Animals

Wyoming’s Flying Terrors: The 3 Most Dangerous Animals in the State’s Skies

Important Points

There are plenty of deadly animals in Wyoming, but not many of them soar.

In Wyoming, yellowjackets and mosquitoes are the most deadly aerial predators. Toxins and germs are carried by them, respectively.

Predatory birds are excellent hunters, but they are not dangerous to people.

The Three Most Perilous Species in Wyoming’s Sky

1. Mosquitos

These flying pests are common in Wyoming and bother people while they go about their daily lives.

Although not all types of mosquitoes bite, when they do, the bites cause swollen, itchy patches on the skin.

Only female mosquitoes bite, regardless of their species. For them to have the strength to lay eggs, they require blood.

Mosquitoes possess a mouthpart called a “proboscis” in both the male and female forms. Females penetrate the skin and draw blood with their long, pointy proboscis. The proboscis of men is not powerful enough to pierce skin.

What Makes Mosquitoes Deadly

The deadliest mosquitoes bite, dispersing bacteria in the process. As insects that may transmit illnesses to both humans and animals, these mosquitoes are known as “vectors.” They typically carry parasites and bacteria that they pick up from biting humans and animals.

Mosquitos in Wyoming in 2023

This year’s mosquito population in Wyoming is the worst it has been in more than ten years.

The West Nile Virus, which has horrible symptoms, is spread by mosquitoes. For those who are fortunate enough to have just moderate symptoms, these could include diarrhea, headaches, and fever. Neuroinvasive West Nile Virus develops. It may result in symptoms such as paralysis, tremors, and disorientation.

Twenty individuals in Wyoming had received a West Nile Virus (WVN) diagnosis by September 2023. They claim that a large number of people have probably also came into contact with the virus but did not get sick enough to get tested.

Out of the 20 instances, 12 have been serious, and the infection claimed the life of an elderly woman.

2. Yellowjackets

A particular kind of wasp with striking black and yellow stripes is called a yellow jacket. They utilize various hues to alert prospective predators to the harmful effects of their sting.

Wyoming is home to eleven different species of yellow jackets. The Aerial and Western Yellowjackets are the two most prevalent species.

The homes of Western Yellowjackets are holes in man-made constructions or underground tunnels. If someone steps on one of these nests without being careful, they could get stung by these venomous insects.

Sadly, female yellow jackets may sting repeatedly without dying, which is bad news for both people and animals. If they believe they or their nest is in danger, they will not hesitate to sting repeatedly.

Nesting places for aerial yellowjackets are at the top of trees or under overhangs.

Baldface “Hornets” are Yellowjackets

In Wyoming, baldface “hornets” are a common flying threat. The striking black and creamy white patterns on their faces give them their name.

We refer to these insects as “hornets.” But in reality, they belong to the airborne Yellowjacket species.

How People Die From Yellowjacket Stings

Allergies are the most frequent cause of death from yellowjacket stings. Severe allergic reactions can kill a person in as little as 15 to 30 minutes if they are not able to receive medical assistance.

Although it happens much less frequently, wasp sting chemicals can kill humans.

About 1,500 stings are needed to produce enough venom to kill an adult man. For children, that amount is much lower, between 300 to 400 stings. Therefore, for this to occur, someone would need to be assaulted by a swarm.

3. Birds of Prey

These incredible birds do not pose a threat to people. They pursue a variety of small creatures, though, and they are amazing hunters.

Birds that use their feet to seize their prey are known as predatory birds. Some animals, such as condors and vultures, are outliers to the rule and do not utilize their feet for hunting. They remain what we still call “birds of prey.”

The term “raptors” is frequently used to describe these amazing animals. Raptors are defined as “seized” or “plunderers.” When you take into account their hunting tendencies, the number makes sense.

As an illustration, certain prey birds are accipiters, or ambush hunters. Cooper’s hawks, sharp-shinned hawks, and northern goshawks are the accipiters of Wyoming.

Seated on a perch near the edge of the woodland, they search for small mammals and birds. They take off at full speed to pursue and catch their prey once they detect it.

Many of the birds that can be found in Wyoming are listed below:

  • American kestrel
  • Bald eagle
  • Broad-winged hawk
  • Cooper’s hawk
  • Merlin
  • Northern goshawks
  • Northern harrier
  • Osprey
  • Peregrine falcon
  • Red-shouldered hawk
  • Red-tailed hawk
  • Sharp-shinned hawk
  • Turkey vulture