Being bitten or stung by an insect is an unpleasant experience shared by many people. But the worst part of it is when you don’t know what bit you, was it an ant? A bee? Or just your imagination? Knowing the species of the ‘thing’ that caught you off-guard is very important because it will help you take necessary measures in dealing with the bites. Luckily, not all bug bites are the same. Here is a list of common bites with pictures to help you identify them, in case you were the unlucky one.
Bedbugs are tiny, oval-shaped brown insects that can be found in houses, hiding in furniture and wall cracks. They are mainly active at night during which they creep into the beds of the house residents and start feeding on their blood. Bedbug bites usually appear in the form of small, red, itchy bumps mostly on the arms, back and thigh area. In some cases, these bumps may grow wider in diameter as time goes by.
Bedbug bites themselves are harmless. However, on rare occasions, an allergic reaction to the bites may cause nausea, sickness and even shock. Some individuals may also be psychologically affected by the presence of bedbugs, causing them difficulty in catching some sleeping.
Wasps & bees
Most bees lose their stingers (along with a part of their abdomen) after they sting someone, causing them to die. However, wasp and hornets can sting multiple times without losing the stinger. Typically, these stings can trigger an instant reaction in many people, particularly those allergic to them. Thus, the sting marks the wasps leave behind can be easily distinguished as red bumps with a sting hole in the middle, surround by an inflamed area of the skin. But sting reaction can be different on other parts of the body. For instant, the lips and eyes can become severely swollen when stung by a wasp or bee.
Mosquitoes thrive in hot and humid weather during which they seek after the blood of humans and animals to survive and reproduce. In most cases, mosquito bites are found on exposed parts of the body including the arms, face and feet. Fresh bites are described as hive-like bumps that can become itchy or irritated when scratch. Since mosquitoes are flying insects, they can easily move around the body for new spots to bite. This explains the bite pattern of which bumps are found sparsely distributed across certain areas of the body.
Insect repellent cream is recommended to minimize mosquito bites. The bites themselves are harmless in most cases. However, mosquitoes shouldn’t be underestimated as they may carry deadly diseases such dengue fever and malaria.
Measured at about 3mm long, sandflies are blood-sucking insects found in sandy areas around the world where they go by a variety of names including sandflea, sand-gnat and granny nipper. Just like ticks and mosquitoes, sandflies go after human blood for nutrition as well as reproduction purposes. Sandfly bites are mostly found on the lower area of the body including legs, thighs and feet. This is because sandfly travel closer to the ground and rarely fly higher. Nevertheless, bites on the upper part of the body, such as face, are possible.
Sandfly are common in the sand and mud of swampy waterways. They often bite during dawn and dusk when there is little to no wind. Therefore, it’s recommended to avoid swampy areas during these times. The bites are described as relatively large bump of the same color as the skin. They can be very itchy to some while other will not feel anything at all. In most cases, the bites decrease in size and become purple in color, before they disappear. However, some sandflies may carry diseases such as leishmaniasis.
Common in rural areas, Leishmaniasis is caused by leishmania parasite which is carried by certain species of sandflies. Once a leishmania carrying sandfly bite a person, the bite area will gradually turn into an ulcer (or skin sore) which worsens if not treated early. Other variation of the disease may be accompanied by with additional symptoms such as a fever. Pesticide-treated net is the best way to guard against sandfly bites. Early treatment of the skin ulcers is also important to prevent health complication.
Fleas are known to feed on warm-blooded domestic animals such as dog and cats. They also feed on human occasionally. Flea bites are described as reddish pumps surrounded by red haloes on the arm, back or head. The bites might become very itchy. However, scratching them continuously may cause hair loss or infection (if they bleed). Providing a regular shower to pets and treating the home with pesticides is the best way to prevent flea-infestation. For the pesticide part, professional pest control intervention may be needed for effective pest treatment.