Our fully inclusive guide on how to stay safe around creepy crawlies, and which dangerous bugs you should be avoiding.
When it comes to bugs, it’s rare that many of them are pleasant, isn’t that the case? Although some of them can look fairly sweet – cough, cough, ladybirds – and others, despite looking a little unappealing, being very handy – yep, spiders eat flies which spread diseases – generally speaking, we’re happy to do without creepy crawlies invading our home space.
We cover a lot of ground on this website about how to get rid of those annoying critters out of your home effectively, but generally speaking they’re rarely dangerous.
However, have you ever considered that there are bugs out there who are quite literally dangerous, and could be detrimental to your health and well – being?
We know, more often than not we associate dangerous insects with the Australian outback and other tropical locations. However, this isn’t actually always the case. In fact, many of the world’s most dangerous insects can be found in the common suburb, just waiting to infiltrate your home. Yikes.
When you think about it like that, it’s pretty important that as the general public, we know the difference between the bugs out there which are simply a little bit annoying and unhygienic to have around, and those which actually pose a threat to our health and well – being. Some of which actually being fatal.
So, which creepy crawlies are the dangerous ones, and which are simply irritating?
Read on for our fully inclusive guide on how to stay safe around insects, and which dangerous bugs you should be avoiding at all costs.
The Deer Tick
First and foremost, we come to the deer tick. Dog owners might already be familiar with these awful little blood – suckers, but for those who aren’t, let us give you an introduction.
Ticks bury themselves in the skin of animals and humans, and feed on their blood. This, although unpleasant, isn’t massively detrimental to your health – we have a lot of blood after all!
The reason why deer ticks are so dangerous, is because they are the main cause of an illness called Lyme Disease, which can be a life – long illness, and occasionally, even be the cause of death.
Lyme disease will usually start with a small rash developing around the bite of the tick. This is usually followed by the symptoms of headaches, and then later, heart issues.
Once contracted, the symptoms of Lyme disease will soon turn to joint stiffness and intense pain. There are few people who have actually died after contracting Lyme disease, however as we mentioned, it can cause life – long health problems, and extreme pain and suffering.
With that in mind, it’s no wonder that the deer tick has made it onto our list of dangerous bugs you should be avoiding.
The Black Widow Spider
Chances are, even if you aren’t particularly familiar with creepy crawlies of the dangerous variety, you’ll have at least heard of the black widow spider.
The bite of a black widow spider can be fatal, and is extremely dangerous. If you are unlucky enough to have been bitten by one of these arachnids, then you must – absolutely MUST – seek medical attention as soon as you possibly can. If you leave the bite untreated, the venom can actually kill you.
So long as you receive a toxin as soon as you possibly can following the bite, you’ll have nothing but a little bit of pain. This is why it’s so important to seek medical attention as soon as you possibly can if you think you’ve been bitten.
You might be surprised to see the humble cockroach on this list of dangerous bugs you should be avoiding. We know they’re nigh on invincible – renowned for surviving world wars and nuclear explosions – they’re surely not dangerous. Are they?
While they won’t infect you with a fatal bite, they do actually carry a lot of germs and diseases which can be harmful to humans.
For this reason, you should stay away from them, and not allow them on your skin or to crawl on you in any capacity. If you do come into contact with one, we would recommend washing your hands thoroughly.
The Army Ants
Although army ants are not necessarily unsafe towards humans, if you have smaller pets, then they can be dangerous to have around. Incredibly dangerous.
This particular breed of ant, is a predator ant, unlike many other varieties within their species. This means that they actively go out hunting and seeking food, and build small colonies that go out on the hunt for insects, and unfortunately other small species.
If the entire colony goes out on the hunt, they can prey on as many as half a million smaller animals in one singular day. Pretty dangerous, right?
Yellow is a colour of happiness, and sunshine. And yet, unfortunately, the yellow jacket bee should come with a warning.
Yellow jackets are well known as a smaller breed of bee. Trust us, you do not want to get on the wrong side of this deceivingly small insect.
The German yellow jacket bee can most commonly be found in North America. The difference between these and the generic honey bee, is that whereas the average bee dies following their sting, the yellow jacket can sting repeatedly, without it impacting them.
They are an aggressive bug when provoked, and if you’re the unlucky party who has irritated them, they will actually mark and pursue you in order to get their revenge. We would recommend keeping an eye out for the yellow jacket.
The Parasitic Worm
Next up, we come to a critter which is a little different to what we’ve looked at so far. This is the parasitic worm.
The word “parasite” itself has many negative connotations, and there’s no wonder. Parasites are known for leeching onto and sucking the blood out of their subjects, and the parasitic worm is no different.
