tiger mosquito
Home » Travel tips » The world of insects: Know what bit you!

The world of insects: Know what bit you!

Westers, and somehow more women than men, are often blessed with sweet blood. Sounds like a lot of fun for a fan of the Twilight genre. It is less fun if you go to an area where many insects occur. The chance that you will be bitten is high and yes, very irritating. We have prepared a handy checklist for you to prevent you from forgetting what has now taken you back. So that you know what is going on and you know what you can do or especially shouldn't do. The most common bites are from the following venomous insects:


mosquito bite
mosquito bite

A mosquito's bite is an itchy, round, red or pink bump. We know them in the Netherlands. But a mosquito bite is not only annoying, it can also be dangerous. Mosquitoes can spread nasty diseases such as Malaria and Yellow Fever. Preventing a bite is therefore essential, especially when you are abroad.

Prefer to prevent a mosquito bite? Spray yourself well with mosquito repellent, preferably with DEET. In addition, sleeping under a mosquito net also works wonders! Do you also sleep better…

Note: We also strongly advise anyone who travels to a country or area where Malaria or another annoying disease may prevent that you should not jump to conclusions from this or other articles. Always make an appointment with one of the specialists at Vaccinations While Traveling or the GGD. The information they have is always up-to-date and that is why they can advise you specifically based on the specific travel plans you have.

We can also absolutely recommend taking the 'optional' one, since you don't want to be tied to certain places or countries during your world trip. It often happens that your plans change along the way, and for that you definitely want to be well prepared in terms of vaccinations.

Also read: Travel and Malaria | Everything you need to know about malaria pills

Because the mosquito takes blood when it 'bites' and returns poison as a thank you, it can itch for quite some time.

What can you do about the itching? Make the well-known x' with your nail or try to get rid of the poison shortly after the bite. Don't scratch (yes, it's tempting), it can leave unsightly scars. In addition, you can also get an allergic reaction from, for example, a tiger mosquito (recognizable by a gray-striped back), which can manifest itself in an itchy layer of dry bumps.

Bed bug

bed bug bite
bed bug bite

The bed bug is also called 'bedbug' in our native language. These bedbugs can often be found in beds that are not the most hygienic, so backpackers in cheap hostels often suffer from this. Luckily you don't feel the bite itself; In many people the irritation is caused by an allergic reaction to the saliva of the insect. This reaction often develops between 24 hours and 3 days later and can be recognized by red bumps that itch intensely. A handy way to tell if it's not a mosquito or tick: Bed bug bites often occur in rows of two or more. Unfortunately there is little that can be done and you will usually have to be patient until it goes away.

Also read: What are bed bugs and how do you recognize a bite? † Prevention + tips against itching


spider bite
spider bite

There are very few spiders that are poisonous, which can be seen as a lucky break. The symptoms of a bite can be compared to those of a bee sting: pain around the bite and red, swollen skin. By cooling well and having patience for a few days, the irritation should go away on its own. If you get an allergic reaction, it's a different story. Signs of such a reaction are swelling, muscle pain, and difficulty in breathing and swallowing. So go to the doctor right away! A hasty visit to a doctor is also a good idea if after a few days the bite starts to resemble a bruise, the surrounding area starts to turn blue/purple and starts to form a scab. There is a good chance that you have been bitten by a poisonous eight legged.

Also read: Spiders in Australia | Which ones do you come across and how do you recognize them?


lice bite
lice bite

Tiny red spots around the shoulders, neck and lower legs. Because the bites are so small, they don't hurt but, of course, they do itch. Especially with this irritation it is wise not to scratch: a subsequent infection can lead to swollen lymph nodes and a burning skin. If after an hour itchy scabs appear on the bites, it is smart to see a doctor. In some areas in Asia sea ​​lice occur. You can feel them bite when you swim, which feels like tiny pinpricks. Once out of the water you will see a group of tiny red spots; if you don't arrive, they will happily leave after a few hours. So go back into the water with peace of mind.


