Pest Issues

What Bit You? Australian Insect Bites Identification

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There is nothing better than spending some time in nature, just relaxing and enjoying the great outdoors. As pleasant as it is, you still need to look out for outdoor pests. Preparing beforehand will make things later much more manageable. For example, you can always use a repellent and wear long sleeves to have a trouble-free experience. Some bugs can be extremely annoying but harmless, while others can pose a danger to your health if they bite you. To find out what you’re dealing with, first, you have to identify the insect.

Here, you will learn how to identify different types of Australian insect bites and stings and ways to prevent those insects from entering your home.

Insect bite identification:

Bites and stings: Pictures and Symptoms

Insect bites and stings might all look the same to the untrained eye. Here you can find a list of the most common insects you might encounter in Australia, pictures of their bites or stings and an explanation of the symptoms you can experience.


Those little outdoor inhabitants can be quite dangerous. Most cities in Australia spray insecticides on public parks to keep the problem under control. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take your measures against them.

Some of the tick-borne diseases are:

  • Tick typhus (Spotted fever)
  • Lyme disease
  • Tick paralysis
  • Accompanying symptoms might include fever, headaches, rashes.

More about tick-borne diseases and how to prevent them you can find here.

Ticks range anywhere from the size of a pinhead to as big as a fingernail. It’s impossible not to feel if one bites you. Often it’s fairly painful. Unlike mosquitoes that quickly feed with blood then fly away (for now), ticks may stay attached to the human body for as long as ten days before falling off.

It’s always a good idea to visit a doctor to remove it, and it’s best to be done as soon as possible. Ticks grow when they are inside a host, which means that they can be harder to remove. Also, for sanitary reasons, it’s best to let a professional do it.

Ticks usually seek warm and moist places on the human body. If one finds itself on your body, it will likely go to the armpits, in your hair or groins. We suggest you inspect yourself once you get home after a day spent in the outdoors.

Examples of tick bites

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The mosquito, being dubbed the deadliest animal worldwide, has killed more people than any other animal. To this day, mosquitoes carry various diseases that can be transmitted to humans through a single bite. We suggest you protect yourself from mosquitoes by using repellents. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the bites if they get infected, especially on those who are allergic.

Some of the mosquito-borne diseases are:

  • Murray valley encephalitis virus
  • Ross river virus
  • Barmah forest virus
  • Dengue virus

You can find more information about mosquito-borne diseases here.

Mosquitoes can be quite persistent with their infestation and challenging to get rid of. They are the type of pest that you can’t control, and you can’t protect yourself from coming to your property. You can try to remove any still water around your home; however, you can’t control your neighbour’s backyard.

Because of that, the only way to keep mosquitoes away is to use insecticides and foggers if you don’t want to spray around your home with chemical compounds.

Examples of mosquito bites


Ants are the little warriors of the animal world. They are everywhere, and often you will meet them if you are going out for a picnic or, unfortunately, in your home. While most of them dangerous, Australia is home to some aggressive species like the jack jumper and green-head ant.

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The little pests can ruin every outdoor picnic, but when you spot them in your home, things get serious. If you start to see them frequently on your property, then you should find the cause. For example, if you leave food around your home, that might cause an ant infestation.

That’s why it’s essential to put food away and to keep your home and garden pest-free. If there isn’t food for ants to eat, then it’s far less likely for them to consider your home as a suitable living space. If you already have an infestation going on, it’s best to call a professional to deal with this situation because ants can be quite stubborn pests.

You can use peppermint oil to keep ants at bay. And it smells fantastic if you’re keen on the minty smell, of course!

Examples of ant bites

Has the ant infestation got out of hand? Call a pro!

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Spiders may be the least understood creatures. Yes, they are creepy and scary, but often they are harmless to humans. That is unless you provoke venomous spiders, of course.

You should be alert because a single bite from the wrong species might lead to you getting hospitalised. To protect yourself when going outdoors, you can use repellents or peppermint oil, which work both from spiders, ants and mosquitos.

Examples of spider bites

Spider bites can be a lot more dangerous, and those pictured above are mild or early-stage reactions. We suggest you always seek medical assistance if you know the spider is a venomous species.


Most of the flies you’re going to encounter in your life are most likely not dangerous. But they can be exceptionally annoying. The little buzzing insects can ruin anyone’s outdoor experience, especially if you’re eating in nature (or at home, for that matter). Flies carry diseases, and just crawling on your food can contaminate it.

Fly diseases:

  • Dysentery
  • Diarrhoea
  • Typhoid
  • Cholera

But that’s for the common housefly. Other species, like the march flies (or horse flies), have bites that are so painful and can cause serious allergic reactions.

