Taiwan Travel Tip: Protect Yourself from Biting Midges or "Little Black Mosquitoes"

If you have visited Taiwan's countryside and came back home without any insect bite, consider yourself very lucky.

Visiting Taiwan's countryside can be a memorable adventure, but it comes with its fair share of challenges. One such challenge is the notorious biting midge, often referred to by Taiwanese locals as the "little black mosquito." In this post, I will recount our experience with these biting midges during our trip to Waiao Beach in Yilan County and provide valuable tips so this will not happen to you!

A Countryside Adventure in Waiao Beach

We visited Waiao Beach, nestled in Yilan County, in the month of June. It took us 2.5 hours via train per way. It felt very rural compared to the advanced and bustling city of Taipei, and it was a haven for surfers looking to find some stoke.

Discovering the Biting Midges

We were relaxing at an outdoor cafe in Waiao when we found a swarm of very small, black insects surrounding our legs. It looked like 10 black dots stuck in our skin, while 30 more dots were flying around our legs. It was the first time we saw such a thing. We simply brushed them away and left the cafe, assuming we had evaded their attack!

The Aftermath

The consequences of our encounter with the biting midges or "little black mosquitoes" became apparent over 24 hours later. Our ankles and legs itched like crazy, and we soon realized the severity of the situation. The bites caused us extreme discomfort for 2-3 days. I couldn't sleep the first night due to the itch, which forced me to take 2 anti-histamine tablets for temporary relief. We also weren't able to fully explore Taipei on some nights due to the discomfort of these bites.

Biting midges, unlike mosquitoes, are minuscule and incredibly difficult to detect. You will not even know that they are already biting you unless you look at your skin very closely. This is an environmental problem in Taiwan, and is prevalent in the rainy months of May to June.

Taking Action

We set out to find some remedies after discovering the bites. We got ourselves a special ointment, calamine lotion, and menthol balm. (Thankfully, we brought anti-histamine tablets with us, so we didn't have to buy.)

We also bought 3 spray bottles of insect repellent that is specifically formulated to ward off these biting midges or "little black mosquitoes," ensuring we were protected in our future encounters around Taiwan.

It was really hard buying these due to the language barrier. The staff from Cosmed, a popular health and beauty drug store in Taiwan, even had to personally bring me to a nearby local drug store to help me buy calamine lotion.

The Road to Recovery

While it took over a week for the itchiness to subside, our legs were left with numerous unsightly marks. We are back in the Philippines, and we bought Contractubex to help erase our scars.

Smart Travel Tips

When traveling Taiwan, specifically places outside the main cities, please take these tips seriously to help you avoid the consequences of biting midges at all cost:

1. Bring and apply insect repellant when visiting Taiwan, even if you're not visiting the countryside, or even if you're not visiting in the months of May-June. It is better to be safe than sorry.

2. If you want to get the repellant that specifically keeps you safe against the biting midges, buy this from Cosmed:

3. Bring anti-histamine with you for emergency purposes.

4. If you have extra space in your luggage, bring calamine lotion and menthol balm as well.

5. Another practical tip is to download the Google Translate app in your phone. Also download the Chinese language in Google Translate so you can access even if you're offline. It's a way to easily understand Chinese characters and Taiwanese locals.


Our encounter with biting midges in Taiwan's countryside was an unforgettable experience. While these tiny insects may be difficult to spot, their bites can cause significant discomfort. By taking the necessary precautions, such as applying the proper insect repellent, you can enjoy your adventures outside Taipei City without falling victim to these persistent pests!

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to battling Taiwan's "little black mosquitoes". Simply follow our travel tips and you're off to an enjoyable and hassle-free experience in all cities and provinces around Taiwan!

For more information, you may visit https://en.rti.org.tw/news/view/id/2000817#:~:text=The%20biting%20midge%20is%20an,biting%20midges%20are%20not%20mosquitoes.

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