These worms are known more specifically as a eukaryotic parasite, and they feed on the blood of their chosen host. They can cause a lot of pain and health problems.
Generally speaking, these vile parasites will sit in the stomach of the host. This will likely cause vomiting, nausea, and other unpleasant stomach problems. Yuck.
The Black Spitting Thick Tail Scorpion
That’s a tongue twister and a half, right? And it’s certainly not one to be messed with.
The black spitting thick tail scorpion is not typically considered a “bug”, but it’s a breed of scorpion, and an incredibly dangerous one too.
In fact, the black spitting thick tail scorpion is one of the most dangerous types of scorpion around. They usually lurk in the deserts of South Africa, and they are easily recognisable because of their thick tails – which also spit venom. It makes us cringe, too.
If you are unfortunate enough to be hit by the venom of one of these scorpions, they can cause excruciating pain, paralysis, and sometimes can even be fatal, resulting in death.
Avoid the black spitting thick tail scorpion at all costs.
The Puss Caterpillar
Next up, we come to the puss caterpillar.
Do not be fooled by their cute and cuddly appearance! These little caterpillars, although small and furry like a kitten, are not to be messed with.
If your skin so much as touches the spikes of their pet – like fur, then they release a powerful venom. This venom can have affects such as numbness and pain – and in more extreme cases, chest pain and difficulty breathing.
Yup, we told you they were deceiving!
The Human Bot Fly
The human bot fly is usually transmitted via ticks and mosquitos, and it’s very easy for them to be passed onto you.
A mosquito will carry the larvae of a human bot fly, and when it lands on human skin, it will be immediately left there before the mosquito then flies away.
If you do not have this treated immediately, within a few days, this larvae will grow into an infection underneath your skin. In turn, these human bot flies carry with them life threatening parasites, so it’s advisable to avoid coming into contact with them at any cost.
In short – stay away from mosquitos to reduce your risk of being effected by the human bot fly.
The Assassin Bug
The assassin bug is about as pleasant as it sounds in the name – and although it’s not an instant killer, its’ bite can be harmful to humans.
The assassin bug is usually found in impoverished areas in the USA, and are considered as being another form of parasite.
These horrible parasites can infect humans with an illness called Chagas Disease, amongst many other diseases.
You’ll want to keep clear of them.
The Bullet Ant
Another form of dangerous ant, is the bullet ant.
The bullet ant gets its namesake, because it is said that their bite feels like being shot by a bullet – and no, we’re not exaggerating.
The pain from the bite of a bullet ant can last for up to a full day after it actually taking place – and like we said, it’s a pretty severe pain too.
We would recommend avoiding the bullet ant in the same way you would avoid a loaded gun.
The Dorylus Ant
The dorylus ant is another kind of ant which can be considered dangerous.
Similar to the army ants we were talking about earlier on, the dorylus ant moves in colonies, and although isn’t harmful to humans particularly, is known to attack smaller animals.
Their bite is said to be painful for humans, though, which isn’t ideal.
Keep an eye out for these around your small pets.
The Brazilian Wandering Spider
The Brazilian wandering spider can be found in areas of South and Central America, as well as other tropical areas.
Back in 2010, the Brazilian wandering spider was considered to be the most dangerous spider in the world. Scary stuff.
As well as this, it was considered as having the strongest toxin.
The good news is, that this spider doesn’t just attack out of the blue, but rather just when it feels threatened.
They certainly aren’t pleasant to look at, and we would advise avoiding them.
If you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you.
The Africanised Honey Bee
The Africanised honey bee is more commonly referred to as the killer bee – and unfortunately, they do live up to their names.
The Africanised honey bee will gladly invade other kinds of bee hives, and will be more than happy o kill the queen bee of that particular hive, quickly replacing them with their own queen. They have no shame, whatsoever.
If in large numbers and their toxins are strong, the Africanised honey bee can actually kill humans with their sting. They are particularly dangerous to those with an allergy to bees – so avoiding them at all costs is the best thing to do.
Don’t mess with an angry killer bee!
The Rat Flea
The clue is in the name with these little critters, as rat fleas are commonly found on rodents and vermin.
These rat fleas can actually transfer life – threatening illnesses to humans, which is worrying.
They are also known for being the host of tapeworms, and for being able to transmit dangerous diseases by laying their eggs. Yuck.
The Fire Ant
Yup, you heard us right, another kind of ant!
The fire ant gets its’ name, because it’s easy to spot a mile off due to its’ reddish / brown colour.
You’ll know immediately if you’ve been bitten by a fire ant, because trust us, it will hurt.
When biting, the fire ant will release a formed acid onto their subject. This acid can cause severe pain, and in certain cases, even death.
The Anopheles Mosquito
We know, mosquitos are well known for being a less than desirable insect, but the anopheles mosquito is one to look out for in particular.
