10 Years of Blog Archive

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Insects and Bugs and SPIDERS of Cuenca Ecuador Updated 2018

This article was first published in 2012 and today we bring you the updated article with the companion video. Enjoy!

Insects and Bugs and Spiders in Ecuador

Does Cuenca Ecuador have different kinds of bugs and spiders than say, the US? Yes and no…they have the same kinds of little crawlies and some unusual other little squirmy things that you’ll see in the photo below that still has not been identified.  It looks like a scorpion and grasshopper mix.

This article will give you an idea about the more common insects bugs and arachnids we have seen in Cuenca and around Cuenca.

Bugs we rarely or never see in Cuenca:

1. Cock roaches – never

2. Mosquitoes – rarely

3. Ants – rarely  

4.Wasps or Hornets – never  

5. Crickets/Grasshoppers – never hear nor see (common at the coast, though)

6. Butterflies – never 

No butterflies but Cuenca does have big moths.

7. Flies – rarely in winter 

Update 2108: We have seen a green grasshopper, stick bug, scorpion, another huge beetle and a Tunnelweb spider all in the companion video above.  Yes! we have seen a few scorpions and they aren't king in our yard!

Update 2016 – Unfortunately, having a dog has definitely given us more of those pesky flies. We put screens on all the windows because the house didn’t come with any screens.

Bugs and Insects and Archnids that we see sometimes or often

1.Tarantulas – sometimes / often, depending on time of year.

Cuenca has different kinds of spiders and they start to come into the house in the winter. We occasionally get a tarantula inside the house; they like to crawl under the door cracks when it gets cold outside.  

When we find tarantula's we always let them go because were not just ready yet to have a tarantula spider pet.  However, when Angelo was little he loved insects as pets and would make insect aquariums and keep them but then after a few days, he's let them go.

2. Earwigs – often

3. Spiders – often, and especially in spring

4. Italian honey bees – sometimes

5. Moths – often

6. Scorpgrass – (not real name, see photo below) - sometimes

This one is a strange looking bug; they come inside the house too. They’re ugly.  It could even be an earwig

7. Beetles – often -- BIG beetles too.

8. Flies and fruit flies – sometimes, but more often in the summer months

BTW, when a tarantula comes into the house, we put it in a jar and let it loose by some rocks by the river bed.

Until we write again, you might also like to read about some of the ferocious and wild animals in Cuenca Ecuador below.
We're an expat family of five living frugal, healthy and happy in Cuenca Ecuador. Come along and enjoy some of our adventures with us!


  1. Are these bugs poisonous at all?

    1. I don't think so... the "brown recluse" spider is here and it is poisonous.

  2. That insect is a pseudophasma... ;)

    1. Thank you! Finally someone recognizes the name of this bug! Now our next question is, "do they bite or sting"?

    2. A Pseudophasma also known as the walking stick is definitely not that critter.

    3. The black scorpion-looking insect is called a ututo. (Phasmatodea Monticomorpha) It is NOT a scorpion. It is also not poisonous to humans, even though it produces a venom against its own predators. It looks much worse than it really is.

    4. thank you for sharing this information since many people may have been wondering about that insect.

  3. I love Cuenca and the relative lack of pesky insects, but I must say, if your neighbors have dogs that they aren't consistent about cleaning up after; or if you live close to the river you will have flies. We get a lot depending on the time of year. We also see small butterflies quite frequently. We unfortunately also have an ongoing ant problem and the only thing sold here to combat them are noxious sprays. I'm wishing I could buy some Tarro! As for wasps, there are not many, but again, if you live near one of the four rivers you will see "Caballos de Diablo" or tarantula wasps. If you get tarantulas at your place I am surprised you haven't seen them since that is their main prey. They have large black bodies with bright orange wings. Their sting is incredibly painful, but if you don't bother them they won't bother you. Thank God! I've seen a few small grasshoppers, but again, in large grassy areas close to rivers. Found your blog trying to discover the name for those black insects, so thank you!

    1. You're welcome. Yes, not too many bugs here. Thanks for commenting.

    2. FYI: "Borax is the most common ingredient in house ant control products, and get this: it's absolutely 100% natural. The best way (in my opinion) to use Borax is to mix 1 cup of warm water with 1/2 cup of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of Borax. Then soak the Borax mixture up with cotton balls and place those cotton balls near any trails the ants have established in your home."

  4. the second one is an UTUTO it lives iside the earth and go out only on winter season but you can see in a warm season too. you cant find them in the historical center because they " cant go there" because a traditional history said "one upon the time a thieves stole a San Roque ostensory so the San Roques priest cursed them and all them family to be a ugly demons and never go to the historical center" so for this reason only you can see them near and across the Tomebambas river" and this is a true I have seen them across the river but i have never seen near to the historic center and if you see one the only way to kill tem is burn them because they are like made a plastic. and when you do it you can hear a shouting. they cant fly but if you are near, the male can throw you a fluid so be careful.

  5. why on earth are butterflies on this list. You make it seem like they're a nuisance. Not only are they beautiful, They help flowers pollinate, eat plenty of weedy plants and provide a food source for other animals. In addition, their presence or absence can tell us a lot about the local environment. I have been checking out Ecuador, because I'm seriously thinking of moving over there. And I don't like bugs much, and most of the bugs on that list (spiders are an arachnid not a bug) deserve to be on that list, but butterflies!

    1. Hi Lucy, we're not saying that butterflies are not pretty or nice; Yes, we like butterflies too but we rarely, if ever see them. Thank you for commenting.

  6. spiders are aracnides not insect or bugs because they have 8 legs instead of 6 so ya ad i live in chambly and i study bugs for fun and might make it a living so instead f writing beetles write ther name

  7. Elysia. Please click on the GringoGoodSamaritans.com link

  8. How about rubber sweeps at the bottom of all your exterior doors? That should stop the critters from getting in. Or......are they even sold there? If not easy to make!

  9. I think these creepy, crawly, flying things deserve a video all their own

  10. i really hope u cant get cockroaches here

  11. When visiting blogs, i always look for a very nice content like yours .    


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