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

Chiggers are found all over the outdoors, including in grassy fields, along lakes and streams, and in forests. It’s the baby chiggers that bite people and animals.

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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Some tick bites can be dangerous because the insects may carry disease. Black-legged ticks, formerly known as deer ticks, may carry Lyme disease, and dog ticks can spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Up to 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported each year in the United States.

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In extremely rare cases, fleas are infected with the bacteria that causes plague. The disease can spread from wild rodents to pets and people. Over the past 10 years, as few as 1 and as many as 17 cases of plague were reported in the United States, according to the CDC, most in the rural West. Symptoms of plague include swollen lymph nodes, headache, fever, and chills that appear from one to six days after the bite.

Discourage kids from scratching at the bites because this can lead to:

Chigger Bites

How can you prevent bug bites? Here are some tips from the CDC:

Chiggers are a form of mite that inject their saliva so that they can liquefy and eat skin. In response to a chigger bite, the skin around the bite hardens. The surrounding skin becomes irritated and inflamed (pictured), and an itchy red welt develops.

However, if you’re allergic to bee, wasp, or hornet stings — or you’ve been stung multiple times — a sting can cause severe allergic reactions, including nausea, rapid heartbeat, swelling, dizziness, hives, and shortness of breath, warns the Mayo Clinic. Call 911, and seek emergency medical treatment if you experience any of these symptoms.

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Chigger bites are itchy red bumps that can look like pimples, blisters, or small hives. They are usually found around the waist, ankles, or in warm skin folds. They get bigger and itchier over several days, and often appear in groups.

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Hornets typically build their large paper nests in tree hollows, as well as undisturbed spots in barns, attics, and even walls, according to the University of Kentucky. Hornets will defend their nests (and may attack you) if you get too close, so leave the area if you come across one. If you come across a solitary hornet, leave it alone; hornets typically only sting when threatened, the University of Kentucky notes. And if you do get stung, leave the area right away to avoid another attack, Russell says.

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.

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

Bed Bug Bite Signs, Symptoms, Pictures and Treatment

Chigger bites start to itch within hours of the chigger attaching to the skin. The itch stops after a few days, and the red bumps heal over 1–2 weeks.

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Although horse flies and deer flies most affect the animals in those names, unfortunately being a human doesn’t earn you a free pass. According to the University of Kentucky, these flies can target humans who are outside, and the intensity of their attack varies from year to year. Bites can be painful and cause bleeding, swelling, irritation, or an allergic reaction. Swelling and irritation should disappear in a day or two.

If you have hives, get many bites, or notice a bite that looks infected, you should visit a board-certified dermatologist for treatment, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Bedbug bites can occur anywhere on your body but typically show up on uncovered areas, such as your neck, face, arms, and hands. It’s good to know that although they’re common, bedbugs do not carry disease, according to the CDC.

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