Most animals and insects in Thailand are harmless. Even the imposing looking monitor lizards in Thailand would be hard pressed to attack someone unless a drunken individual decided to unwisely mount and ride one. The fact is that most animals are more scared of us than we are of them. Although there are some factors you should be aware of when it comes to dangerous critters in Thailand.
Protection against the biggest killer on Earth
As most people know, the mosquito is the number one killer of people in the world. Most estimates quote a figure of around one million deaths each year as a result of disease passed on through mosquito bites.
First of all, there are the obvious protective measures, such as mosquito spray, bats, cream, anti-malaria tablets etc. And although they are all effective in their own ways, there are two even more obvious deterrents that many people overlook. The first is to wear long sleeved tops and long trousers, which cuts down about 80 percent of bites, and the other weapon in your arsenal is . . . wait for it . . . a fan. Yes, a fan. If you are sitting somewhere with a fan directed at you mosquitoes will be unable to fly effectively in strong air currents, as let’s face it, they are about as robust as bits of fluff.
Snakes and stealth don’t mix
Avoid walking through areas of tall grass or undergrowth, but if you have to walk in an area where there may be snakes, such as cobras, vipers or even a King Cobra, don’t tread lightly, tread heavily. Hammer each footstep down onto the ground to create vibrations that will warn off snakes that may be nearby, giving them time to slither away and escape, rather than be startled by someone trying to tread through undergrowth stealthily like a ninja.
Foot-long centipedes from Hell
Always be mindful of centipedes that may be hiding inside banana plants, drains, in trees or wherever there is a crevice. The dark red (sometimes called black centipedes) are the most dangerous type and can move at incredible speeds. They can take your leg out for a week or cause life-threatening complications if you happen to have an allergic reaction.
If you are unlucky enough to be bitten by one of these scary looking critters, soak the bite in hot water (but not too hot) to relieve the pain and wash the area with soap.
Dangerous spiders in Thailand
First of all, there is good news . . . scorpion bites are rarely fatal in Thailand, so be wary of scorpions but they are not as lethal as in some other countries with more dangerous species of scorpion. Also, there are very few dangerously poisonous spiders in Thailand. Although there are black widows, tarantulas and orb weavers to be found in some areas. If you are a healthy adult with no allergic reaction to those three spiders’ bites then the possibility of a fatality is extremely unlikely. Everyone is naturally wary of spiders, so unless you have a made a hobby out of diving into spiders’ webs to do a selfie, then the chances of being bitten by a dangerous spider in Thailand are thin.
Killers lurking underwater
Death by box jellyfish stings have been reported lately in some coastal areas, so always check with locals whether or not there are jellyfish present when heading out and swimming in the sea. Also, it may be a smart idea to only swim in areas where people are already swimming, making doubly sure you are not going to run into a jellyfish. There are poisonous sea snakes in Thailand, so think twice before deciding to snorkel around rocky areas of coast land, and beware of stepping on rockfish or upsetting an aggressive dragonfish amongst coral.
Having pointed out all of these potentially dangerous animals present in Thailand, you are far more likely to be bitten by a street dog. If a street dog starts to bark and threaten you or close in on you for a bite, raise something up into the air above your head, such as a rucksack, bag, wallet, keys etc. I’m not saying that this method will work every time, but -this method several times has worked for people several times, as the dog becomes concerned because something may be slammed down on its head whilst it attempts a bite.