20+ Must-Know Insects & Bugs in Vietnam That Bite & Sting

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Last updated on October 14, 2022 by Wandering our World

Vietnam is a beautiful place to visit with a rich and diverse culture, from bustling cities to quiet, rural countryside. Its beaches stretch for miles, there’s mountains teeming with wildlife, and there’s many colorful cities filled with delicious food. But Vietnam’s beauty sometimes comes at a price.

You will encounter all kinds of insects and bugs in Vietnam, some that bite and sting which could put a dampener on your vacation.

That’s why we’ve compiled this list of Vietnam’s most common bugs and insects to watch out for, and where they can be found. So you can be prepared for what to expect when visiting this beautiful country.


20 Bugs & Insects in Vietnam That Bite & Sting

1. Bumble Bees

Bumble bees are a common sight in the jungles of Vietnam. They range from black to yellow, and their bodies are covered with dense hair which gives them a fuzzy appearance. Bees are generally found in shrubs or trees where they build their nests by burrowing into the side of the bark.

The sting of a bumble bee can be painful and itchy, but it doesn’t usually need to be treated. However, if you have an allergy to bee stings or if your skin becomes red and swollen after being stung, then you should seek medical attention immediately because it can cause severe reactions if left untreated over time.


2. Vietnamese Giant Centipede

The Vietnamese giant centipede is one of the largest species of centipede in the world and can grow up to 8 inches long! These creatures are usually found under rocks or logs in forests, caves, grasslands, and farms. They are also common in villages and homes because they feed on cockroaches, worms, and termites.

The insect’s venom contains toxin that can cause pain, swelling, and tissue damage at the bite site. Although the bite is painful, it’s not considered life-threatening unless it becomes severely infected. If you get bitten by a Vietnamese giant centipede, you should seek medical attention immediately because it can be fatal if left untreated, mainly if a severe allergic reaction occurs.


3. Hornets

Hornets are a type of wasp, and their bodies are black or brown, with yellow-orange stripes, thin waists, prominent eyes, and a stinger at the end of their abdomens. They can be found all over Vietnam, but they’re most common in the northern and mountainous regions of the country. These insects usually build their nests on tree branches, homes, and buildings.

If you get stung by a hornet, you may experience pain similar to a bee sting. The venom injected into your skin will cause swelling, redness, and swelling in your lymph nodes.

See a doctor immediately if you feel like that pain is getting worse or experience shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. They can prescribe an antihistamine or steroid cream to help reduce swelling and itching.


4. Fire Ants

Fire ants are stinging insects that can be found all over Vietnam. They are small, red-orange in color, and have thin waists and six legs. These common Vietnam bugs can be found under rocks, logs, or debris near their nests. They are usually found on the ground, but they can also be found on trees and other vegetation.

Fire ants have a painful bite that can cause swelling, itching, pain, and burning sensations at the site of the bite.

While most people experience only mild symptoms after being bitten by fire ants, some may develop an allergic reaction. It is essential to treat your wound with an antiseptic cream or an antibiotic ointment as soon as possible after being bitten by a fire ant so that you don’t get an infection from it.

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5. Yellowjackets

Yellowjackets are wasps that are found throughout the world, including in Vietnam. They have a long, thin body that is brownish-yellow in color, a black-and-yellow banded tail, and elongated wings.

Yellowjackets are often found in areas with lots of vegetation, including forests, grasslands, and woodlands. They are commonly found along the edges of parks and gardens in urban areas.

These Vietnam bugs have a painful sting that can cause swelling. The sting is usually not dangerous but causes an allergic reaction if you’re allergic to it. If you get stung by a yellow jacket, apply ice packs or cold compress to reduce swelling. If you suffer a severe allergic reaction to their venom, you may need medical attention immediately because this may indicate an infection has set in.


6. Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are small, flat insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. They are reddish-brown in color, oval, wingless, and have flat bodies which enable them to hide in cracks and crevices. Bed bugs are often found in beds but may also be found in nightstands, headboards, dressers, carpeting, floors, and walls.

