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World's Most Dangerous Insects!

World's Most Dangerous Insects!


Brits and trips overseas go hand in hand. Unfortunately trying to grasp on to your little pinkie is the dreaded mosquito. Many would have experienced the little critters buzzing around as you lay awake in the dark, sweating in your fan-powered Spanish hotel room. They can even be found on our own shores, however it’s overseas that they do the damage with dengue fever and malaria just two of the nasties that they like to share.


Giant Japanese or Asian Hornet

This beast of a hornet has just been sighted in the UK, having made its way over from the Far East through to Spain and France. Although not deemed as being aggressive, if feeling threatened they will attack in numbers, rather like some sections of football fans. Their stings are extremely painful and can cause anaphylaxis shock. Keep well away, or keep a frying pan at close quarters.


We tend to see more of the wasp towards the end of the summer when they are on the look-out for sugar, at which point they can be a tad grouchy. Unlike the bee, these undesirables can sting time and time again. The sting isn’t generally dangerous, however you might need a cube of ice from your G and T to reduce the swelling.

Killer Bees

The name says it all. Although not too dissimilar to their European counterpart, the “Africanised Bee” is territorial, aggressive and attacks in large numbers. It is the latter that has caused the demise of over 1,000 unfortunate souls. They are also not averse to attacking animals or other bees. Usain Bolt might be OK, but they have been known to chase people for over 400m, so steer well clear if in a populated region.

Kissing Bugs

It sounds like a cute character from “A Bugs Life”, but is far from it. Residing in sun-kissed spots such as the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oz; Northern Europeans can sleep well knowing they’ll not be getting kissed by this critter any time soon. The bug can infect a person with a nasty strain of Chagas Disease which can deform your intestines and heart, causing a long, painful death. Gross.


Why, you might ask, are the locust lined up alongside the Asian Hornet and Killer Bee? God wasn’t playing games when he sent a swarm of these bad-boys to help his friend Moses. Here are a couple of facts for you; firstly, a desert locust swarm can be 460 square miles in size, packing between 40 and 80 million friends and family. Secondly, a swarm of that size can eat 192 MILLION kg of plants every day. When they get the munchies these creatures can eat crops across Africa causing devastating famine.

Tsetse Fly

Sounding rather like a pleasant Greek dip, the Tsetse fly is prevalent in Africa, where it kills over 100,000 individuals each year. A bite is identified by a red, painful swelling which can then lead to the fatal “sleeping sickness”. This disease eventually shuts down your nervous system. Thankfully since the 1990’s epidemics no longer occur, but you most certainly want to keep an eye out for them whilst scoping for elephants on your “retirement” safari.


Once upon a time these pesky pests did more than make your pet poodle scratch its skin red raw. In 14th Century they hitched a ride on the back of rats and caused the single, most greatest epidemic the world has ever seen. Infected fleas carrying a deadly bacteria were brought over from China and went to town causing up to 200 million deaths. Next time you see ‘Boris the Boxer Dog’ having a scratch, get that medicated shampoo out sharpish.

Fire Ants

They say that if you get bitten by one of these pests then you’ll understand exactly why it gets its name. They work -as all ants do- in groups, so disturb these guys and they’ll react like a bear with a sore head. They can be lethal to the young, old or sick if multiple stings are received at the same time. And they don’t mess around either, if they feel a vibration (for example, you trying to brush them off) they then bite AND sting at the same time. Charming.

Bullet Ants

To round up our little selection of World’s Deadliest Insects, let’s get acquainted with the Bullet Ant. Thankfully for the average-Joe they reside in South America- so unless you’re going to tick Trekking the Amazon off your bucket list, you’re unlikely to have the pleasure. They are said to have the most painful of stings; “causing waves of burning, throbbing, all-consuming pain that continues unabated for up to 24 hours. The sting is considered to be an effective defence against predators”. I’d say!


What we can take away from this is that we’re pretty well covered in the UK. Flies, fleas and moths are not really to be worried about in the grand scheme of things- for those has everything you’ll need. To avoid most of the above, perhaps take your yearly holiday somewhere less tropical. Somewhere like Blackpool or Cleethorpes.