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Insects in Japan, dangerous, where to find.. 2012/11/22 00:55
Hiya,
Going to Japan probably next year in May-June. I recently read about ''mukake'' centipede I think it was being poisonous (deadly?). Are there any other insects that could appear during this time that I should avoid? I mean, that could be deadly or making me sick. I dont give a damn about cockroaches, they just pass by without any problem to me. I have also heard of Japanese Hornet which could be very dangerous. I suppose they do not accually go for killer hunting for random unless you walk too close to their nests though.

I will be travelling with a girl who is very afraid of insects, so if I could avoid any of them as much as possible I would love to know. Or if there is any way I could make them from not coming into the hotelroom etc. I would probably not care about the insects unless they are dangerous, but I would prefer to avoid any sleepless nights because of her being woken up and screaming of a spider in her bed. Maybe there are some page of information on this?
by Gifu Joe (guest)  

Re: Insects in Japan, dangerous, where to find.. 2012/11/22 08:44
Statistically speaking, hornets are the most dangerous insect - if not animal - in Japan. They kill about two dozen humans per year. But in most cases it is farmers, hunters and gatherers who work in the undergrowth. If you just walk along streets and trails, it is extremely unlikely that you will get into troubles. It is the same with bear, boar and deer attacks.

Inside cities, insects are generally no issue. Only if you go into the countryside, you may encounter some. But Japan has almost no poisonous ones. It is a very pleasant country in that respect compared with other countries.
by Uji rate this post as useful

Re: Insects in Japan, dangerous, where to find.. 2012/11/22 16:14
BTW, "mukade" is correct for "centipede".
by max. 40 characters (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Insects in Japan, dangerous, where to find.. 2012/11/22 17:57
Where are you visiting? Unless you are planning to hike mountains, camp in the woods, or play at parks in the suburbs, your chances to enchounter Mukade or Suzumebachi (Hornets) is not much.

If the hotels you are staying are rather old, you may see cockroaches. They are huge and at large.
by jomonstrider (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Insects in Japan, dangerous, where to find.. 2012/11/22 23:05
With Mukade, you do have to be careful even in cities.
My wife has been affected by them a few times during gardening. It has resulted in a sort of spotted rash but nothing painful or permanent.

And I don't know about other cities but in Kyoto spiders and their webs are everywhere. It's almost humorous how many spider webs I see on a daily basis. I could go outside right now and take pictures of a huge spider web if I searched for 5-10 mins.

That said, none of these are really dangerous and you have to keep in mind that the presence of such bugs is a sign of a thriving natural environment.

I would probably be classified as a mild entomophobic by any standard. I have childhood trauma and I can't seem to overcome it but I just remind myself that the spiders eat the other insects and it helps me after the initial shock.

As for hornets, you probably shouldn't go into deep wooded areas without a guide anyway. There are cases of hornets building nests in urban areas but it's statistically unlikely that you will encounter them on your visit.
by CinJP (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Insects in Japan, dangerous, where to find.. 2012/11/23 01:57
You might come across centipedes (mukade) if you are a keen gardener but it won't be anything serious even so (don't touch them if found).

Cockroaches are the potential horror you might encounter if you live in towns here.

Japanese people are traditionally taught not to kill spiders but release them if found as they catch and eat bad insects. Don't know if there are seriously poisonous spiders in Japan- never encountered one in my 30 odd years life here.

I used to do a bit of mountain climbing and the only nuisance during Summer was a small hirudenia that I encountered at a rainy forest and subsequently tortured to death by matches.

Japan isn't a sort of place you'll see in Indiana Jones movie. You should be alright.

by Mukade (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Insects in Japan, dangerous, where to find.. 2012/11/23 02:07
Alright, thank you for your replies guys.

We will probably stay in just big cities like Osaka, Fukuoka, Sapporo, Tokyo, Okayama, perhaps once at a temple lodging near Osaka I think it was. Not going through thick forests or jungles unless there is a walking road or visible path there. Might go to places like Miyajima (I went up one of the hiking trails there once, dont think I ever encountered something more than rain and fog).

In Raizan South I stayed I saw a bug of some sort in the shower room, maybe cuz the window was open. Not sure what it was, black thing, probably no cochroach.