The bite of a bedbug isn’t painful or itchy at first. It usually takes a few days for the bite to develop into itchy red dots or bumps that resembles a mosquito bite. If a bed bug has bitten you, wash the area with soap and water and put some ice on it for about 15 minutes. If the bite does not improve after 24 hours or if it gets worse, see your doctor immediately.


7. Fleas

Fleas are tiny, wingless insects that feed on the blood of mammals and birds. They are prevalent in Vietnam, and they tend to hide in places where it is warm and dark, such as under furniture or in bedding.

They are most common in rural areas where dogs and cats roam free, but they can be found anywhere there is a high density of animals. Fleas can also live outside in shrubs, trees, and leaves of other plants.

The bite of a flea is often painless, but it may cause itching and irritation. Fleas can also cause an allergic reaction, which may be severe enough to require medical attention. If a flea has bitten you, you will want to treat it as soon as possible. That will help prevent infection and relieve symptoms like itching or swelling.


8. Black Flies

Black flies are small, black insects that are quite common bugs in Vietnam. These insects have huge compound eyes, large wings, and short antennae. They can be found in humid areas, near rivers, ponds, and lakes, as well as in forests and grasslands.

The bite of black flies is painful, but it’s not dangerous unless you’re allergic to it. If a black fly bites you, you’ll probably experience itching and swelling at the site of the bite. Some people experience a rash after being bitten. If you are allergic to black flies, it’s essential to treat the bite immediately with an antihistamine or steroid cream to prevent a severe reaction.


9. Midges

Midges are tiny, blood-sucking flies that can be found throughout the world including Vietnam. These little insects are small and have a brown or greyish color, often with dark markings. They are usually found near water and grassy areas, as they need trees and bushes to lay their eggs.

The bite of a midge isn’t painful but can cause itching and a burning sensation. These bites can also leave behind large welts that may take days to heal and become infected if not properly cared for. If a midge bites you, wash the area with soap and water as soon as possible to reduce irritation. You can also apply an antiseptic cream or spray to reduce pain and swelling, but this will not prevent infection if bacteria gets into the wound.


10. Vietnam Forest Scorpions

The Vietnam Forest Scorpion is a giant scorpion with a dark brown or black body and a long tail that can grow up to 12 cm long. These Vietnam bugs are found in tropical forests, where they spend most of their time on the ground or in tree hollows.

The sting of a Vietnam forest scorpion can be painful but not fatal unless you’re allergic, though it can cause swelling at the site of the sting and may require medical attention. If you have been stung by a Vietnam forest scorpion, you should seek medical attention immediately because it could be poisonous or cause an infection.


11. Horse Flies

Horse Flies are hairy flies as large as bees that are often found in rural areas. Their bodies are usually black and yellow with striped abdomens and wings with dark spots. In Vietnam, horse flies can be found in the lowlands and valleys of the north and south. They tend to stay near water sources such as ponds and rivers, where they lay their eggs.

The bite of a horse fly is painful but usually only causes minor swelling and itching at best. It does not need to be treated unless it becomes infected by bacteria from the wound caused by the insect’s mouth parts. If you’re bitten by a horse fly, clean the area with soap and water, then apply an antiseptic cream or antibiotic ointment.


12. Asian Tiger Mosquito

The Asian Tiger Mosquito is a mosquito with a black body with white stripes on its legs and body and white spots on its head and thorax, making it easy to identify from other mosquitoes. They are typically found in urban areas with standing water or containers that can collect rainwater. They also tend to thrive in areas with high humidity and vegetation.

The bite of these bugs in Vietnam can be irritating and it can swell. The swelling is not very painful but can cause itchy bumps on your skin. You do not need to treat the bite of an Asian tiger mosquito unless you have an allergy to its saliva. You should see your doctor for treatment if you have an allergy to their saliva.

iStock.com/Andrei Sauko

13. Yellow Sac Spider

The Yellow Sac Spider has a yellow, tan, or greenish body with black or dark feet, and its abdomen is yellow with dark stripes running lengthwise. It’s usually found in wooded areas and in houses or buildings. They are typically found in dark corners and crevices, such as under logs, rocks, and furniture.