To protect yourself, you can use strong insect repellents in the form of gel or lotion that include either diethyltoluamide (DEET) or picaridin. Wearing long, loose-fitting clothing will help too. Keep in mind that the march flies are attracted to dark colours, especially navy blue, so you better choose light coloured clothes.

Examples of fly bites


The fast jumping, nasty biting little pests can be a pain in the neck if they ever find their way into your home. And the worst thing is that only one flea can drive your family crazy because of how hard they are to kill.

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This tiny pest can find itself in your home in numerous ways if you have some pet that goes both outside and inside daily. It’s hard to know if you are going to bring a flea at home. It might be from an animal that you petted while in the park, etc.

There isn’t a whole lot that insecticides can do. A couple of things that we can do is to protect ourselves during the day and protect our pests at all times. The most common method for protecting the little animal companions we love so much is using IPM – Integrated Pest Management. This method kills the flea in one of two stages, but it isn’t beneficial to keep others away from your pet. That’s why it’s also a good idea to speak with a vet about the best way to treat fleas long term.

For your home, there is one thing you can do. Spraying insecticides is the only way to remove the infestation.

Examples of flea bites


Bee stings can be painful and, in some cases, dangerous. If you’re allergic, several bee stings can get you hospitalised. With 1-2% of the population having severe reactions, it’s important to keep bees away from your property and family.

While bees are scary for anyone allergic (or with a phobia), they can sting you only once since they die afterwards. The problem gets more serious if there’s a bee nest nearby. Don’t attempt removing the nest by yourself since you might only agitate the bees. Contact an appropriately equipped professional that knows how to deal with the little honey makers. That’s the best way to remove a nest from your property. Keep in mind that you might have bee-attracting plants in your garden, so pay attention to what you’re planting.

Examples of bee stings


Wasps, unlike bees, are merciless and can sting multiple times. Needless to say, deciding to remove a wasp nest on your own is not a good idea.

Like other pests, wasps are attracted by food, so the best way to keep them away is to restrict access to food in and around your home. Wasps eat meat, so when you make barbeque out in the yard, keep the food covered and don’t leave any leftovers behind when you’re done. Other than this, use a trashcan with a lid, which will keep other pests away, like possums.

Examples of wasp stings

Tired of those pesky insects? Book a pest control service!

When it comes to pest treatment, the sooner it’s done, the better. Don’t put it off for longer.

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  • Being able to identify what Australian insect bit you might save your life or a trip to the hospital.
  • You can protect yourself when going outside by using repellent sprays and wearing long sleeves.
  • You can prevent insects from invading your home by cleaning often and don’t leave uncovered food.
  • When things get out of hand, you can call a professional pest control company to treat your home. It’s best not to wait, as the problem won’t fix itself. The longer the infestation has been going on, the more expensive it gets to treat it.

Did you have a bad experience and an insect bit you? Did you find out which one was the culprit? Comment down below!

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2 years ago

Spiders are not poisonous, they’re venomous. You don’t eat them.

Gratsiela Borisova
Gratsiela Borisova
1 year ago
Reply to  Joy

Thank you for that, we applied the correction.

Jonnie Bray
Jonnie Bray
23 days ago

No you didn’t. The article still refers to poisonous spiders…

Shirley Parpatt
Shirley Parpatt
1 year ago

I did get bit (I assume) by something in Adelaide but I don’t know that. I did not know about it (didn’t feel it) until I saw a blister. Then a brown line starting moving up my leg about 8 inches or so. Then it stopped. Otherwise I would have went to emerg.

John Baxter
John Baxter
5 months ago

Tonight a 2.5 inch brown hard shell thing fell out of a tree, landed near my thumb on the inside of my left hand, then kept on biting me, until I shook it off. The bite is painful, the inside of my hand near the thumb is quite red and swollen.I can see the bite mark hole in my thumb,
My sister who was a hospital sister told to put white vinegar on it.
Please is this sufficient?

The Fantastic Team
The Fantastic Team
5 months ago
Reply to  John Baxter

Hello, John. That sounds quite serious and we highly advice you to visit your doctor. We’re not health professionals, so we can’t advice you any further than that.

2 months ago

Yesterday I was being bitten by a small fly, the bites felt like a March fly. Overnight, one of the bites on my thigh grew into a large, hot red lump the size of a tennis ball that is insanely itchy and a few other bites have swollen up, also itchy. What is this?

The Fantastic Team
The Fantastic Team
2 months ago
Reply to  Natalie

Hi, Natalie. 10 days after, we hope the bite completely disappeared. We have to be honest that we’d be speculating what it was without a photo.

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