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7 Common Bug Bites and Stings, and How to Recognize Them

It’s very likely that, at least once in your lifetime, you’ve experienced an insect bite without knowing what it could have been. However, with a bit of information, it’s possible to prevent or recognize these wounds to get the proper treatment if necessary.

5-Minute Crafts will show you what some insect bites and stings look like, along with other important details.

Important: This article has been created for informative purposes only and does not replace professional advice. Keep in mind that insect bites and stings can cause symptoms of a serious reaction that may require medical treatment.

1. Chigger

  • Chigger bites may appear as grouped, itchy pimples, hives, welts, or blisters in skin folds or near spots where clothes fit tightly.
  • There may be a painful, itchy rash as a result of an immune response to these bites. At the same time, the skin around the affected site can become hard, irritated, and swollen.

❗ You have more chances to get chigger bites in spring, summer, and fall. It’s advisable to avoid getting too close to vegetation in wooded areas. Instead, make sure to walk in the center of paths or trails.

2. Flea

  • Flea bites can usually be found in clusters on the feet or the lower areas of the legs. They appear as itchy, red bumps that have a red halo around them.
  • You may have these symptoms immediately after being bitten.

❗ Although fleas don’t have wings, they can move around by jumping. Moreover, they reproduce very quickly, especially if there’s a pet in your home.

3. Horsefly

  • When a horsefly bites, you may feel an instant burning sensation. You may experience redness, swelling, bruising, and itchiness at the bite spot.

❗ Horseflies are most active during daytime hours and most attracted to dark, moving objects and carbon dioxide. This is why you may see horseflies around you whenever you sweat or breathe heavily.

4. Midge or gnat

  • Gnat and midge bites usually seem like mosquito bites. These often cause tiny red lumps that can get very itchy and painful. Moreover, they can become extremely swollen.

❗ In some cases, midge and gnat bites can develop blisters.

5. Mite

  • Mite bites can result in itchy red lumps and even blisters.
  • These bugs commonly bite bare skin. However, people could be bitten on the abdominal area and thighs if a pet has mites and has sat on their lap.

❗ Some mites can get into the skin and cause scabies, a condition that causes intense itching and a raised rash.

6. Wasp

  • Wasp stings cause pain, swelling, redness, and burning or itching in the affected area. Moreover, there could be a raised welt at the sting spot.

Wasps can get aggressive and attack more than once, as the stinger doesn’t usually remain on the skin. If a wasp has stung you and it’s still around the area, walk away quietly so that it doesn’t sting you again.

7. Yellow jacket

  • Yellow jackets are thin wasps that are characterized by their long wings and black and yellow stripes. After being stung by one of them, there can be tenderness, itchiness, redness, and swelling in the affected area.

Yellow jackets can be very aggressive and, just like wasps, they are capable of stinging more than once.

Bonus: why mosquito bites itch

When a mosquito bites, it sucks out blood while injecting saliva. The saliva contains proteins that are considered foreign substances and, therefore, may trigger an immune response in your body to fight them. This response is your immune system producing histamine, a compound that encourages white blood cells to transport themselves to the affected area but causes inflammation, swelling, and itchiness.

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