11 common bug bites and photos to help you identify them

You probably won’t feel pain when a bedbug bites, but you may see three or more clustered red marks, often forming a line. Some people develop a mild or severe allergic reaction to the bug’s saliva between 24 hours and 3 days later. This can result in a raised, red skin bump or welt that’s intensely itchy and inflamed for several days.

Chiggers are small mites that leave clusters of bites. You’ll notice that chigger bites are small, red and typically quite itchy. They may look like tiny blisters or pimples or be more like hives, TODAY.com explained previously.

“Bees and wasps are stinging you as a defense,” Frye says. “You almost instantly know when you’ve been stung by one of them because they want you to know right away.”

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A venomous spider bite (like this brown recluse bite) can cause a red or purplish rash radiating from the site of the bite. NIH

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Tick bites

Ant bites and stings are typically painful and cause red skin bumps. Some types of ants, like fire ants, are venomous, and their bites can cause a severe allergic reaction. Fire ants bite first to hold on and then sting, giving a sharp pain and a burning sensation. If you’re bitten by fire ants, you may see white, fluid-filled pustules or blisters (pictured) a day or two after the sting. These last three to eight days and may cause scars. The bumps may also be itchy and red, and you may have swelling around the site. It’s important not to scratch or break open the blisters because they can become infected, notes the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Carpenter ant bites are also painful because they spray formic acid into the bite, which causes a burning feeling.

People who tend to be more reactive may have severe swelling in the entire limb, and “you can get blisters on top because it’s so swollen,” Kassouf says.

While some people might get bitten by a mosquito or ant and barely notice, others may develop itchy or painful welts. And, for some, getting a bite or sting can mean a severe allergic reaction that requires medical attention.

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In some cases, people may develop a small, red, itchy bump after a tick bite that’s similar to a mosquito bite, the Mayo Clinic says.

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What they look like:

Black flies (sometimes called buffalo gnats or “no-see-ums”) are also common throughout the United States and can bite (though they’re not known to spread disease), according to Spokane Regional Health District. They’re small in size and usually bite around the head, particularly the eyes, ears, and scalp. Their bites can cause swelling, numbness, and soreness that can last for several days.

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Bee and wasp stings may have a small pinprick in the middle. Dr-MYM / Getty Images

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Black widow spider bites

For all of these types of fly bites, they usually show up as small red bumps that are itchy.

The mites tend to bite along the clothing line, where skin peeks out just above your socks or at the waistband of your leggings. Chiggers might also bite in between folds of skin where it’s warmer. You may also develop a rash around the bites.

A fly bite typically looks like a red welt, and “it often has a little center core to it,” Kassouf says. “It can look a lot like a bad mosquito bite.”

11 common bug bites and photos to help you identify them

Spider Bites Pictures And Symptoms

Did you wake up with swollen, red welts on your arm? Or did you come back from a hike with a cluster of itchy bites on your ankles? There are so many types of bug bites that it can be hard to know which one you’re dealing with. But identifying bug bites with pictures makes it a little easier.

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The bite of a parasite-infected mosquito can cause malaria, a rare occurrence in the United States, with only about 2,000 cases diagnosed in the country each year, according to CDC data (and the majority of those are in people who recently traveled to parts of the world where malaria transmission is more common). Symptoms are similar to the flu and can include fever, headache, muscle aches, nausea, and vomiting from 10 days to 4 weeks after the bite. Malaria is serious, but it’s good to know it is preventable and treatable, according to the CDC.

Trying to identify what kind of critter bit you just based on the reaction on your skin can be difficult, Matt Frye, Ph.D., a community extension educator with the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program at Cornell University, tells TODAY.com.

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