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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.

“The truth is that most spiders are too small to bite us, including those adorable jumping spiders,” Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann, Ph.D., an urban entomologist and coordinator with the New York State Integrated Pest Management community program at Cornell University, told previously.

12 Common Bug Bite Pictures

11 common bug bites and photos to help you identify them

12 Common Bug Bite Pictures

Luckily, most bites are annoying but not seriously harmful for humans, Kassouf says. They tend to be most painful or itchy in the first few days and then heal within a week or two, depending on how much we scratch at them. And you can manage most bug bites at home with oral antihistamines, a cool compress or topical treatments, like hydrocortisone, Kassouf says.

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But there are a few species that, when they bite, can cause serious symptoms.

Depending on the exact insect that stung you and how reactive you are to the sting, you may have itching, swelling and pain at the site which tends to be worse in the first few days and then gradually go away, Kassouf says.

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But if you develop symptoms of an allergic reaction — swelling in the mouth, trouble breathing, widespread rash — or signs of an infection, like pus or a fever, you should check in with your doctor, Kassouf says. And bites from certain critters, like venomous spiders or disease-carrying ticks, also require medical attention, she adds.

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What they look like:

Fire ants both bite and sting, causing a painful burning sensation. Svetlana Sarapultseva / Getty Images

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Bed bug bites symptoms

For bites that aren’t necessarily an emergency but aren’t going away, your doctor or dermatologist can prescribe other treatments, like topical creams or oral medication, Kassouf says.

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At first, a brown recluse spider bite may look like a bug bite or bee sting. It can be a small, raised red or purplish bump. You may see a tiny pinprick or two fang marks at the area of the bite.

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