10 Annoying Insects in Montana That Are In Numbers and Looking to Bite

Saint Mary Lake, with rugged high peaks towering in the background. Glacier National Park. Montana, USA.
© Sean Xu/Shutterstock.com

Written by Kirstin Harrington

Updated: August 17, 2023

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It’s safe to say that Montana is one of the most gorgeous states in the country. With immeasurable mountains, towering trees, and all the flora and fauna one could desire, it’s easy to see why people live in Big Sky country. 

10 Annoying Insects in Montana That Are in Numbers and Looking to Bite
These 10 insects will not hesitate to bite when the opportunity arrives.

With all the beauty that comes with Montana, there are some critters out there that are just plain annoying. If you’ve ever been outdoors in the summer in a rural area, you’ll likely encounter a pesky mosquito. 

These insects are just one of the many that can bite people and leave itchy, red marks. Let’s take a look at all of the biting insects in Montana.

Biting Insects in Montana

1. Cockroaches

Cockroaches are among the most prevalent biting insects in Montana, which may surprise you. The three types of roaches that can be found in Montana are the American, Oriental, and German cockroaches

They are tough-biting bugs that bite that can go for an entire week without their heads, withstand high temperatures and frigid temperatures, and go nearly an hour without breathing. These pests can also survive for up to three months without drinking or eating anything, according to reports.

bathroom bug

©Pasonglit Junuan/Shutterstock.com

Since they are little, they may readily stow away in crevices, gaps, and tiny holes. Most roaches have long antennas, elongated oval bodies, and wings. They eat a variety of foods, including sweets and foods with proteins. 

In one year, cockroaches are capable of producing up to 30,000 roaches thanks to their rapid reproduction. When they bite, various diseases have been proven to be transmitted. They can spread illnesses including salmonella and gastroenteritis. 

Additionally, certain swellings, irritants, and other mild ailments can be brought on by their bite. If you find an infestation of cockroaches in Montana, be sure to take the required precautions to stop it from spreading.

2. Mosquitoes

macro normal female mosquito isolated on green leaf

Mosquitos are usually located near water.

©jiade/Shutterstock.com

Malaria mosquitoes are the most prevalent mosquito species in Montana. You’re probably already aware of them as Montana’s most common bug due to how bothersome they are! Did you know that there are over 60 different species of mosquito in Montana? 

They consume blood for proteins and floral nectar for energy. Malaria is transmitted by Anopheles females.

They are spreading more diseases every year around Big Sky Country. Mosquitoes can transmit diseases, making them harmful. The most frequent illness that mosquitoes are known to transmit is malaria, but they can also transmit other illnesses like West Nile virus, Zika virus, and dengue.

3. Ants

Carpenter ants are named for the woodworking abilities they possess. They aren’t actually eating the wood; they only nibble into it to create a tiny tunnel, leaving a small amount of sawdust after.  

An ant colony commonly has between 10,000 and 20,000 ants, although it may contain as many as 50,000. Have you noticed any of these obnoxious little critters around your home? 

Carpenter ant

©iStock.com/macro frog insect animal

They occasionally bite, and their powerful jaws do assist them get into the wood. 

The plus side is that if one does bite you, it will only burn or sting briefly before going away. No official records have been made that bites have seriously compromised someone’s health.

Montana is also home to fire ants. These insects have a very venomous bite and sting. The stings initially burn, followed by uncomfortable welts that frequently form in a ring-like pattern. Blisters form as the welts develop. 

Antihistamines, over-the-counter steroid lotions, and cold packs can usually be used for managing fire ant bites at home. However, chronic or life-threatening responses can occasionally result from these ants.

4. Flies

Each year in Big Sky, it might be uncomfortable to be outside since summer is the season for biting flies. These bothersome insects, which include various species such as black flies, horse flies, and deer flies, are a subset of the flying insects that feed on human blood. 

They all consume animal blood, especially human blood. Even though diseases conveyed by fly bites, such as West Nile in this region, are considerably less prevalent than those transmitted by mosquitoes, these pests’ bites can nonetheless result in allergic reactions that frequently necessitate seeking medical attention. 

Horsefly

Horse

flies have a louder “buzz” than house flies.

©iStock.com/guraydere

Flies in Montana are relentless and secretive. They delicately pull the skin as they arrive on a living thing before inserting their mouthparts to sever the tiny blood veins and start eating. In their saliva, there contain anticoagulants that stop the blood from clotting. 

In order to prevent you from feeling the stinging sensation of the bite, the saliva additionally carries an aesthetic quality. This gives the fly a chance to have a leisurely meal without getting swatted.

5. Chiggers

Chiggers are little mites that can be found outside in woodland or grassy regions close to water. They stick to your clothing and bite your skin as they prefer warm climates, especially during the summer. 

Chigger bites typically occur close to the folds of tight-fitting garments and induce irritation at the biting site. The summer, when it’s sweltering outside, is when chiggers are at their busiest. 

Chigger of the Trombiculidae family

Some people call chiggers “Berry bugs.”

©Matauw/Shutterstock.com

Chigger bites most likely won’t be noticeable immediately away. 

You might not start to feel any symptoms for as long as three hours after the mite comes into contact with the surface of your skin. Chigger bites itch close to the bite site. Treatment designed to get rid of the mites is not required since chiggers don’t dig into your skin and the inflammation typically appears after the mites have been eliminated from the skin. 

The goal of chigger bite treatment is to reduce itching.

6. Fleas

Flea bites are tiny, swollen pimples on your skin that are pigmented by the flea’s blood consumption. The little, wingless flea is a pest. They have slender bodies that are usually brown to deep black. 

