If we were to ask you to name the most dangerous animal in Idaho, what’s the first creature that comes to mind? 

A mountain lion? With how many times Idaho Fish & Game has to remind us what to do if we encounter one either in the foothills or our own backyards, we wouldn’t be shocked if that was your first answer. We wouldn’t be surprised if you said bears, rattlesnakes or deer either. Each of these animals poses a danger to humans in their own way, but none of them have earned the label of the “deadliest creature in the world.” 

That title has been given to something far smaller and less menacing. Believe it or not, mosquitoes have earned that label and there are a lot of them that call Idaho home. According to the Ada County Mosquito Abatement District (ACMAD,) there are approximately 175 species of mosquitoes in the United States and 50 of those species call the Treasure Valley home. Mosquitoes are most active when temperatures start to creep into the 80s, but will come out of hibernation once temperatures get above 50. 

Photo by Shardar Tarikul Islam on Unsplash
Photo by Shardar Tarikul Islam on Unsplash

Meteorological spring began on March 1 and since then, we’ve experienced more than 20 days above 50º. As things continue to warm up, Mosquito Max says that the lower half of Idaho should be prepared for mosquito season to begin in Late April. It begins in the top half of Idaho in May.  

Why Are Mosquitoes the Most Deadly Creature in the World?

Simply put, it’s because they are responsible for A LOT of deaths each year. These tiny creatures are linked to nearly 700,000 deaths a year because they are carriers of dangerous diseases like Malaria, Zika and West Nile Virus. Pfizer estimates that nearly 86% of those deaths are due to Malaria. 


Of those three diseases, there’s only one that you hear about every summer in Idaho - West Nile Virus. The first time the disease was detected in Ada County was in 2005. The following year, the number of cases not only exploded but led the entire country for the most reported cases. 

READ MORE: 11 Idaho Plants Known to Keep Mosquitoes Away

The CDC says that about 80% of people who contract West Nile may remain blissfully unaware that they’ve contracted the disease. Others aren’t so lucky. They may develop symptoms like fever, vomiting/diarrhea and fatigue. About 1 in 150 West Nile patients will suffer from symptoms that can negatively affect the central nervous system. Things like encephalitis or meningitis. They’re the patients most likely to die as a result of contracting West Nile. 

West Nile’s Impact on Idaho By the Numbers

The most recent numbers from the CDC shows that Idaho has reported at least 1,440 human cases of West Nile Virus since 1999. 255 of those cases have been neuroinvasive. 


In 2023, two people died due to complications from West Nile. According to the Idaho Press, the first casualty was a man over 50 in Owyhee County. They reported his death in late August. KMVT reported that a woman in Gooding County died about a month later.

107.9 LITE FM logo
Get our free mobile app

It is worth noting that not ALL mosquitoes are West Nile vectors. Only six species in our area are primary vectors. Below are some tips and tricks to help you avoid mosquito bites. Everything from the plants in your yard to what you wear may make a difference. 

KEEP READING: 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

Colors to Avoid Wearing in Boise Unless You Love Mosquitoes

A new study done by the University of Washington found that mosquitoes seem to be attracted to certain colors while ignoring others. The findings may make you rethink your summer wardrobe! Here take a look at the colors these little bloodsuckers love and hate.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

Tips for Lowering Your Risk of Mosquito Bites

Mosquitoes are the deadliest creature in the world. The Ada County Mosquito Abatement District offers these tips to protect yourself.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

More From 107.9 LITE FM