The Most Dangerous Animal In Each State, Revealed

The United States is one of the most diverse countries in the world, which means that its wildlife varies by state. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) completed a study of the most dangerous animal in each state. Poisonous snakes, wild coyotes, and pesky insects are just a few of the creatures who made the list. Keep reading to discover which animal most frequently wreaks havoc in your state.

Connecticut – Bobcats

A rescued bobcat waits to be fed
John Moore/Getty Images
John Moore/Getty Images

While Connecticut is one of the safest states in the U.S., they do have some major predators. Bobcat attacks have become a frequent occurrence, but not all bobcats pose a threat.

It’s usually when bobcats become infected with rabies that they will act in a threatening or aggressive way towards humans.

Utah – Deer

Red deer graze following the end of the rutting season
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

There’s a lot of wildlife in Utah, but the most common category for their dangerous animals is large mammals. For example, this could range from black bears, cougars, coyotes, stray dogs, and deer.

While most deer won’t approach another human unless they are struck by a car, the deer in Utah are a lot tougher. Some are even known to take down hunters.

Oklahoma – Tigers

A Sumatran tiger, an endangered animal species, sits in its exhibit at the San Francisco Zoo
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

According to the CDC, Oklahoma is considered to be a “large animal” state, which means that there is an unusually high number of them there.

Some Oklahoma residents are owners of exotic animals, including tigers. These animals don’t always receive great care, which leads to them escaping and hurting unsuspecting humans.

Oregon – Bees, Wasps, And Yellow Jackets

A bee scrambles across a flower
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Oregon residents may want to reconsider living there after finding out that there are a ton of dangerous animals in the vicinity. Not only is Oregon home to cougars, bears, scorpions, porcupines, and wolverines, but those animals don’t even make the top three most dangerous species.

The CDC claims that bees, wasps, and yellow jackets remain the most lethal creatures in the state. This is mainly because their stings cause horrific allergic reactions.

Kentucky – Domestic Cattle

cow on a farm
Phil Walter/Getty Images
Phil Walter/Getty Images

Kentucky’s most dangerous animal fits into the category of domestic cattle. More specifically, cows and bulls.

The CDC reported that most of the causalities caused by these animals are “blunt force trauma” injuries that were usually to the head or chest. This can happen when people go into an enclosed space with them. Also, the most common victims are males over the age of 65.

Louisiana – Hornets, Wasps, And Bees

Hornet and Honey Bee flies around a water pipe during a hot weather
Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

If you ever find yourself in Louisiana, be sure to look out for flying, stinging insects, especially hornets, wasps, and bees.

The CDC says one of the reasons why hornets and wasps are so dangerous is because they can sting repeatedly without losing their stinger. Also, there’s no limit to how many hornets can live together.

Alabama – Dogs

map-animals-state
Imgur/Wide Open County
Imgur/Wide Open County

Dogs are the most common house pets in the United States, but when taken into the wrong hands things can go astray.

In Alabama, dogs are ranked as the most dangerous animal because of their harmful bites. According to dog bite lawyers Martinson and Beason, there were 42 dog bite fatalities in the U.S. in 2014 and there were two specifically in Alabama in 2017.

South Carolina – Wasps And Hornets

A paper wasp builds a honeycomb shaped paper nest
Guillaume Souvant/AFP via Getty Images
Guillaume Souvant/AFP via Getty Images

Stinging insects are something to beware of and that especially applies in South Carolina. Their main threats are wasps and hornets.

These insects are extremely territorial and aggressive, especially when they are working as a cohesive unit. One sting can send someone who’s allergic into anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal.

Minnesota – Deer

A deer runs across the grass
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Similar to the state of Utah, deer are also the most vicious creatures found in Minnesota. Minnesota has one of the largest populations of deer, so they are bound to pop up.

Deer are one of the most common causes of car crashes because they aren’t afraid to run out in the middle of the road.

Wisconsin – Ticks

a black-legged tick on top of a leaf
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Although they are small, ticks are a creature to be feared in the state of Wisconsin. American dog (wood) and black-legged (pictured) ticks are most commonly found there.

