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Swollen, itchy skin? Painful red marks? Nausea? Dizziness? Increased heart rate? A bite or sting by a creepy-crawly is a sure-fire way to spoil your fun.

When you’re jet-setting across exotic countries in Africa, Asia and South America, you’re often at a higher risk of disease, infection and allergic reaction. This is because you’re spending more time outdoors and therefore more likely to come across dangerous bugs.

Travelling and being on holiday is supposed to be an enjoyable experience, and though wearing insect repellent and receiving the appropriate vaccinations are wise ways of preventing insect bites, you’re always at risk.

Here we talk you through what to expect when encountering some of the more severe and extreme insects out there, and what to do if you’re unfortunate enough to get stung or bitten yourself.

1. Bullet ants

Bullet Ant Crawling On Leaf

These ants are around an inch long and get their name because if they bite you it feels as if you’ve been shot. It’s said to be the most painful sting you could possibly receive. Bullet ants, also known as Paraponera, are found in Nicaragua, Honduras and Paraguay.

Straight away:

Immediate Result After A Bullet Ant Sting


A while later:

End Result Of A Bullet Ant Sting

Treatment video


2. Sand flies

Close Up Shot Of A Sand Fly

A colloquial term for a number of flying, biting and blood-sucking insects that live in sandy areas; sand flies can carry Leishmaniasis, a disease that causes soars on the skin and internal infections. Sand flies are common in the United States, New Zealand and Australia among other countries with desert areas.

Straight away:

Immediate Result After A Sand Fly Sting


A while later:

End Result Of A Sand Fly Sting

Treatment Video


3. Hornets

Close Up Shot Of A Hornet

The largest member of the wasp family, the hornet has an extremely painful sting that can also lead to more extreme outcomes, especially if you’re allergic, such as severe swelling and infection. Hornets, unlike bees, can sting multiple times. Hornets can be found throughout Europe, Russia, North America and north-east Asia.

Straight away:

Immediate Result After A Hornet Sting


A while later:

End Result Of A Hornet Sting

Treatment Video


4. Black widow

Close Up Shot Of A Black Widow Spider

One of the most feared insects on the planet, the black widow boasts a bite that’s around 15 times as venomous as rattlesnakes. Some of the more severe reactions can include muscle aches, nausea, paralysis of the diaphragm and fatalities. Black widows can be found in temperate regions around the world.

Straight away:

Immediate Result After A Black Widow Bite

A while later:

End Result Of A Black Widow Bite


Treatment video


5. False widow

Close Up Shot Of A False Widow Spider

The false widow, which is thought to have arrived in southern England in 1879 in shipments of bananas, gets its name from its resemblance to the black widow and thus is a great cause for concern when spotted. There has been an increase in sightings of the false widow in the UK in recent months, mostly in warm, dark places like behind washing machines. Although known as Britain’s most venomous spider, its bite is defensive and no worse than being stung by a wasp or bee.

Straight away:

Immediate Result After A False Widow Spider

A while later:

End Result Of A False Widow Spider

Treatment video:


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