If you were playing Family Feud and the category was “Deadliest Creatures in the World” what would you blurt out? Sharks. Bears. Snakes. Lions. Bees. Deer.

We have a feeling that “survey” would say those are the most popular answers, but they’re not correct. Believe it or not, the creature that poses the most danger to humans is pretty tiny! Mosquitoes earn the title because they’re linked to nearly 700,000 deaths annually. While their initial bite won’t do you in, mosquitoes are carriers of dangerous diseases like Malaria, Zika and West Nile Virus. About 86% of deaths linked to mosquitoes are a result of Malaria. 

Photo by Erik Karits on Unsplash
Photo by Erik Karits on Unsplash

Since Malaria vaccines are common in the United States, the disease isn’t common in Idaho. We can’t say the same about West Nile Virus. Ada County has struggled with the virus since it was first detected in 2005. A year after that, our area led the nation in reported cases. 

READ MORE: 5 Of the World's Deadliest Insects Are in Idaho Right Now

Luckily, about 80% of people who contract West Nile won’t experience symptoms and will likely have no idea that they’ve ever had it. While those odds look great, others may develop symptoms like fever, vomiting/diarrhea and fatigue. Those symptoms may be unpleasant, but they’re manageable. When West Nile becomes dangerous is when you’re one of the 1 in 150 that develops central nervous system symptoms like encephalitis or meningitis. These can be deadly. 

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Since human cases of West Nile were discovered in Idaho around 18% of cases have been neuroinvasive. Two people died from complications from West Nile in 2023: a man over 50 in Owyhee County and a woman from Gooding County. 

Mosquito Season is Just About Here

Mosquitoes come out of hibernation once temperatures rise above 50º, but they get really nasty when temperatures hover around 80º. They’re also attracted to standing water. With the Boise River flowing high and fast, there’s been some isolated flooding on sections of the Boise Greenbelt and neighborhoods nearby.

There is some good news about mosquito season in Idaho, though! Not all mosquitoes in the state are West Nile vectors. Only about six in our area are. There are also some easy ways you can try to reduce the number of mosquitoes buzzing around your property without spending a fortune on citronella candles.

One way is as simple as making a stop to your favorite local greenhouse. These 11 plant varieties are known to be a turn-off for mosquitoes!

Plant Some Of These In Your Garden to Keep Mosquitoes Away

As we previously told you, mosquitoes are the most dangerous creatures on earth. If you want to keep them away from you're yard, these plants can help!

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

KEEP READING: 5 of the World's Most Deadly Insects Are in Idaho Right Now

Field & Stream, an outdoor publication that's been around for more than 125 years, put together a list of the most deadly insects (and arachnids, they admitted to being "taxonomically laid back" in their article) in the world. Five of them can be found in Idaho!

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

9 Idaho Plants That Will Make You Absolutely Miserable This Spring

According to the Boise Valley Asthma & Allergy Clinic's pollen forecast, pollen counts from these plants are the highest during the spring allergy season.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart