Suddenly, an itchy red bump appears on your skin and you know you’ve been bitten, but by what? Most insect bites are not dangerous, but if you are allergic to certain bugs, or have been bitten by a poisonous spider, it can be important to be able to identify the bite.
Were you bitten by fire ants, stung by a wasp, or did a tick burrow into your skin? With diseases like West Nile Virus, Zika Virus, Lyme Disease, Chagas Disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, a simple bug bite can turn into something a lot worse.
Learn to identify these 11 bug bites …
- Mosquito Bites
Appearance: Red round bump
Symptoms: Itchy and / or swollen
Dangers: Zika Virus, West Nile Virus, Malaria
The Zika Virus presents itself like a flu, but those who are pregnant will pass the virus to their unborn child resulting babies born with tiny heads and brains.
The West Nile Virus can start off as nothing, but two to fourteen days later, headache, body aches, vomiting, fever, skin rash, and diarrhea will appear, with more serious infections resulting in encephalitis or meningitis.
Malaria is rare in the United States, with 1500 cases reported per year. Symptoms resemble the flu at first, but will last up to four weeks indicating this more serious condition. Malaria is treatable when caught early.
- Bed Bug Bites
Appearance: Rows of red marks on your skin
Symptoms: Intense itchiness between 24 hours to three days after the bite. Inflamed, raised, red bumps.
Dangers: None. Bed bugs do not carry disease
- Spider Bites
Appearance: Red bump, some with fang marks
Symptoms: Vary according to spider. Common house spiders will result in some itchiness or swelling, while a poisonous spider bite may need medical attention.
The Black Widow and Brown Recluse pose the most threat to humans. Vomiting and nausea as well as intense pain are symptoms of these poisonous bites. Seek medical attention if you have trouble breathing, rigidity, stomach pain, or back pain. Call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222.
- Brown Recluse Spider Bites
Appearance: Purple colored blister with black in the middle.
Symptoms: Sharp pain at first, and then fever, chills, itching, nausea, sweating, vomiting and more that can occur hours later.
Dangers: Get medical attention if you have these symptoms because left untreated, this bite can lead to kidney failure, seizures, and coma.
- Tick Bites
Appearance: Skin rash in the shape of a ring with a bull’s eye in the middle
Symptoms: Fever, fatigure, muscle and joint aches, headaches, and irregular heartbeat will appear up to a month after being bitten.
Dangers: Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
30,000 cases of Lyme Disease get reported in the U.S. every year, with some people never getting the telltale rash to let them know they’ve been bitten. Later they may develop painful and swollen joints, and autoimmune responses that may go undiagnosed as they appear similar to other diseases.
There are 2500 cases of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the United States every year with rashes beginning on the ankles and wrists, accompanied by a fever. Though rare, this disease can be fatal if left untreated.
- Flea Bites
Appearance: Groups of 3 to 4 bumps
Symptoms: Swelling, itching around ankles, armpits, waists, and bends in elbows and knees
Dangers: Infection or the Plague
The Plague is rare, but fleas can be infected with bacteria from wild rodents. Symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, fever, chills, and headache, all lasting up to 6 days after being bitten.
- Bee Stings
Appearance: Red skin bump with white around it
Symptoms: Sharp needle like pain fading to a dull ache that is sore for the next few days
Dangers: Some people are allergic to bee stings, so if you feel shortness of breath and swelling of the lips or tongue, get medical attention right away.
If you’re stung by a bee you’ll know it. The bump may become itchy or hot to the touch, but it will eventually go away.
- Lice Bites
Appearance: Tine red spots located on your scalp, neck, and shoulders
Symptoms: Itchiness, but no pain
Dangers: Infection, swollen lymph nodes, oozing, crusting, worsening of rash
Lice bites are tiny but can appear in clusters that look like a rash.
- Ant Bites And Stings
Appearance: Red skin bumps, white fluid filled pustules, blisters
Symptoms: Sharp pain, burning sensation, itchiness, swelling.
Dangers: Infection from scratching
Fire ants and carpenter ants are the most known to bite or sting. Fire ants hold onto your skin and then sting you, while carpenter ants spray formic acid into their bites, which burns
- Mites And Chigger Bites
Appearance: Skin rash, hardened skin, welt
Symptoms: Itchiness, irritation, inflamed
Mites are not disease spreaders, but their bites can result in scabies, while another form of mite, the Chigger, can liquify and eat your skin after after injecting you with their saliva.
Scabies is contagious and can bespread from one person to another. The female burrow into the skin to lay eggs, and when they hatch the larvae dig their way to the surface of the skin, molt, and then burrow back into the skin for feeding. The skin rash from scabies looks like pimples with intense itching that worsens at night.
Thin lines may appear in the elbow and knee bends, between your fingers, and under your jewelry on your fingers or wrists.
- Kissing Bug Bites
Appearance: Red bumps on face, swollen eyelids
Symptoms: Fever, body aches, fatigure, rash, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite
Dangers: Chagas Disease
Kissing bugs are also known as assassin bugs, which is a much more fitting name because they pass parasites to you causing Chagas Disease. Half of all Kissing bugs carry the parasite, affecting more than 300,000 people with the disease. The bugs attack the face at night, hiding during the daytime.
Complications from Chagas Disease are heart failure, enlarged heart, abnormal heart rate, cardiac arrest, and mega colon, which is an enlarged colon.