19 Pictures of Common Bug Bites and How to Identify Their Symptoms

Mites do not usually spread disease, but their bites can irritate the skin and cause intense itching. Itch mites usually feed on insects but will bite other animals, including people. The bites usually go unnoticed until itchy, red marks develop that may look like a skin rash.

If you have known allergies to bug bites, talk with your physician about emergency care. Some people with severe allergies to bug bites need to have allergy medicine, including epinephrine (such as an EpiPen), with them always.

A contact dermatitis rash can vary in appearance. It can appear as a red, itchy patch on the skin or as small itchy, fluid-filled blisters.

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To treat flea bites, wash the area with soap and water. Apply calamine lotion or an anti-itch cream like over-the-counter hydrocortisone. Try not to scratch the flea bites, as this can cause them to become infected.

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Scabies is an itchy rash caused by the human itch mite. The mite burrows under the top layer of skin to feed and live. Mites are transmitted from human to human through direct skin contact. They are commonly seen in long-term care facilities.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever from a tick bite is rare, with about 2,500 cases per year in the United States. It causes a fever, a headache, muscle aches, and a skin rash. The rash of pinpoint red spots begins on the ankles and wrists after a few days of fever, but later the rash spreads to the rest of the body; in some people, a rash never develops. Although this infection can be severe — and even fatal — it is preventable and can be successfully treated with prompt medical care, according to the CDC.

A bite from a poisonous spider, like the black widow or brown recluse, is extremely dangerous and can cause a severe reaction. The black widow’s bite, which shows up as two puncture marks, may or may not be painful at first. But 30 to 40 minutes later, you may have pain and swelling in the area. Within eight hours, you may experience muscle pain and rigidity, stomach and back pain, nausea and vomiting, and breathing difficulties. You might not have seen the spider that bit you, but always seek medical attention immediately if there’s a possibility you could have been bitten by a poisonous spider. Call 911 or America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222.

Mosquito Bites Vs Bed Bug Bites

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Flea bites are itchy small, red bumps. They are usually found in groups of three or four on the body.

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Certain Kinds of Flies Can Bite, Too

The scabies rash looks like small red bumps. These bumps tend to form in a line and are itchy. If this is the person’s first time developing scabies, it will take two to six weeks for symptoms to start. However, if the person has already had scabies, the symptoms will begin within one to four days.

Another type of tick to avoid is the lone star tick. It’s found mainly in the southern United States, but also in some eastern states. It can transmit several viruses, the CDC notes. Most notably, allergic reactions associated with consumption of red meat have been reported by people who’ve been bitten by these ticks, according to the CDC.

Most spider bites are not poisonous and cause only minor symptoms like red skin, swelling, and pain at the site. Other spider bites are a real emergency. If you develop an allergic reaction to a spider bite, with symptoms such as tightness in the chest, breathing problems, swallowing difficulties, or swelling of the face, you need medical care at once. Because spider bites can get infected with tetanus, the CDC also recommends staying on top of your tetanus booster shots by getting one every 10 years.

What Causes Itchy Bumps on Skin That Aren’t Mosquito Bites

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Lice bites are tiny red spots on the shoulders, neck, and scalp from small parasitic insects that can live on your clothes or in your bedding. Because lice bites are so small, they usually don’t hurt, but they do itch. Some people may develop a larger, uncomfortable skin rash from lice bites. Continual scratching of the itchy spots could lead to an infection, marked by symptoms including swollen lymph nodes and tender, red skin. An infected lice bite may also ooze and crust over; it will need to be treated by a doctor, but lice are not known to carry other diseases.

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Flea Bites Can Lead to Skin Infections

A mosquito bite appears as an itchy, round red or pink skin bump. It’s usually a harmless bug bite but can sometimes cause a serious illness, such as the Zika virus (particularly harmful in pregnant women), West Nile virus, malaria, or eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). For most people, Zika causes a brief, flulike illness. But newborns of pregnant women infected with Zika have an alarming rate of microcephaly birth defects. Check out the Zika Travel Information page on the website for the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to find out more about travel warnings and advisories.

Treating bed bug bites can typically be done at home. Start by washing the bites with soap and water. Then apply an anti-itch cream. The bites should heal within one to two weeks.

Mild itchiness and pain are normal reactions to insect bites and stings, but if you experience anything more severe than these, including shortness of breath and swelling away from the original site, you should contact a doctor or seek medical attention immediately. It’s possible you could be having a severe allergic reaction, suffering from an insect-borne disease, or experiencing an infection.

19 Pictures of Common Bug Bites and How to Identify Their Symptoms

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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.

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Some Ticks Carry Lyme Disease

For 2022, a total of 1,126 cases of the West Nile virus were reported across 42 states in the United States, according to the CDC. Symptoms appear 2 to 14 days after the bite and can include headaches, body aches, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and a skin rash. People with a more severe West Nile infection may develop meningitis or encephalitis and have symptoms including neck stiffness, severe headache, disorientation, high fever, and convulsions.

Bed bug bites appear as very itchy welts in a cluster of three to five spots. These spots can form a zigzag pattern on the body. There may also be tiny spots of blood on the person’s bedding.

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