The most dangerous creature on earth can be found in California. They’re not large. They’re not ferocious. But they are already active in some parts of the state and will be soon in the remaining regions.  

The creatures we are talking about are mosquitoes. There are about 175 different species of mosquitoes that call the United States home. According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH,) there are more than 50 species that live in the Golden State. While the creepy crawlies are the most active when temperatures get above 80 degrees, they may start to come out of hibernation once temperatures get above 50. 

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According to KCRA in Sacramento, unseasonably warm and wet January weather in the northern part of the state awoke mosquitoes from their slumber early and they’re already a nuisance. Pest Gnome shows that mosquito season along the coast and in southern California begins as early as February and wraps up in November. In more inland and northern parts of the state, the traditional mosquito season runs March through September. It’s right around the corner. 

Mosquitoes Are the Deadliest Creatures in the World

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It’s estimated that mosquitoes are responsible for at least 700,000 deaths a year and it’s because they are carriers of all sorts of nasty diseases that can be transmitted to humans. Malaria, Zika and West Nile, just to name a few. According to Pfizer, 600,000 of those deaths are due to Malaria. 

While you don’t hear of people contracting Malaria or Zika in America, West Nile Virus is in the news every summer. CDPH explains that it first appeared in California in 2003 and by 2004, all 58 counties were dealing with it. 

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According to the CDC, 8 out of 10 people who contract the West Nile virus will likely be unaware of it. Some may experience unpleasant symptoms like fever, vomiting/diarrhea and fatigue. About 1 in 150 will develop symptoms that can affect the central nervous system. We’re talking about things like encephalitis or meningitis. Those who develop nervous system symptoms could die. 

CDPH’s West Nile page shows that there were 402 human cases in 34 of California’s counties last year. 17 of those people died. 

It’s important to note that not all mosquitoes are West Nile vectors. An expert from the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District explained that to KCRA the mosquitoes that came out of hibernation early are not the type of mosquitos that carry West Nile. A Guide to Important Mosquitoes in California indicates that the species that spread West Nile are culex mosquitoes. There are three species of those on the guide. 

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