The Deadliest Animals in America? Not Sharks , Alligators or Bears

Photo by Dudarev Mikhail / Shutterstock.com

What do sharks, alligators and bears have in common?

For one, they’re not among the animals most likely to kill you.

Each of these three species kills about one person per year in the U.S., according to a Washington Post report. By contrast, dogs kill 28 people and cows 20, on average.

But it’s not some fearsome finned or four-legged beast, but rather insects that pose the greatest danger. Bees, wasps and hornets are most likely to kill you. They collectively kill 58 people each year in the U.S., mostly as a result of anaphylactic shock — a severe allergic reaction — brought on by their sting, the newspaper found.

For this analysis, reporter Christopher Ingraham culled statistics on animal-caused deaths in the U.S. between 2001 and 2013. Most of the statistics came from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s online databases known as WONDER (short for “wide-ranging online data for epidemiologic research”).

The average number of American deaths attributed to animals each year:

  • Bees, wasps and hornets: 58
  • Various mammals (such as horses, pigs and deer): 52
  • Dogs: 28
  • Cows: 20
  • Non-poisonous bugs (such as ants): 9
  • Spiders: 7
  • Venomous snakes and lizards: 6
  • Bears: 1
  • Alligators: 1
  • Sharks: 1

Those figures exclude deaths caused by vehicle collisions with animals.

On that note, though, Ingraham reports that deaths by animals represent “just an infinitesimal fraction of total deaths — less than 0.008 percent of all deaths each year.”

By contrast, there are 33,000 deaths by car accident each year.

As Ingraham concludes:

“Think of it this way: If it’s safe enough for you to drive to the beach, it’s definitely safe enough to go in the water.”

To learn about guarding against accidental deaths of various kinds, check out “4 Common Forms of Accidental Death and How to Avoid Them.”

What do you make of this news? Were you surprised to learn which insects and animals are responsible for the most deaths? Let us know below or on Facebook.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
11 Small Money Moves That Will Make a Big Difference
11 Small Money Moves That Will Make a Big Difference

These small money moves will pay off big in the long run.

4 Streaming TV Services That Cost $20 a Month — or Less
4 Streaming TV Services That Cost $20 a Month — or Less

Here’s how to ditch cable and satellite TV — and save a bundle — without giving up your favorite shows.

10 Common Ways Seniors Get Scammed
10 Common Ways Seniors Get Scammed

Here’s what to watch for to make sure you don’t fall prey to some of the biggest rip-offs targeting seniors.

What Brand Makes the Best Rechargeable AA Batteries?
What Brand Makes the Best Rechargeable AA Batteries?

The best battery depends on what you need it for and how big your budget is. Here’s how to find the cheapest brand that will do the job you need.

America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise
America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise

Have you heard of this appliance manufacturer?

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?

Two factors determine how much money is coming to you.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

22 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
22 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

The dollar store has great bargains on these purchases.

5 Household Disinfectants That Can Destroy the Coronavirus
5 Household Disinfectants That Can Destroy the Coronavirus

You likely already have some of these products at home.

6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman
6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman

Beware: The self-proclaimed personal finance expert has a track record that suggests more sizzle than steak.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You probably don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

16 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
16 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked
This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked

The Social Security Administration is not helping certain people get money to which they are entitled, a report says.

Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia
Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia

These vaccines may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 40%.

9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline
9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline

Forget expensive specialty products. Good ol’ petroleum jelly can address many common annoyances.

10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret
19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret

Think twice before buying these things.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store
8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store

Not everything sold at dollar stores is a great bargain or a safe purchase. Here’s our list of products to avoid.

41 Things You Should Never Buy
41 Things You Should Never Buy

Some purchases are just plain dumb. Give yourself — and your budget — a break. Don’t spend money on this stuff.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon
13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon

Every household should have these products on hand. Buying them in bulk on Amazon saves you cash.

8 Award-Winning Products That Impressed 40,000 Shoppers
8 Award-Winning Products That Impressed 40,000 Shoppers

The Product of the Year awards help shoppers find the best pet products, personal care items and everything in between.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.