Vietnam has become more popular as a tourist destination in the last decade, and with beautiful places like the Mekong Delta, it’s easy to see why. However, insects can put a damper on any holiday, which is why tourists often ask if there are a lot of bugs in Vietnam.
Yes, there are a lot of bugs in Vietnam. Insects like hornets, Vietnamese centipedes, fire ants, giant stick insects, forest scorpions, flies, and mosquitoes, are prevalent in Vietnam. Bites or stings from these insects can be painful but are not deadly.
Are There A Lot Of Bugs In Vietnam?
Although there are a lot of bugs in Vietnam, many of these are not dangerous but are a nuisance. Some bugs can inflict a lot of pain with their bite or sting and cause problems for people with allergies.
The locals in Vietnam don’t take their pets outside too often during the rainy season because the insects are hungry and looking for food. The blood-sucking insects like to feed off of the pets, which can be harmful as some insects carry diseases.
The insects move closer to human homes as their natural food sources and shelter are washed away by the heavy rains. The insects invade human homes to find food and shelter. Because these conditions are ideal, they spread quickly.
Some of the most common insects that can infest a home in Vietnam are ants, cockroaches, termites, mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and flies. However, there are other insects that tourists will find interesting when visiting Vietnam.
What Are Interesting Types Of Insects In Vietnam?
Vietnam is home to many wild animals and insects alike, and while some can be a pain to deal with, like houseflies and cockroaches, some can be described as strange and unique.
Vietnamese Giant Centipedes
The Vietnamese giant centipede is a very common insect in Vietnam. They are around 8 inches long and can be found in forests, parks, and cities. They look for food and shelter when there are heavy rainstorms, so tourists should be aware they might encounter them where they stay.
While the giant centipedes are not actively aggressive, they will attack if something is in their way or they feel threatened. The locals tend to steer clear of them because their bite is said to be more painful than a spider or snake bite.
A centipede bite is not fatal, but the small amount of venom in their bite can stay in the body for days, and it’s said that no amount of painkillers will dampen the pain. So tourists should check under the sheets, in their shoes, and in corners before they go to bed when visiting Vietnam.
One of the more unique insects in Vietnam is the stick insect. In 2014 the world’s largest stick insect was found in Vietnam and measured over a foot long (around 32 cm). It was captured by members of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS).
Many stick insect species are found all over Vietnam, and people have seen them when walking in parks or on trees and plants outside their windows. They are harmless and will stay deathly still if they feel threatened.
They are fragile insects whose limbs can easily break off if improperly handled. Juvenile stick insects or nymphs are more delicate than adults and should be handled carefully. Scientists suggest using a piece of paper to transfer it and not picking it up if the person can help it.
Fire ants are a huge problem in Vietnam, and the problem has spread to other countries. For example, a shipping container traveling from Vietnam to Japan was recently invested with fire ants. A worker found the shipping container in the Fukuyama port, and authorities have ramped up efforts to deal with this dangerous insect.
The container was sealed and treated with insecticide, but that didn’t stop the ants from going on a trip to Japan. These fire ants are poisonous, and a bite can cause anaphylactic shock and lead to death in the elderly and young children.
Fire ants are typically native to South America but have taken up residence in Asian countries. The invasive species are complex to eliminate, but Japan is trying to eliminate them for good. They can be found everywhere in Vietnam but are most common in the forests.
It is thought that they hitchhiked on cargo ships from South America to Vietnam, and their population has thrived ever since.
Mosquitoes are irritating in any country, but the ones in Vietnam could carry many deadly viruses such as Malaria, Dengue, Yellow, Zika, and Chikungunya fever. Therefore, travelers to Vietnam are advised to seek medical attention if their mosquito bites get inflamed, and they start to feel ill.
Forest scorpions are not true insects but rather arthropods and are mostly found in the peatland forests of Vietnam. They can hide in dark areas or under rocks, and they are fluorescent like most other scorpion species.
They are not aggressive but will sting if they feel threatened. Their venom is not deadly, but the sting can cause swelling, pain, and discomfort, and tourists should seek medical care if they are stung by one of these scorpions.
Do Vietnamese People Eat Insects?
The insects in Vietnam have afforded the locals a unique opportunity for extra income. They sell all kinds of insects as food. So it’s not uncommon to see fried spiders or steamed crickets when visiting street vendors in Ho Chi Minh City.
Read more: Do They Eat Insects In Vietnam?
Tourists can try their hand at insect-eating contests or enjoy a date night at one of many insect restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Some of the dishes you can find at these restaurants or street vendors offer insects that can be eaten alive or cooked.
For example, they have a dish where they take live coconut worms and dip them in fish sauce before eating them, while others make them in a stir-fry fashion with fried veggies and onions. These restaurants or street vendors also off a variety of small reptiles fried on a stick or in a dough.