The ‘creepy crawlies’ that ‘families’ should steer clear of

Even some of Europe’s prettiest destinations have creepy crawlies Britons should keep an eye out. Christopher Nye, senior editor at Property Guides, said: “Us Brits are quite fortunate in the fact that we don’t have to worry about our wildlife too much.

“We only have one venomous snake in the Isles and our native insects and arachnids are pretty tame. The same can generally be said of most European countries, however the hotter climates have produced some slightly nastier creepy crawlies that unsuspecting families should steer clear of – particularly when you’re further out in the sticks.”

Asian hornet (France and Spain)

Although the Asian hornet is indigenous to southeast Asia, it reached France in 2003 and Spain in about 2010.

They don’t tend to be overly aggressive but could sting if they feel threatened or if their nest is attacked. The hornets are generally about three to four centimetres long but the queens can be longer than 5cm.

Long-nosed adder (South eastern Europe)

Tourists travelling to countries such as Hungary, Austria, Italy or northern Albania, might need to look out for the long-nosed adder.

The small viper is generally spotted in farms, open fields and rocky slopes and is very unlikely to be seen in a city.

The long-nosed adder is responsible for fatal bites in extreme cases but chances of survival are good with medical aid.

Its venom is haemotoxic and causes severe pain and massive tissue damage. It should always be avoided if spotted.

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Processionary Pine Caterpillars (Spain)

Although these interesting caterpillars might look cute and furry, they can be extremely dangerous for children and dogs.

Their ‘fluffy’ looking hair is actually toxic and can cause rashes, eye irritation, coughing and allergic reactions.

The caterpillar’s hairs are also carried in the wind and they can be found all over Spain and other parts of Europe.

The bugs have even been spotted in the UK as global warming pushes the species further north.

Mediterranean Funnel Web Spider (Coastal Mediterranean areas)

The funnel web spider earns its name from its funnel shaped webs and is one of the largest species of spider in Europe.

Around 30mm long, the female spiders are usually bigger than their counterparts and can be found in coastal Mediterranean areas.

The spiders are active all year round and their bites can cause a nasty sting so they’re definitely best avoided.

Black widow spider (France)

The Black Widow spider is active in Corsica, Provence and along the Atlantic coast and is the most dangerous arachnid in France.

The spider’s venom is about 15 times stronger than rattlesnake venom, and causes extreme injury.

Its bite can damage the nervous system, cause hallucinations or even behavioural disorders but most victims recover without serious complications.

The scary spider can also be found through the wider Mediterranean region or even in central Asia.

Tourists can find more information about bugs to watch out for on the NHS website or Beware of the Bugs.

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