In WFC center I saw in the entrance a centipedelooking insect at the floor. Maybe it was mukake. I slept on the top floor however.

Maybe it is unwise to sleep with the window open at night? I had to last time though during the rainseason because it was so hot.

What if I would be bit by a mukake, say if it would crawl into bed during sleep? Should I visit doctor? I am not very good Japanese speaker so I fear a language barrier there...
by Gifu Joe (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Insects in Japan, dangerous, where to find.. 2012/11/23 09:04
First take note that as someone mentioned above it's mukade with a D, not mukake- you won't get far if you don't use the right word when trying to explain what happened.

Really I wouldn't worry too much. I've lived in japan for 12 years and never seen a live mukade, just a few dead ones. My wife is Japanese and has lived here for 39 years and never been bitten.

My mother was unlucky enough to be bitten by one in central Tokyo during a visit. we didn't see it, but looking at the bite and comparing it with pictures on the internet we are fairly sure it was a mukade. In her case it only swelled slightly and wasn't that painful, just itchy- nothing worth going to the doctor for.

Forget about the bugs and enjoy your stay- you are overthinking this issue a bit really!
by mukaDe (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Insects in Japan, dangerous, where to find.. 2012/11/23 18:51
Hi,

I am a Japanese living in a rural area in south Kyushu. Naturally there are many mukade in my land, and sometimes they come into my house. I have lived here for more than 10 years but non of my family members have been bitten by mukade. But we might be bitten in the future. So, I googled, and found interesting information about how to treat when you are bitten by mukade.

Contrary to common sense, you should wash out thoroughly the bitten area with hot water warmed at 43-46C, which temperature is supposed to denature the poisonous protein. Washing out by itself is also supposed to be effective. You might better use some kind of detergent to wash the poisonous mukade venom. Contrary to common sense, the website says you should not cool the bitten area, which should increase the pain.

It is very interesting site so that I recommend someone interested to read by themselves. Usually I link the site, but this time I do not because the site automatically plays some sounds which might be troublesome for some people. Google "How to treat a Centipede Bite by Tomoaki Ueda"

By the way I think the OP does not need to worry about mukade, as former poster wrote.

Enjoy your trip in Japan!
by frog1954 rate this post as useful

Re: Insects in Japan, dangerous, where to find.. 2012/11/24 01:18
About the Mukade by the way, are these aggressive kind of creatures like mosquitoes for example? Or do they only bite if teased or pinched by accident (like if you are sleeping and rolls over it if it is in the bed)?

Is it common to have these in a hotelroom for instance? I get kinda creeped by the idea of these things could possibly crawl over me all night without me notice, and then it would wake me to alert by a bite :(
by Senny (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Insects in Japan, dangerous, where to find.. 2012/11/24 08:19
About the Mukade by the way, are these aggressive kind of creatures like mosquitoes for example?

No, not at all! Unlike mosquitoes, the human has nothing to offer them. Therefore, it makes no sense for them, at all, to provocate a creature a million times bigger than themselves.

Is it common to have these in a hotelroom for instance?

No, they are never found in hotel rooms. Even in a bungalow on a run-down camp ground, it is unlikely to encounter them indoors.

In years of extensive Japan travel, I have only encountered insects/spiders twice in a hotel room. One was a run-down bungalow on Yakushima, which was inhabited by huge spiders. The other was a rural pension that could not keep out all the beetles during a shield bug pest. I encountered no bugs in the 1000 other hotel and ryokan rooms I stayed at.
by Uji rate this post as useful

Re: Insects in Japan, dangerous, where to find.. 2012/11/24 15:37
They're not interested in humans at all. They actually poison and eat insects that are more horrifying for the humans like cockroaches.
They aren't aggressive in nature towards humans at all and they are harmless as long as you don't touch them (they are small so accidentally you might touch them while gardening without noticing).

