When you think about predatory creatures, what comes to mind? Lions? Sharks?Snakes? Maybe humans?

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Would you believe that you've got a predator lurking in your own backyard right here in New York and probably don't even realize it? As a matter of fact, the deadliest predator of humans in New York might surprise you.

The Tiny Menace

Believe it or not, the unassuming mosquito emerges as the deadliest predator to New Yorkers. The minuscule size of these bloodsucking insects may deceive, but their ability to transmit life-threatening diseases makes them a major threat.

Mosquito-Borne Diseases

One of the main reasons mosquitoes top the list of deadly predators is their ability to transmit infectious diseases. In New York State, the two most significant mosquito-borne diseases are West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).

West Nile Virus (WNV) in New York

Since its arrival in New York in 1999, WNV has infected thousands of people, resulting in hundreds of deaths in the state. Mosquitoes become infected by biting birds that carry the virus and then spread it to humans through subsequent bites. While most WNV infections are mild, severe cases can, in rare cases, lead to death.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)

EEE is a rare but potentially fatal disease caused by a virus transmitted through mosquitoes. Even though human cases are few and far between, when EEE manifests, it can lead to inflammation of the brain with a mortality rate of around 30 percent among those who develop symptoms.

SEE ALSO: What You Need To Know About the Venomous Snakes of New York
What Authorities Are Doing to Protect Residents

Authorities in New York State take proactive measures to reduce the risk of infection. These include mosquito surveillance programs, public education campaigns, and targeted mosquito control strategies.

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

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