Last updated on September 29, 2022 by Wandering our World
Georgia is a charming state full of natural beauty, breathtaking mountains, lakes, beaches, rivers, and great cities. But unfortunately there’s plenty of bugs in Georgia that bite and sting too, many of which can be found throughout the state.
If you’re heading to Georgia and are worried about bugs and insects, don’t be. Georgia is a beautiful state with lots of wildlife and many fun things to do, and we want you to enjoy it. But that said, it’s always good to be aware of the bugs and insects in Georgia you could come across.
That’s why below we introduce you to 20 of the most common bugs in Georgia that bite and sting.
This article is for informational purposes. However if you get bitten while on holiday we always recommend seeking out a doctor, as some bug bites can cause complications and even severe allergic reactions.
20+ Bugs & Insects in Georgia That Bite & Sting
1. Fire Ants
Fire ants have an abdomen that is darker than their reddish-brown upper body. They have clubbed or bent antennae, stingers, and extremely tiny waists. They are one of the most common insects in Georgia and can be found in most areas of the state. They’re typically found in outdoor areas like lawns and gardens, but they can also be found under stones or in mulch piles.
Fire ants can be very aggressive, and their bite is painful but rarely an issue. However, if you have an allergic reaction to their venom, you should seek medical attention immediately so that you do not develop any complications.
Mosquitos are tiny insects that feed on blood from animals and humans and can be found in every part of the world. In Georgia, they can usually be found in wooded areas, near lakes, rivers, streams, and in backyards with lots of vegetation.
The bite of a mosquito usually goes unnoticed at first but can become itchy after several minutes depending on where you were bitten. The bite of a mosquito doesn’t usually need to be treated if it is only mildly irritating.
However, if it is causing significant discomfort, then you should see your doctor about getting some antihistamines or corticosteroids.
3. Puss Caterpillars
Puss caterpillars are about an inch long, covered in hair, and can be pale yellow, greyish, or reddish brown. The hairs of this caterpillar contain venomous hollow spines. These insects are found in Georgia and other parts of the United States. They typically nest under tree bark but also like to make their home in dead logs, fence posts, and even stacks of lumber.
The pain from a puss caterpillar sting is intense but fades away after a few days. The sting does not require medical treatment unless you experience complications such as an allergic reaction or difficulty breathing due to anaphylactic shock.
4. Black Widow Spider
The black widow spider is a venomous arachnid found in most areas of Georgia. It has a shiny black body with red or orange hourglass-shaped spot on its abdomen. The female of the species is larger than the male, and her fangs are also more prominent.
The black widow spider typically lives in dark, secluded areas, such as woodpiles and under rocks. Their webs are often found in dark corners of sheds, garages, and barns.
If a black widow spider bites you, you will want to seek medical attention immediately as while rare, the bite of these spiders can be fatal. However, that’s only when people experience more severe symptoms than usual due to their own sensitivity to the venom.
The wasp is a common insect that can be found around the world. Its yellow and black stripes can be easily recognized. Wasps can be found almost everywhere in Georgia, especially in urban areas where flowers, trees, and other plants attract these insects.
Being stung by a wasp usually feels like a bee sting – painful but not severe. However, if you’re allergic to wasp venom, your reaction may be much more severe and require medical attention.
Hornets are giant, flying insects, usually black or dark brown, with yellow stripes on their abdomens. These bugs in Georgia can be found throughout, although they’re most common in the summer and in the northern parts of the state.
Hornets have a painful sting and may cause swelling, but it is not life-threatening unless you are allergic to their venom.
If you are stung by a hornet, you should seek medical attention immediately if you experience difficulty breathing or hives. If you do not have a reaction, there is no need for treatment beyond keeping the wound clean and applying an antibiotic ointment or topical cream.
7. Honey Bees
Honey bees are small, fuzzy insects that you might find in a garden or yard. They are much larger than a housefly, and their bodies are covered in fur. Honey bees are found throughout Georgia, from high elevation mountains to coastal plains, as well as in hives placed on a property by beekeepers.
The sting of a honey bee is painful and may cause swelling, redness, itching, and sometimes nausea or difficulty breathing – if you have a severe reaction like that, seek medical help. Stings should be treated with cold compresses as soon as possible after being stung.
Ticks are tiny, eight-legged parasitic arachnids that live off feasting on blood. They are most commonly found in Georgia in the spring and early summer months when they’re ready to mate. They can be found anywhere where there is grass, tall leafy plants, on the ground, or in tall grasses, where they will attach themselves to humans and animals to feed.
The bite is usually painless but may cause itching or welts at the attachment site. If you’re allergic to tick bites, you may experience a rash or other symptoms similar to an allergy attack.
If this happens, contact your doctor immediately because it could indicate that something more serious might be happening, especially as ticks can carry some diseases.
As that’s the case, you should always remove a tick carefully as soon as you notice one on your skin.
Termites look like tiny wingless ants but are more closely related to cockroaches. They have segmented bodies and a pair of antennae on their heads. Termites are the most common pest in Georgia, especially during the warmer months. They can be found in soil, woodwork of homes, and in dead trees or stumps.
Termite bites can cause skin irritation and itching when left untreated, usually lasting from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the severity of the reaction caused by bites from these pests.
You do not usually need to seek medical attention for this type of bite because there is no risk of infection from it. However, you should see a doctor if you develop a fever, swollen lymph nodes, or anything else that appears to be due to an allergic reaction to the insect’s bite.