These ticks can spread some life-threatening and chronic diseases such as Lyme disease. According to Only In Your State, there were at least 10 tick-related casualties between 2015 and 2018.

Colorado – Cougars

a young cougar walking on the grass
Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images
Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

The CDC wasn’t able to find too many instances of dangerous animals in Colorado even though there’s a wide array of wild creatures in the area.

Although, one Colorado animal that can be difficult to get away from is a cougar. Cougar attacks are most common on hiking trails, but only two fatalities have been reported over the last century.

Maryland – Bees

bees on honey frames
Fred Tanneau/Getty Images
Fred Tanneau/Getty Images

Stinging, flying insects such as bees are the most common animal threat to Maryland residents. One bee doesn’t usually cause any problems, but swarms are a different story.

Bee stings can cause afflicted people to go into anaphylactic shock and either get seriously injured or worse. For example, a student in Maryland kicked a beehive, which caused him and those around him to be stung and taken to the hospital.

Missouri – Venomous Snakes

A highly venomous Golden Lancehead snake
Carl De Souza/Getty Images
Carl De Souza/Getty Images

According to the CDC, Missouri ranks second in the nation for being the most commonplace someone will perish from a large reptile attack.

This comes down to their five species of venomous snakes. The Journal of the Missouri State Medical Association says the national rate of snake fatalities per year is 14 to 20 and there have been five in Missouri in the last 88 years.

Indiana – Deer

A deer grazes in the Highlands
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

There are several states in the U.S. where deer are actually the most dangerous. Indiana has a huge problem with them.

Not only are many deer struck by vehicles, but those collisions actually can end the lives of humans as well. The CDC found that in just 2016 alone there were over 14,000 “deer-involved car accidents.”

Massachusetts – Stinging Insects

Close-up detail of a ruby-tailed wasp
Matthew Richards/PhotoPlus Magazine/Future via Getty Images
Matthew Richards/PhotoPlus Magazine/Future via Getty Images

The CDC reported that stinging, flying insects, including bees and wasps, are the most threatening animal in Massachusetts. Some species to look out for are the European Honey bee, Bald-Faced hornet, and the Giant hornet.

If these insects think there may be a potential problem with their nest, they will get aggressive and sting anyone who comes near them.

Tennessee – Brown Recluse Spiders

a brown recluse spider against a green background
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

According to the CDC, there is only one state where “contact with venomous spiders” was their most common cause of animal fatality. Tennessee is home to the dangerous Brown Recluse spider.

Their bites are painful and can become more serious if they are systemic. These kinds of bites have venom that can destroy the body’s red blood cells and cause those affected to get a red blood cell transfusion.

Arizona – Dogs

an Australian blue cattle dog
Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

While Arizona has a large number of venomous snakes, these creatures aren’t their most dangerous. The CDC reported that dogs cause the most fatalities in Arizona.

From 1999 to 2016 there were a total of 26 fatal dog attacks in the state. This is usually because the dogs were mistreated when they were younger.

Washington – Coyotes

A nursing mother coyote limps through the grass
David McNew/Getty Images
David McNew/Getty Images

There are several potentially harmful animals in the Washington area. Large mammals such as elk, deer, cougars, bears, and coyotes can pose a massive threat.

News Break says there are about 50,000 coyotes in the state and the species has resisted efforts to eradicate them. Coyotes are fairly common around suburbs because they don’t have a fear of humans.

Virginia – Eastern Cottonmouth Snakes

eastern cottonmouth snake climbing amongst foliage
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Eastern Cottonmouth snakes are most commonly found in the southeastern region of Virginia and are usually in the water. They can be identified by the white interior of their mouth.

Getting bit by one of these snakes can be very alarming because their bites are extremely venomous. Other dangerous animals in the area include snapping turtles, bull sharks, black widow spiders, and copperhead snakes.

California – Rattlesnakes

A western diamondback Rattlesnake out of his burrow
Raphael Gaillarde/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Raphael Gaillarde/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Antivenom really comes in handy in California. The state has a high population of rattlesnakes with about 221 bites reported annually.

