’s high humidity levels may increase the number of pests you see crawling around your house. One thing you can consider is investing in a dehumidifier to keep the humidity level in your house in check. Here are four good reasons why:

  1. Alleviate allergies
  2. Prevent mold growth
  3. Minimize condensation
  4. DETER BUGS

Karl Rowell, Quality Assurance and Safety Manager, explains, “Moisture, in general, can be a very conducive environment for bugs. Running a dehumidifier reduces the favorable conditions in your home.” Placing a dehumidifier within your home can alleviate pest activity, especially in your basement. Dehumidifiers work to remove moisture from the air, creating a dryer environment which is more difficult for creepy-crawlies to survive in.

No bugs are nice to see, but the ones that crave moisture are the ones you really hope to avoid on your way to the bathroom. Some of the main culprits that hang around in humid environments are silverfish, millipedes, centipedes and cockroaches. In extremely humid cases, mosquitoes and fleas could also start to breed. In addition to setting up a dehumidifier, having a pest control company come and treat your property can create even further desired results.

What Spring Pests to Expect: Ticks, Boxelder Bugs, Mosquitoes and Ants

As the weather warms and the ground thaws, spring pests will start to emerge from their winter hiding places to enjoy all the good things that the season has to offer. The additional pest activity can be a nuisance for homeowners, so be sure to keep an eye out for signs of infestations. Insect infestations can cause issues inside and outside the home that can be annoying and expensive to fix. Here are some common springtime insect pests to watch for, and the potential damage that can be caused by letting their populations get out of control:

  • Japanese Beetles– Japanese beetles begin the spring in their grub stage, nibbling away at your lawn’s root system. This can lead to dead spots and bare areas in the lawn which require reseeding. When the temperature gets warm enough, the grubs emerge from the ground as beetles and feed on the leaves of plants and trees, including ornamentals like roses.
  • TicksTicks start appearing in the spring, and can cause a number of problems if they are hanging out in your yard. Their bites, while occasionally very painful to people or pets, are usually just a mild annoyance. However, being bitten should be taken seriously, as ticks are known for spreading diseases such as Lyme Disease.
  • Boxelder BugsBoxelder bugs don’t typically cause extensive damage to homes or foliage during the spring. They spend their spring and summer feeding and reproducing on a select few kinds of trees, primarily female box elder trees, and only occasionally cause minor damage to fruits and leaves. Crushing them can release an unpleasant odor, and their feces can stain light colored surfaces. Allowing their population to go unchecked does create a nuisance in the fall, when they reenter the home in preparation for winter.
  • MosquitoesMosquito eggs begin hatching in the spring, and reach their adult stage in less than two weeks. As with ticks, mosquito bites are mostly an annoyance, but they can also spread diseases such as West Nile and yellow fever.
  • AntsAnts also emerge from their nests in the spring, and are often drawn into your home in search of a meal. In addition to crawling all over any food that has been left out, research has shown that ants can cause or exacerbate asthma, allergies, and other respiratory issues for those sensitive to such problems.

More information on these pests, including signs of infestations, can be found on the National Pest Management Association’s website. As with other pests, spring insects are best handled by a professional. If you see any signs of an infestation in your home or workplace, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Centipedes and ants and bees, OH MY! 10 of the deadliest insects in the world.

Centipedes are a common pest in commercial properties in New Berlin WI - Batzner Pest Control

There are about 900,000 different kinds of insects in the world, making up about 80% of all of the world’s species. That’s right; insects far outnumber humans. The following list includes 10 of the deadliest insects in the world. While some are not the deadliest, they still have caused reported human deaths.

10. House Centipedes

Terrifying, I know. I personally turn right back into a two year old girl when I see one of these scurry across a wall or carpet in my house. Jumping on top of couches and throwing shoes, I can never seem to actually make the kill. Centipedes pack a painful sting, but it is usually nothing to worry about. However, every couple years, someone does die from a centipede bite, usually due to allergic reaction to its venom.

9. Fire Ants

I sat on a pile of these once; they are no joke. These ants kill their prey by stinging and injecting venom called solenopsin. When a human is bit and injected with a fire ant’s venom, it provides a burning sensation, hence the name. Around 5% of people bitten by fire ants die due to anaphylactic shock.

8. Siafu

What is that? They are similar to fire ants, and they are mainly located in Africa or Asia. They live in colonies of 20 million ants, and a group called soldier ants are the ones who sting to kill prey. Young and elderly people are very susceptible to the bites of these ants, and some have died due to complications. Around 20-50 people die every year from a Siafu bite.

7. Wasps and Bees

This sounds familiar. I feel like the bees were really bad this summer, at least here in Wisconsin. They are just about everywhere you go, and are attracted to sweet things. Most people have experienced a bee or wasp sting, which can be very serious if you are allergic.

6. Asian Giant Hornet

Keeping with the theme, the Asian Giant Hornet is the biggest hornet in the world at 2 inches in length and a wing span of 3 inches. The sting from its 1/4th inch long stinger has been explained as feeling “like a hot nail being driven into your skin.” Definitely not something I want to experience. The venom released by the stinger contains about 8 different compounds that can not only induce discomfort and damage soft tissue, but can release an odor to attract more hornets. Around 70 people die each year from either an allergic reaction to the bees or a direct result of a chemical called mandaratoxin.

5. Africanized Honey Bee

Yes, more bees. These bees hang around in swarms, so if you do get stung, expect to be stung more than once. These bees have been known to take down a horse.

4. Kissing Bug

I know what you’re thinking: “You’re kidding, right?” Nope. The name sounds cute, but they actually get the name because they typically bite people on their faces. There are around 138 known species in existence, most within the U.S. They are able to transmit a harmful parasite that can be fatal. Around 45,000-50,000 people die every year from kissing bug bites. The parasite that the bugs spread causes Chagas disease, which usually leads to death.

3. Tsetse Fly

House flies are annoying enough; a fly that lives off of human blood? No thanks! The tsetse fly is found in the Kalahari and Saharan deserts. Around 250,000-300,000 people die every year from a disease spread by the flies called sleeping disease.

2. Rat Fleas

Fleas can kill? I bet you’re wondering how your pets are even alive. Thankfully, these type of fleas only live on rats. They are known to carry devastating diseases and bacteria. The bacteria called the Yersinia pestis is responsible for killing around ¾ of Europe during the 14th Century. This was referred to as “the Black Death”, a plague that killed between 350-375 million people.

1. Anopheles Mosquito

Don’t get confused, it’s just the regular old mosquito we’re talking about here. They are everywhere, and much like the bees, they were abundant this hot and dry Wisconsin summer. Most mosquito bites only result in a small, red, itchy bump that goes away with a little lotion and time. However, sometimes a bite can lead to serious illness or death. The most popular diseases mosquitos can spread are Malaria and West Nile Virus. There are 1-3 million deaths from Malaria alone each year.