Cockroaches are a pest and one of the most common bugs in Georgia. They grow to around an inch long and are dark brown or black with long antennae extending from their heads. They live in basements, under the sink, and in the kitchen. They can also be found in other dark areas of your home, like the attic.
The bite of a cockroach can be painful because it injects saliva into your skin when it bites you causing swelling, redness, and itching at the site of the bite. It needs to be treated if there is an allergic reaction or infection at the bite site. Medical attention is required if there is cellulitis or tissue inflammation beneath the skin.
Fleas are little insects that live on dogs, cats, and other small animals. Fleas are tiny, which makes it hard to see them. They can sometimes be found in homes where they have infested your pet. They are typically found in the fur of their hosts, but they also live in cracks and crevices of homes and gardens.
Flea bites are incredibly itchy and can last for days after the initial bite. If a flea bites you, it’s essential to wash the area thoroughly with soap and water before applying an anti-itch cream or lotion to soothe your skin. You should also see a doctor if your bite is getting worse or if you notice any redness around it.
12. Berry Bugs
The berry bug is a tiny, wingless insect with a red and black body. They are also widely called chiggers.
These bugs in Georgia are most commonly seen in oak trees during spring. They can also be found in hickory, sweetgum, hawthorn, and other trees and on sycamore leaves in late summer.
When these bugs bite humans or animals, it causes irritation that lasts several hours. This irritation can be painful at times. If you believe that you have been bitten by one of these insects, then it’s recommended that you immediately wash the area where it happened with soap and water.
Earwigs are a type of beetle that have wings and pincers. The insect is often found in Georgia, especially in the southern part of the state. Earwigs can be found in many environments, including homes and gardens. These are common bugs in Georgia, and they’re also known to hide under rocks or logs.
The bite of an earwig can cause swelling, itching, and irritation at the site of contact. If you are bitten by an earwig, washing your skin with soap and water is essential so that you don’t get an infection from being exposed to harmful bacteria or germs.
Centipedes are long, segmented invertebrate that are typically found in Georgia. They can reach up to eight inches in length and have many legs. They can be found in a wide range of habitats, including houses and barns, but they are most commonly spotted in the southern part of the state.
The sting may cause swelling or pain at the site but does not usually require medical treatment unless there are complications such as an allergic reaction or tissue damage caused by multiple stings, in which case you should seek medical attention.
15. Biting Midge
The biting midge is a small fly most active from late spring to early fall. Biting midges can be found in Georgia all year round and like to live in wooded areas near water. They especially love to hang out near rivers, lakes, ponds, and streams.
The bite itself isn’t painful, but the itchiness that comes after can make it seem like it hurts much more than it does. You should treat bites with calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream if they bother you too much.
16. Bed Bugs
Bed Bugs are a household pest and one of the most common bugs in Georgia. These bugs are small, flat insects that are brown or red. They usually live in beds but can also be found in the cracks and crevices of couches, box springs, or other furniture.
The bites of bedbugs may appear as an itchy red welt on your skin. These welts can become inflamed and swollen after several days of being bitten by these parasites. If you notice these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately. If untreated, the bite could lead to secondary infections such as cellulitis or impetigo.
17. Mud Daubers
Mud Daubers are part of the same family as bees and wasps. Their body is black or brown with yellow markings on their face and thorax. Mud Daubers are not a common sight in Georgia but they are usually found in the northwest part of the state,. They seem to prefer busy areas like parks and playgrounds. During the winter, they hibernate in their nests, which can be found under rocks or logs.
The bite of a Mud Dauber is often described as similar to a bee sting. It’s painful but not deadly. However, if you’re allergic or have an underlying health condition like diabetes or asthma, you should always seek medical attention after being stung by this insect.
18. Southern Devil Scorpion
The Southern Devil Scorpion is a dark brown scorpion found in Georgia. Their bodies are quite big compared to other scorpions, and their tails are long and thick, which helps them detect vibrations in their environment. They prefer to live underneath rocks and logs or inside rotting logs or trees. They’re active at night and during the day but not during scorching hours.
Southern Devil Scorpions have been known to inflict painful stings on humans. The sting can be excruciating but is not considered dangerous unless one has a severe allergic reaction. If you are stung by a Southern Devil Scorpion, seek medical attention immediately, especially if you have an allergic reaction to the sting or difficulty breathing or swallowing.
19. Yellow Jackets
Yellow jackets are a type of wasp whose nests can be found in just about any part of Georgia. They are big insects with thick bodies, long legs, and distinctive yellow-and-black stripes on their abdomens. Yellow jackets usually build their nests in the ground or under a building. They have also been known to inhabit attics and chimneys.
The sting of a yellow jacket is painful and can cause swelling and itching. If you’ve been stung by one you’ll likely only experience mild discomfort, but if you’re stung multiple times or have an allergic reaction to the venom, your symptoms will be much worse.
If you’ve been stung by one a yellow jacket it may be best to get medical attention.
Horseflies are large, brownish-black flies with thick bodies and long legs, small heads, large eyes, and a large, hairy abdomen. These insects live in marshes, wet meadows, and other wetland areas of Georgia. They can also be found in other places with large numbers of insects.
The bite of a horsefly causes pain, swelling, itching, and sometimes redness around the area where it bit you. The bite will also leave behind a bump on your skin which can be sore for several days.
The bite can also lead to allergic reactions and may need to be seen by a doctor. Other than that, the bite does not need to be treated, but it is recommended to wash the area with soap and water for about 15 minutes after getting bit.