Discover the Top 5 Most Dangerous Flying Animals in Illinois

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Published: August 29, 2023
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The state of Illinois has plenty to offer residents and visitors. Whether you’re looking for sweeping prairies or roaming wildlife, Illinois is a gem of the Midwest. Not all of the flora and fauna here is sunshine and rainbows. 

As you can tell by the title, some of the flying creatures can be dangerous. Below you’ll read about the five flying critters in Illinois that you wouldn’t want to get close to! 

Let’s find out which winged animals pose a threat.

A List of the Most Dangerous Flying Animals in Illinois

1. Mosquitoes

Macro shot of Northern house mosquito (Culex pipiens) sitting on human skin

There are 100 trillion mosquitoes in the world!

©Anest/Shutterstock.com

Mosquitoes are tiny, flies-like bugs that eat their host’s blood for nourishment. Mature adults are more mobile in the warmer months and hover about until they find an acceptable host before biting. 

The actual concern with mosquitoes, despite their unpleasant bite and the small amount of blood lost, is the diseases they spread to their host. Illinois is home to a variety of mosquito species, notably the house mosquito, Asian Tiger mosquito, and tree-hole mosquito. 

Their sizes, the diseases they transmit, and the hours of the day they attack differ. Mosquitoes are among the deadliest insects in the entire world, despite the fact that they are most often associated with being an annoyance that can spoil any garden gathering. 

More than 200 million individuals are infected with malaria each year, and two to three million people die from it and other mosquito-borne diseases. Despite the rarity of malaria in the United States, other dangerous mosquito-borne illnesses have recently become more prevalent in Illinois. 

West Nile virus has elevated to a serious health threat for Illinois people over the past 15 years or more. Although outbreaks of the Zika virus are more commonly associated with tropical regions, there are still occasional occurrences of human infection in Illinois. 

In Illinois, mosquitoes have been linked to the St. Louis encephalitis virus as well as additional encephalitis strains. The best approach to deal with mosquitoes is frequently to stay away from them altogether. 

You may make your backyard a secure area for you and your loved ones to spend time in by eliminating their breeding grounds and using repellents

2. Kissing Bugs

Kissing Bug

Kissing bugs get their name from where they bite their victims.

©Henrik Larsson/Shutterstock.com

With a name like Kissing bugs, one may expect these flying creatures to be sweet. Kissing bugs are creatures that feed on blood. They’re mostly active during the nighttime. Kissing bugs can grow as big as one inch in length when they’re mature.  

Certain types of kissing bugs have a two-year lifespan. These critters are not picky when it comes to the blood source. Humans, pet animals, and animals in nature can all be attacked by kissing bugs. 

Throughout their lives, they eat frequently. Kissing bugs might require a long time to finish their meal as they feed. Bites from kissing bugs typically do not hurt the individual while the bug is eating.

Trypanosoma cruzi, a parasite, is the cause of the inflammatory, infectious condition known as Chagas disease. When kissing bugs ingest the blood of a living thing that has the parasite, they may get infected with it.

After eating, infected insects excrete waste, depositing parasites on the skin of a host. Once inside your body, the parasites can get in via your eyes, mouth, an opening in your skin, a scratch, or a mark from an insect. Anybody can contract the Chagas illness. 

Chagas disease can subsequently result in significant heart and intestinal issues if ignored.

3. Wasps

German yellowjacket, European wasp or German wasp (lat. Vespula germanica), on a wooden board

Yellow jackets are active in the Midwest from summer to fall.

©tasnenad/Shutterstock.com

Yellow jackets are the primary cause of stinging problems in Illinois. Wasps and yellow jackets are thought to be quite harmful. They emit compounds that draw additional stinging and attacking wasps. 

Therefore, it is advised to leave the area as soon as the attack occurs. They’ll use their stingers on individuals in an effort to protect their homes and territory. Some persons experience such extreme allergic reactions after being stung by a yellow jacket; in such cases, emergency medical care is required.

Yellowjackets may sting repeatedly and will continue to do so if disturbed because they never lose their stinger. In fact, they frequently bite into your flesh to better hold you while piercing your skin with their stinger. 

Yellowjackets are a typical nuisance during outdoor events like picnics. They forage for meals and sweet beverages, which puts them in close proximity to people frequently and gives them the chance to sting. 

Finally, compared to other insects that sting like wasps or hornets, yellow jackets are more threatening. 

4. Bats

Big Brown Bat

Big brown bats are extremely common throughout Illinois.

©Jay Ondreicka/Shutterstock.com

Illinois is home to 14 different species of bats! The variety and quantity of species that can be discovered in Illinois are incredible! Sadly, it might be challenging to identify the type of bat you’re looking at when you see one. 

These nocturnal animals only become active at nighttime and fly extremely quickly. Viruses that are fatal to other animals can be carried by bats without any significant indications. In actuality, rabies, Ebola, and the SARS coronavirus represent a few of the viruses that human beings can contract from bats around Illinois. 

Every bat that lives in Illinois consumes insects. During the warmer months of the year, they are energetic and perch in trees, caves, beneath bridges, and attics to raise their young. When the temperature drops, Illinois bats have to either depart for warmer climates or hibernate. 

The Wildlife Code provides protection for all bats in Illinois. Apart from when a bat is discovered in a place where it might come into contact with people or domestic animals, it is illegal to shoot, catch, transport, or cage bats.

5. Flies

Horsefly

Horse

flies buzz much louder than other species.

©iStock.com/dabjola

In Illinois, there are many different kinds of flies that invade our houses. Many of them pose risks that could result in food poisoning and illness, however many are simply annoying. For instance, house flies are drawn to trash, animal waste, compost piles, and other such areas. 

When they invade houses and land on areas used for preparing or storing food, they can act as carriers of dangerous bacteria. Blowflies also flutter around Illinois. Flies such as these can carry some very harmful germs and organisms that cause illness on their skin and legs since they feed, breed, and survive on decomposing organic debris. 

These pathogens can then be transferred onto food, plates, and surfaces used for preparing food. Deer and horse flies are among the most dangerous flies in the state. These flies consume nectar and pollen from plants, but in order to lay eggs, the females need a blood meal. Both unpleasant and itchy red welts may form after one of these two flies attacks you.

Honorable Mention: Assassin Bugs

Assassin Bug (Reduviidae)

The assassin bug kills other insects for food.

©Christian Musat/Shutterstock.com

Although they technically don’t fly, these insects are among the most dangerous in the state. Predatory insects known as assassin bugs consume other bugs for food. Assassin bugs can be helpful in landscaping as a natural pest management method, but if provoked, they may strike painfully and venomously, and some of them can even transfer illness. 

Assassin bugs like to roam about in areas where there are a lot of insects for them to eat. As a result, they are often discovered outdoors. Yet, assassin bugs can enter a space through crevices around the edges of windows and doors, as well as via openings like cracked windows. 

Even though assassin bugs typically don’t attack people, they might attack if they sense a threatening presence. In certain rare instances, their venomous bites can even result in anaphylactic symptoms.  

A parasite responsible for Chagas disease is also transmitted through the feces of some species of assassin bugs, as mentioned earlier.

Summary of the Most Dangerous Flying Animals in Illinois

1. Mosquitoes

2. Kissing Bugs

3. Wasps

4. Bats

5. Flies

The photo featured at the top of this post is ©


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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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