Their bite is not considered harmful to humans but can cause itching, swelling, and redness. In some cases, it can cause pain or a rash. If this spider bites you, wash the area with soap and water. If you develop an allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately, as it could be life-threatening.


14. Ticks

Ticks are tiny, brown arachnids found in the grass and undergrowth of Vietnam. They are typically no more than an apple seed in size, but they can grow larger if they’ve been feeding on blood. They are usually found on the ground and in areas with tall grasses, bushes, and dense shrubs, and they tend to be most active during the rainy season.

The bite is not painful but can cause a reaction ranging from mild itching to severe swelling and pain. In rare cases, it may cause an allergic reaction that requires medical treatment or you could catch a disease. If you get bitten by a tick, wash the area with soap and water as soon as possible.


15. Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are frequently mistaken for bumblebees because of their black-and-yellow coloration, but they are larger than bumblebees and don’t have such a fuzzy appearance. They have smooth and shiny abdomen without any yellow spots.

Carpenter bees usually build their nests in dead or dying trees, but they can also nest in houses and other wooden structures.

If you are stung by a carpenter bee, it may leave behind a small red bump on your skin accompanied by itchiness, swelling, and pain. In some cases, the sting may cause nausea or dizziness as well as headaches and difficulty breathing due to allergic reactions. You should seek medical attention immediately if you notice signs of a severe allergic reaction.


16. Berry Bugs (Chiggers)

Berry Bugs are tiny, reddish-brown insects commonly found throughout the world including in Vietnam. They are so small that they are hard to see with the naked eye and tend to be found on the ground or in trees, but you may also find them in your garden. You might notice them crawling around your yard or on the walls of your house if it’s warm outside.

The bite of this insect isn’t dangerous unless you’re allergic to them. However, it can irritate for up to 24 hours after being bitten. If you get bitten by one, wash the area with soap and water as quickly as possible. If you have an allergy and experience swelling and itching at the bite site, go to your doctor for treatment immediately.


17. Termites

Termites are tiny insects that are generally dark brown or black, with some variations depending on the species. They have a body shape similar to ants but are larger and have straight antennae. Termites are usually found in the Northern and Central regions of Vietnam. They are typically found in soil, wood, and other organic materials that they can feed on.

Termite bites can cause pain, swelling, itching, and burning sensations at the bite site. Some people may experience allergic reactions such as hives or difficulty breathing after being bitten by termites. The bite doesn’t need to be treated unless it breaks the skin or causes an allergic reaction.


18. Cockroaches

Cockroaches are small, brown insects that can fly and are often found in households. They have two long antennae, six legs, and flat bodies ranging from 1 to 2 inches long. They can be found anywhere there is food or water, but prefer warm, moist places such as kitchens or bathrooms.

The bite of cockroaches can cause allergic reactions in some people. These reactions include swelling, pain, and itching at the bite site, as well as fever and nausea in severe cases. If a cockroach has bitten you, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention immediately, especially if you have an allergy to the insect’s saliva or dust from its body.


19. Batik Golden Web Spider

The Batik Golden Web Spider is an unusual creature found in Vietnam. It’s about 3 cm long and has a golden and black-colored body with yellow spots on its abdomen. It is typically found in tropical forests and makes its webs between trees or shrubs.

The bite from these bugs in Vietnam does not cause serious health problems but may cause pain, swelling, redness, and itching at the site where it was bitten for up to two weeks.

If you find yourself bitten by one of these creatures, you should wash the area with soap and water to prevent infection. You should also see a doctor immediately to avoid possible complications such as an allergic reaction or infection.

20. Honey Bees

Honey bees are small, yellow, and fuzzy. These Vietnam bugs have black and yellow stripes on their abdomen and a stinger. In Vietnam, you can find honey bees everywhere, in gardens, farms, and even in urban areas.

A honey bee’s sting can cause several hours of swelling, itching, redness, and pain. The bee’s venom can be dangerous to humans if they are allergic to them. So if you get stung and experience symptoms besides mild local irritation, such as difficulty breathing or hives, you should seek medical attention immediately.


  • Wandering our World

    Hi and welcome to Wandering our World! This article was written by one of the Wandering our World team - a team of travel enthusiasts who live around the globe.