Fleas have six legs and powerful claws on the underside of each leg which enable them to grasp their victim, and mouthparts that puncture your skin and suck on your blood. They can jump over one foot because their back legs are longer and more powerful than their center and front legs.

Female Echidnophaga gallinacea flea mounted

Fleas can be hard to spot with the naked eye.

©The noob ph/Shutterstock.com

Flea bites seldom result in long-term damage. For a brief time, they are a modest source of irritation and inconvenience. The spread of diseases that can be serious and potentially fatal makes flea bites worrisome.  

Fleas are particularly active during warm weather. Fleas favor regions outside that are chilly, damp, and have lots of cover. They inhabit areas with trees, foliage, thick grass, and bushes. Animals passing by these locations are jumped on by fleas. 

Fleas nip at people, but much prefer our furry friends. Compared to humans, pets such as cats and dogs have a lot more hair. Fleas prefer pets with a lot of fur since it makes it easy for them to hide.

7. Bees

Bees may not bite, but their sting is just as bothersome. This ubiquitous insect can be heard buzzing around in Montana during the summer. There are more than 500 different species of bees in the United States, with Western honey bees being the most prevalent. 

The bee stings into human skin. Extreme macro image. Bees produce fresh, healthy, honey. Beekeeping concept

©IHOR SULYATYTSKYY/Shutterstock.com

Like all other biting insects, bees have three body sections. The bee’s abdomens are barrel-shaped, and their heads are heart-shaped. Honey bees are neither poisonous nor hazardous. 

They are only capable of inflicting temporary inflammation and distress. 

Nevertheless, you might need medical assistance if you are allergic or repeatedly stung by bees.

Numerous bee stings have the potential to result in systemic toxic reactions with serious symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and more.

8. Bed Bugs

Another irritating insect you may encounter in Montana is the bed bug. Additionally, it is one of the bugs that bite you want to avoid encountering. Furthermore, bed bugs could be the pest that Montanans and visitors to hotels and Airbnbs dread the most. 

They have big mouths that can easily nibble on anyone or anything. Bed bugs are found near where humans rest and they rely on both human and animal blood. These pests can go months without eating.

A Close up of a Bed Bug (Cimex lectularius)

You can identify a bed bug from its unique body shape.

©Jay Ondreicka/Shutterstock.com

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that bed bugs have not been linked to the transmission of any recognized diseases. Because of their irritation and unpleasant aggravation, they are completely bothersome and will cause you to miss sleep during the night.

The worst part is that bedbug bites can physically scar your body with bite marks. If you have bed bugs in your home, you are forced to throw away your clothing and furniture.

9. Blister Beetles

Although blister beetles don’t necessarily bite, they can wreak havoc on your skin. When they are smashed on the skin, they emit a defense substance called cantharidin, which can result in excruciating blisters and sores.

In Montana, blister beetles are typically found outdoors, typically in fields, so pack adequately for your upcoming trek or picnic. If you come across one, take careful not to squish it as you remove it from your skin.

Iron Cross Blister Beetle

There are several species of blister beetles.

©Jeffrey Wickey/Shutterstock.com

Symptoms of a reaction often manifest 24 to 48 hours following contact. The irritation caused by a blister beetle is typically merely bothersome and shouldn’t result in long-term skin damage. 

Although bursting blisters can cause an infection, minor reactions don’t usually need to be treated and heal themselves. Wash your hands after touching a blister beetle and avoid rubbing your eyes. 

10. Centipedes

Centipedes have numerous parts to their bodies and are long and slender. One morning you awaken to see a little redness and possibly some damaged skin on your arm. What you see might be a centipede bite wound. 

Centipedes are on the move when you are likely sleeping. If centipedes are present in your home, there’s a strong likelihood that other pests, like roaches, spiders, and ants, are nearby for them to hunt down and eat. They favor warm, moist environments for hiding.

closeup shot of centipede or Lithobius forficatus

©Young Swee Ming/Shutterstock.com

Since centipedes lack teeth, they can’t actually bite you. They have two forelegs that are close to their heads and resemble claws or pincers. The venom that they utilize on their prey is contained in the forelegs. 

When cornered, centipedes will attempt to flee, however, some experts claim that they rarely bite people. However, if you notice a trail of pinpricks on your skin, it was probably caused by venomous foreleg scratches that punctured your skin. 

Regardless of whether the centipede’s claws penetrate your skin, they may nevertheless leave behind burning from their scraping. Depending on how your body responds, you might barely notice the mark or you could suffer severe agony. Some individuals believe that centipede bites resemble bee stings. 

Final Thoughts

There you have it! Those are 10 of the most prevalent biting insects in Montana. Have you experienced a bite or sting from any of these annoying pests? It’s best to be aware of what can be lurking in the great outdoors, and even in your home! 

Summary of 10 Annoying Insects in Montana That Are In Numbers and Looking to Bite

InsectBite
1CockroachesCauses swellings, irritants, and other mild ailments
2MosquitoesItchy wounds can transmit malaria, West Nile virus, Zika virus, and dengue
3AntsItchy, blistering welts
4FliesCan cause an allergic reaction
5ChiggersItchy welts
6FleasItchy welts
7BeesCan cause allergic reactions or toxic reactions such as vomiting and diarrhea
8Bed BugsItchy bites cause scaring
9Blister BeetlesCauses blistering
10CentipedesForelegs secrete venom that can cause pinprick wounds that range in pain caused from mild to severe


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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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