Those who are bitten need to get antivenom fast because if left untreated, the bite can become fatal. Rattlesnakes tend to come out more frequently during the summer months and may hide in shady places such as the bottom of cars.

New Jersey – Coyotes

A coyote stands in the animal park
Jean-Christophe Verhaegen/AFP via Getty Images
Jean-Christophe Verhaegen/AFP via Getty Images

The CDC was unable to find enough data to support which animal is the most dangerous in New Jersey, but they did notice a trend.

Coyotes have been increasing in population throughout the state. They have been migrating east with a population that has grown from 100 to three thousand within the last four years.

Michigan – Dogs

woman petting a dog outside
Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Matt Cardy/Getty Images

According to the CDC, the animal most likely to end the life of a human in Michigan is a dog. While many are friendly pets, some can get very violent.

For example, a young girl in Michigan had to get airlifted to the hospital after a couple of her rescue dogs attacked her at home. The dogs who attack often come from a troubled past.

North Carolina – Fire Ants

an illustration of a red fire ant
DeAgostini/Getty Images
DeAgostini/Getty Images

While fire ants are tiny, they come with a powerful bite. Not only is their bit incredibly painful, but it can send people into shock. If left untreated, their bite can be fatal.

The CDC says North Carolina is one of 14 states dealing with fire ant infestations and North Carolina residents have a 30 to 60 percent chance of getting bitten each year.

Georgia – Venomous Snakes

closeup of a copperhead snake
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Some species of snakes to look out for in Georgia include Copperheads, Cottonmouths, Coral snakes, Timber Pygmies, and Eastern Diamondbacks.

According to the Georgia Poison Control Center, snake bites increased by a whopping 40 percent in 2017 and have been increasing every year since. Since winters are shorter and warmer, more snakes are coming out.

Ohio – Dogs

an older beagle dog
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Since dogs are so common throughout the United States, they tend to be considered one of the most lethal animals in the country, including Ohio.

The CDC reported that the majority of dog bites are towards infants and children. This could be for a number of reasons, but untrained dogs may bite due to fear or pain.

Illinois – Zombie Coyotes

Engraving of the coyote pack howling at the Moon
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Those who’ve never heard of zombie coyotes will most likely think again before approaching them. Commonly found in Illinois, these coyotes are usually infected with a disease and will often look sick.

People may try to get them help because they look like hurt dogs, but it’s best to leave them alone. Zombie coyotes will most likely attack if people come close enough.

Pennsylvania – Dogs

Two dogs, a Golden Doodle and a Border Collie mix play in the water
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The CDC lists dogs as the animal most likely to cause a human fatality in Pennsylvania. There are several reasons why a dog may exhibit aggressive behavior.

They may be acting defensive, they could be guarding something such as food or a toy, or they may be scared of other humans.

New York – Dogs

a Labrador Retriever puppy and mother resting in the trunk of a car
Simon Lees/PhotoPlus Magazine/Future via Getty Images
Simon Lees/PhotoPlus Magazine/Future via Getty Images

Many dog owners live in New York, but it’s also an area where there is a large number of dog attacks. Luckily, only a fraction of them has been fatal.

These dogs are either ill, frustrated, trying to show their dominance, scared, or possessive. If your dog shows any of these symptoms, seek a professional before they act out.

Florida – Mosquitos

An Asian Tiger mosquito near a flower
Jack Leonard/New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board/Getty Images
Jack Leonard/New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board/Getty Images

While some may think that alligators are the most dangerous creature in Florida, mosquitos actually top the list. While mosquitos are non-venomous, they can carry some awful diseases.

From the West Nile virus to encephalitis, mosquitos can significantly harm and even terminate the lives of those they bite. Florida residents should take extra precautions including wearing bug spray, using mosquito nets, and eliminating areas with standing water.

Texas – Fire Ants

fire ants inside a vial
Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

According to the CDC, Texas is experiencing a massive fire ant problem. People who are allergic to their venom are at the most risk because they can go into anaphylactic shock.

Fire ants have the capability of floating on water, so they can survive worldwide catastrophes such as hurricanes and tsunamis.