The anopheles mosquito has actually been held responsible for many deaths around the world. This is because they are known for commonly transmitting malaria disease.
Unfortunately, a malaria epidemic and an anopheles mosquito go together like peanut butter and jelly.
No one wants an epidemic. Avoid the anopheles mosquito.
The Tsetse Fly
And now we come onto the tsetse fly.
If you’ve heard of – or have had – sleeping sickness, then you have the tsetse fly to blame, as they are the primary cause of this illness.
The Tsetse fly is sometimes referred to as the tiktik fly. These flies tend to feed on the blood of animals, and they carry a chemical in them called trypanosome.
This chemical can actually be dangerous to humans as well.
The Brown Recluse Spider
Next up, we have another arachnid on our list, with the brown recluse spider coming out to play.
The brown recluse spider is dangerous in a different way to the black widow spider which we mentioned earlier on. Whereas the black widow spider will release toxins in their bite, this is not how the brown recluse spider does its’ damage.
Once bitten by a brown recluse spider, you’ll know. This spider can actually destroy tissues with its’ bites, which then takes months to heal.
You can imagine how painful that is.
The Asian Hornet
As soon as you hear the word “hornet”, it’s likely that you would err on the side of caution. The Asian hornet could possibly be one of the most dangerous bugs on our list today.
The Asian hornet is also referred to the Giant Japanese, because they are commonly found in Japan. Makes sense, right?
Now, the Asian hornet is not actually an outwardly aggressive bee, which is good. However, once provoked, they will attack. And they won’t hold back.
The Asian hornet is so dangerous because it can kill you with one singular sting, because of its’ venom. The venom infiltrates the system of the victim, and primarily attacks the nervous system.
Again, we would advise that you avoid these at all costs. The last thing you want to do is to provoke an Asian hornet.
And now we come to the not – so – small tarantula. Another member of the arachnid family.
Now, tarantulas are not dangerous in particular, they’ve mainly made the list because of their size and terrifying appearance. They can live for as long as thirty years, and can grow to the size of a pizza slice. It makes us shudder just thinking about it.
Their bite, unlike the black widow spider will not poison you. Furthermore, their bite will not cause tissue damage like the brown recluse spider. However, it will hurt. Plus, they’re terrifying to look at.
Avoid, avoid, avoid. Yuck.
The Arizona Bark Scorpion
We’ve got another scorpion in our midst, as we’re slowly coming towards the end of our dangerous insect list. Meet, the Arizona bark scorpion. You won’t want to get too well acquainted.
The Arizona bark scorpion is the deadliest scorpion that you are likely to find in the North of America. You can also find this particular kind of scorpion in the South – West of America, and also in Southern Utah.
If you are unlucky enough to meet an Arizona bark scorpion along the way, take a wide birth. The last thing you want is to be bitten by it.
If you do end up being bitten by an Arizona bark scorpion, you will be likely to encounter symptoms of sickness, vomiting, numbness, and excruciating pain.
You are unlikely to die from the bite, but the experience of being bitten is traumatic.
Furthermore, if you are elderly or a young child, you become more at risk to their bite becoming fatal.
If you’ve got kids in elementary school, chances are you’ll have hears of – and possibly even experienced – the irritancy of lice.
Now, we aren’t trying to scare you at all. Lice are nowhere near as harmful as many of the bugs we have listed so far today. They aren’t going to kill you with their bite. However, they can be the spreader of germs and diseases.
If found on your head or on your skin, lice can spread and transfer diseases that they have picked up elsewhere. Furthermore, they feed on the skin of your scalp and your body. Yuck.
If you are infected with lice, think about it like this: it is likely that you are currently infected with at least fifteen different species of lice on your head. That’s why it’s dangerous.
You might be surprised to see the little house centipede cropping up on this list, but did you know that they can actually bite? Plus, who wouldn’t find all of those legs a little creepy…
These can be found in any household, and chances are you’ll have seen them before. One thing you probably won’t know, though, is how painful their bite can actually be. As well as being incredibly painful, the bite of house centipedes can cause drastic swelling in the area they’ve bitten, which is likely to last for several days.
Last of all, but by no means least, we possibly come to the grossest insect of them all. The violating bed bug.
We all know what bed bugs are. They live in between your sheets and feed on your blood during the night.
While their bites are not life threatening or poisonous, they are extremely irritating, and when infected their bites can become swollen and painful. They can also spread diseases too.
The worst thing about them is, without doubt, the psychological impact that they can have on their victims. Who can really sleep soundly when they know their bed is infiltrated with little critters?
This is the main way in which they can affect your health negatively. If you think you might have bed bugs, call the exterminator sooner rather than later.
Thanks for reading!