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

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.

No matter what type of bug bite you have, it is good to know what bit you. Learning to identify a bug bite by how it looks and feels will help you know whether to treat the bug bite at home or seek immediate medical care. Here are 13 bug bites and what they look like:

Itchy bumps on the skin rarely require someone to contact pest control. The one exception is for bed bugs. Bed bugs can be removed without pest control, but it can be difficult since they are such good hiders and may be resistant to pesticides. A pest control company will have the right equipment and know where to look to remove the bed bugs.

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Certain Kinds of Flies Can Bite, Too

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.

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.

Bed Bug Bite On Leg

7 Common Bug Bites & How To Identify Them

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.

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Lice Bites Cause Itchy, Tender Spots

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.

A healthcare provider may also suggest using phototherapy, which uses ultraviolet (UV) light to treat psoriasis.

What Bit Me? Spot These 13 Bug Bites


Most bug bites are transmitted directly from the insect and occur outdoors. Two exceptions are bedbugs (tiny mites that live in and near beds) and lice, which spread through contact with an infected person, a comb, or clothing.

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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.

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

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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.

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Flea Bites Can Lead to Skin Infections

Cases of EEE are rare but deadly. For people infected with EEE, 30 percent do not survive, and many who do develop neurological problems. While there was only one case reported in the United States in 2022, there were 38 cases in 2019, including 15 individuals who died from the condition, according to the CDC. Most of the cases have been reported in the Northeast.

If you cannot narrow down the cause, you should contact a healthcare provider. A healthcare provider can review your health history and determine if testing is necessary. Having a correct diagnosis will help you get started on the right treatment and provide faster healing.

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