Everything in Texas is bigger. We all know that. But unfortunately, this also includes the number of people killed by animals.
According to data from the CDC collated over 14 years, 356 Texans were killed by animals. While this number isn't that great (you are ten times more likely to be killed in a car accident), it is still way ahead of any other state in America. In fact, the state that was ranked second, California had 212 deaths as a result of animals, and 85 percent of states had less than 100. So Texas is way out in front on this list.
Despite Texas only accounting for 8% of the nation's population, it records 12% of deaths caused by animals. Why does Texas have so many deaths caused by animals?
Let's take a look at the animals that are most likely to cause human death in Texas, and the top few positions may surprise you.
Bees and wasps
Ok, hands up if you predicted that bees and wasps were the number one killer?. Deaths from these insects usually occur when someone goes into anaphylactic shock. And of course, there are the so-called murder hornets that infested the United States last year.
In April this year, a man in Breckenridge, Texas, was attacked by a swarm of Africanized honey bees, also known as killer bees, while mowing his lawn. Tragically the man went into cardiac arrest and died.
"Africanized (honey bee) colony is a whole different ballgame and the way they are managed and behave. Especially when you are dealing with that species of honeybee, absolutely, the vibration of a lawnmower, the vibration of a weed eater, kids banging or stomping around close by -- they will get defensive." Bobby Chaisson, operations director at Georgia Bee Removal
Coming in second place is the humble deer. However, the high death rate can't be solely blamed on the deer- they occur from vehicles hitting deers.
There were 180 deaths in Texas from 2004 through 2013 that were due to animal/vehicle crashes. While most collisions with deer don't result in death, a collision at 70 miles per hour with a deer can cause significant damage to any automobile. In fact, across the United States, there are over 1.5 million deer collisions each year.
It's a warning to be careful- especially around deer season.
Deers, bees, and wasps are way in front of other animals but let's take a look at a few others.
Texas has two species of spiders with venomous bites that can lead to death- the black widow spider and the brown recluse spider. Both species are found throughout Texas, both indoors and outdoors.
The Texas Department of Health advises looking for black widows around woodpiles and “outdoor toilets," while the brown recluse spider tends to hide in dark basements and garages.
The CDC states that Texas is one of only two states with a "venomous arthropod" danger. Much like bees, a bite from a fire ant rarely results in death unless the unfortunate victim has an allergy to their venom. Texans may remember videos of huge fire ant colonies during Hurrican Harvey (such as the image above)
Of course, the list of dangerous animals goes on. We could discuss sharks, snakes, alligators, scorpions, and mountain lions, amongst others that are found in Texas.
Texas certainly holds the title for the most dangerous critters in the United States!
Readers, what Texas animals concern you the most? Please leave your comments in the section below.
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