Well, that got my attention. Whether you’re here in Florida visiting, or a long time resident, you need to know that Florida has dangers. Sure, we’ve got our share of fluffy bunnies and squirrels, but Florida animals can kill.  Also, an honorable mention to the wild monkeys near Ocala that have the deadly herpes B virus. No one in Florida has died from that – yet.

Let’s face it, there’s a lot of things down here trying to kill you. There’s 6 venomous snakes in Florida, and only 2 of them were deadly enough to make this list. Deaths from these animals are rare, but not zero. I personally think you’re more likely to be injured by a New York snowbird driving into you in a Publix lot. I kid, I kid. I’m only singling out New York because ya’ll are terrible drivers. Nothing personal. The left lane is for passing.

Did I ever tell you about the time a guy with Jersey plates wanted to fight me at the car wash in Estero? He had all his floor mats out and was vacuuming his truck so I pulled in the wash bay in front of him. I just wanted to wash off some dirt. He stormed up and was ready to fight because “that’s not how you do it.” Sorry, I’m getting sidetracked.

Ranker put together a list of  the most dangerous animals here in Florida. Florida Man is a lot more dangerous than any of these animals, but we’ve covered that extensively. So here we go, with 14 animals in Florida that can kill you.

  • The Box Jellyfish


    Did you know? Box jellyfish kill more people each year than sharks. A sting from a box jellyfish can stop your heart. More than 8 different species have caused deaths. And they’re not just here in the tropics. They’ve even, on occasion, made their way up to New Jersey where I’m sure someone guy probably tried to fight it.

  • I hate these guys - Brown Recluse Spider

    Brown Recluse Spider

    I know someone that had multiple brown recluse spider bites on her arm and into her armpit. She didn’t die but it suuuuuuuuuucked. Necrosis, fever, vomiting are all likely symptoms. 

  • The Deadly Black Widow Spider

    black widow

    You normally you won’t die if you get bit by one of these, but are you ready to take that chance? One time I was at a transmitter site and opened a panel to find a black widow nest waiting inside. Momma and all her babies.  I don’t help with engineering anymore. Nope.

  • The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

    eastern diamondback

    It’s called a rattlesnake for a reason, it’ll rattle it’s tail to let you know you need to move on. If unheeded, this snake has an incredible painful bite. If you don’t get help immediately, you can die. Painfully.

  • The Big Bad Bull Shark

    bull shark

    You knew there’d be a shark on this list. Big and aggressive, they cruise the coast of Florida. They’re generally not looking to bite humans but you know, things happen.

  • Florida's Most Famous - The Alligator

    feeding an alligator

    Class, this is what’s know as an Apex predator. Top of the food chain. More and more often we’re seeing these beasts on the golf course. Don’t wanna get eaten? Stick to Top Golf. I took this picture in the Everglades from an air boat. Was it smart to stop an airboat on shore next to an alligator? Probably not, but this is Florida. 

  • Another snake - The Southern Copperhead

    Southern Copperhead

    Look at how that thing blends in with the leaves – watch your step. Interesting fact, this snake will generally give you a warning strike with little or no venom. The second bite though… Strangely enough my cat does the same thing. 

  • Soo....... Kissing Bugs?

    kissing bug

    It sounds friendly enough, except that the “kiss” is actually a bloodsucking bite. Not fun. But that’s not really where the real danger is. These bugs transfer a parasite that transmits Chagas, which may lead to fatal cardiac arrest.

  • The Great White Shark

    great white shark

    Yes, as in “Jaws”. Like old people from New York, they come down here in the winter for the warmer climate. Fortunately they don’t have cars. 

  • Fire Ants

    fire ants

    I’ve been bit by fire ants many times, it’s not fun. Fortunately for me after the first couple of bites I’m smart enough to get out of the grass. If you’re allergic, or even if you get enough bites, your body can swell up to the point where you suffocate. The best way to avoid this is to stay inside and play video games. I’ve probably killed millions of these things in my yard over the last decade. But there’s always more. 

  • Ooooooooooooh - Barracuda


    Super sharp teeth and don’t normally attack humans. These things can swim up to 35 mph (OMG!) and if something shiny catches their eye, like a necklace on a swimmer, they might accidentally attack.

  • A Wild Boar

    wild boar

    If you live in a rural area down here, you’ve seen these things. They are mean, and will attack. The best part? They’re full of diseases and bacteria – including anthrax. I knew a guy in North Fort Myers that spotted one but didn’t have his gun. So he killed it with a screwdriver. North Fort Myers people are different. 

  • Florida Panther


    True story, that picture was taken in Charlotte County. There’s actually no reported deaths in Florida from panther attacks, although they have been know to take down livestock. No human deaths in Florida, don’t want to be the first.

  • Black Bear


    If they do attack, they tend to maul rather than kill. So, maybe scarring and horrible disfigurement? Black bears live in the rural areas and are quite known to sift through trash and if you leave pet food outside – you may get a new pet. These things are why people in Golden Gate have to be careful where they put their trash cans. 

  • Be sure to check out the companion piece: The 6 venomous snakes of Florida

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