I can't imagine hotel rooms in Japan having mukade, although I can imagine scorpions in some regional US hotels.
by Mukadega mukatte kuru! (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Insects in Japan, dangerous, where to find.. 2012/11/24 23:10
I live in foot of Mt. Koya, Wakayama prefecture, since 2 years ago. In my yard , there are Mukades over 15cm.
I was living in Osaka before, I never saw such a big Mukade there. So when I saw them first I was terrified. In this area, people use to be cautious of them. If someone is bit by them he will have seriously damage.
(Osaka's Mukade and mountainous Mukade are not same)
http://www.google.co.jp/search?num=10&hl=ja&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source...
by BIG MUKADE IN COUNTRY YARD (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Insects in Japan, dangerous, where to find.. 2012/11/24 23:53
Thanks for your replies again guys. I think I might be able to handle it if seeing one, but I am terrified if my wife spots one on the journey. We have centipedes here for sure, but that's multi-big size compared to ours.

It is somehow quite amusing how some insects seem to be twice size in Japan compared to here. I would love to see a big-size ladybug if that was possible.
by Gifu Joe (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Insects in Japan, dangerous, where to find.. 2012/11/26 17:38
If you are luck enough to have a few "yamori" around then they will eat most unwanted bugs for you (not sure if they eat mukade?)
Yamori is a kind of common japanese gecko. I have a little guy that hangs about on the wall near my front door eating mosquitos for me and I live in Tokyo. The word yamori, usually written phonetically as , comes from the kanji Ɓi"ya" meaning house) ("mori" meaning defend,guard or protect). The japanese idea of this little "house protector" is so beautiful and makes yamori one of my favourite japanese words. I wonder if anyone knows what the etymology behind Ǝ Im assuming the reason for this name is because they eat unwanted bugs but not sure...anyone know?
by tokyoguy (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Insects in Japan, dangerous, where to find.. 2012/11/27 03:31
Oh I would love to see a yamori in Japan. I can stand geckos better than snakes or centipedes. We have no such creatures here.
by Gifu Joe (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Insects in Japan, dangerous, where to find.. 2012/12/2 21:27
i was bitten by a mukede... i have been here for 14 years and it was the first time..~!! it was in my home.. although my home is semi country side..
i quickly pin pricked the bite area many times and squeezed the blood out.. and then washed and applied aloe vera juice...
there was no swelling or pain... though i have seen people with terrible swelling and pain..
hope you will enjoy Japan~!!

by amanda ueta (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Insects in Japan, dangerous, where to find.. 2012/12/3 01:36
I wonder if I can add my question here, as this is kinda on the same matter.

I'm going to work a few months in Kansai area, with kids. My job description mentioned I'll be spending a lot of time outside in the kids, playing in the nature. The location is a small town surrounded by a lot of nature, I hear. During the summer I'll be working at summer camps too, so I bet I'll be a lot in forests/by river etc etc.

So my question: how to prepare for possible insect stings etc? I hear there's "killer wasps" in Japan, I kind of worry. Is there a way to prepare or some medicine in case I get stung or bitten?

I was wondering about the Japanese encephalitis vaccination too... When asked, I was told (by the Japanese) to not take the vaccination, they say it's not needed and too expensive anyway. I guess the disease is spread by mosquitos, should I worry?
by Butterfly (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Insects in Japan, dangerous, where to find.. 2012/12/4 03:51
Butterfly,

Suzumebachi (Killer Hornet) has tendency to attack darker colors, so you should wear something bright (white/yellow) in the woods. Also don't wear perfume/cologne because they can be attracted to the certain smells. That's info I heard on TV:)

Otherwise, you should enjoy the nature of Japan. Its semi-tropical climate in the isolated islands created far more diversity of insects and vegetation, and your kids would love it.

As for Japanese Encephalitis, I'm not an expert but it's far less common in Japan than China, Korea, and SE Asia despite of its name. I think it's recommended for those who will be in the countryside for more than a month though.




by jomonstrider (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Insects in Japan, dangerous, where to find.. 2012/12/27 21:48
Heya again. Bringing up this thread again. Since I dont know how I would react to a possible mukade bite, in case I get an allergic reaction (not sure if it can get as big as from a hornet bite where you would need adrenaline shots), would it be a good idea to bring antihistamine pills? I got some brands containing Loratadin(e) and Cetrizin(e) over here for example. But I will only bring it if it will be needed. If allergic reactions are not commmon then maybe not.
by Gifu Joe (guest) rate this post as useful

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