mite bite
mite bite

Although mites feed on other insects, they do not spread disease or bacteria. Often you don't even realize you've been bitten until you see a rash of red, round bumps. Although the itching is often unbearable, you will also have to wait with this bite until it goes away. As long as you do not scratch the bumps open, a simple remedy such as talcum powder is often enough cooling. Do not apply any nice-smelling remedies such as body lotion on the spot; these almost always contain perfume and will only further irritate the skin.


ticks bite lyme disease
ticks bite lyme disease

It is not for nothing that it is often recommended to wear long sleeves and long pants when walking through the woods. Ticks have the ability to fall from trees and settle into your skin. Fortunately, they can be easily recognized by a black bump on your skin, so you can pull them out with a pair of pliers. If you think you have been bitten by a tick, it is important to pay close attention to your health and any symptoms. As carriers of Lyhm's disease, ticks are sneaky spreaders of disease. Symptoms may not appear until a month after the bite and manifest as a rash of a red ring pattern (comparable to a bulls-eye on a dartboard for convenience) and flu symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, headaches and even irregular heart rhythms . Lyhm's disease can disable you for quite some time. Immediately go to the doctor or hospital if you think you have been bitten by a tick.


Sand fleas bite
Sand fleas bite

These bites are often easy to recognize because they occur in small groups of three or four. Fleas also love the places where you sweat quickly: armpits, backs of the knees, elbows, hips and ankles. The bites show up in red spots that can bleed and turn white when you press on them. Sand lice occur in many beach areas in Asia. They are very fond of human flesh in the evening and therefore often pounce on you when you drink that delicious cocktail on the beach. Fortunately, there is a handy tip for this: sand fleas are not a fan of coconut oil. Lubricate well before going out for a night out.


ants bite
ants bite

The ants as we put them in The Netherlands know are innocent, almost cute. Fire ants are unfortunately of a completely different caliber. Recognizable by their bright red color, these small insects are good at biting and 'stinging' your skin. You do feel the sting, and where it normally remains with a burning point for a few hours, you can also develop an allergic reaction. Then these dots often turn into blisters filled with white pus that stay cozy for about a week. You can do enough against this; most pharmacies sell special creams and the area should be covered (which also reduces the chance of scratching). Bull ants are almost twice the size of Dutch ants and although they are not poisonous, they do spray a kind of poison into your bite, which gives a burning sensation. This usually goes away after a few hours or a day.

Also read: Vaccinations for a World Trip | Everything you need to know
Also read: Staying calm and positive during your World Trip | 6 Tips

Dear World Travelers

Of course things happen during your trip that you could not have foreseen in advance. Insects sting and bite, you can get sick from street food, you can get homesick or even end up in hospital due to an accident. Still, making a long journey or world trip one of the best things you can do in your life. Don't be put off by animals or insects. Go into that jungle, dive into that deep water. go save for your world trip† Search information about the world† Be inspired and make a selection of the most beautiful National parks in the world to visit. Traveling, tasting and experiencing is worth so much more than money or security. Traveling is feeling that you are alive.

You will only regret one thing in your life, which is that you did not make that trip around the world.

Avatar picture

Wereldreizigers.nl (World Travelers dot NL)

Wereldreizigers.nl means 'World Travelers' in Dutch. Get inspired, get onboard!


  • I'm in Thailand (lived here for a few years) and I have red round spots on my leg (no bigger than XNUMX cm), but they don't itch. Some spots have a red dot in the middle. Does anyone have any idea what insect these spots come from?

  • They do fall from trees! I have three children with Lyme disease and two are being treated in Augsburg, Germany. At a clinic specializing in multi-infectious diseases. I was also told there that ticks are also spread by birds so watch out. They can also fall from trees. Go on holiday to Lake Garda. And lie down by the lake under the trees. Then you will see that they fall on you?

  • Ticks don't fall from trees, that's a misunderstanding! Ticks sit in the grass or on the ground. They walk up through your feet or they walk on you when you are sitting or lying on the floor! If they are very young and have not bitten they may be pink. Once engorged with blood, they darken.

Translate »
Copy link