Victim of a bug bite? Get to know the 7 most likely offenders

Find out the 7 most common bug bits and how to identify them

bug bite

Being the victim of a bug bite is never fun. Itchiness and red, swollen spots are the most common and immediate symptoms, which make these injuries truly uncomfortable. However, depending on the offender bug, the symptoms can be more extensive and even include a trip to a hospital.

7 common bug bites and how to recognize each one

Each bug bite has its distinctive shape, color and traits. By joining these three characteristics you can easily find the guilty insect that had a go at you and, thus, find the best treatment for your case.

1. Fleas

bug bite fleas
Source: Therminix

Fleas don’t attack only pets and animals. Their bites produce very itchy red bumps on the skin and they can normally be found in clusters.


Since fleas can’t jump too high, they tend to bite ankles and feet. If you find flea bites on other parts of your body, it can be a sign that the bug is trapped in your clothes. They can also be hiding in fabrics within your house and attack you when you’re passing by or when you’re laying down.

You must clean your house thoroughly using a special concoction and wash all the dirty clothes and the ones you’re using at the moment.

2. Mosquito

mosquito bug bite
Source: Trombocyte

If there’s a famous bug bite, it has to be the mosquitoes’. They attack without mercy and anyone they can find is game. They’re also not picky when it comes to where to bite.


A red and itchy bump appears right after the bite takes place. Scratching it can make it swell more and become redder and itchier. Apply or take OTC creams and antihistamines to soothe the pain and use a repellent to prevent further bites.

3. Bed bugs

bedbugs bug bite
Source: Bedbug Guide

Bed bug bites can be hard to spot. Their saliva has anesthetic properties and few notice the red rash unless it’s pointed out to them.

However, allergies to these bugs are also quite common. Reaction to their bites includes red and itchy bumps on the skin. The lump might be flat or raised depending on the severity of the allergy.


Bed bugs tend to bite on uncovered areas of the body, such as the neck, arms, face and hands.

4. Ticks

Source: Outdoor Channel

Tick bites are normally isolated and they produce pain, swelling, blisters and a burning sensation.

The tick often remains attached to the skin. If so, you need to remove it with tweezers, placing them as close to the skin as possible to try to detach the head. Apply alcohol over the bite and iodine to prevent further infections.


If a red ring appears around the bitten area and starts to expand, it is an indicator of Lyme’s disease. You should visit the doctor immediately in this case. Symptoms normally include headaches, aching muscles, fever and chills.

Ticks can also produce Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. In this case, you start by experiencing fever and then a rash develops on the wrists and ankles before spreading to the rest of the body. Muscle aches are also common. Seek a doctor immediately if you’re experiencing these symptoms.

5. Fire ants

fire ant bug bite
Source: Justizirrtum

Fire ants are quite aggressive when feeling threatened and one single of these insects can bite several times.


The immediate bite is painful and produces a burning and itching sensation. The bite starts off as a swollen, red bump and can evolve into having a blister with pus on top. It can take up to 2 days for the symptoms to develop completely and they can last up to 8 days.

Never scratch or burst the blisters or you can delay their healing process and end up with scars.

6. Chiggers

chiggers bug bite
Source: 1800 Pest Control

Chiggers are mites and, therefore, barely visible to the eye. They tend to seek warm places to bite, such as the crotch, armpits, back of the knees and other folds of the skin.


Their bites tend to look similar to a bad case of acne. The red bumps are normally clustered and can look like hives, blisters, pimples or normal welts. Symptoms tend to worsen on the second day after the bite before starting to disappear.

OTC remedies are usually enough to treat the itchiness and soothe the swollen spots but, if you suspect an infection, you should visit the doctor.

7. Scabies

Scabies bug bite
Source: Fight Bugs

Scabies are mites that spread through direct contact with another person’s skin or by sharing fabric-made objects with an infected person.


The symptoms can take between 4 to 6 weeks to appear and they come in the form of a severe itchy rash. Blisters, pimples and flaky skin are also common. Itchiness tends to be worse at night.

You need to visit a doctor for a prescribed treatment to get rid of the mites and the symptoms.

What about treatments for a bug bite?

Uncomfortable as it may be, if the bug bite comes from one of the aforementioned bugs it doesn’t normally require a specific treatment. OTC creams, ointments and antihistamines are usually enough to speed up healing and soothe the pain. Natural solutions such as aloe vera gel are also useful.


However, you should pay attention to the symptoms. If they are not subsiding after one or two days, you should visit a doctor.

To learn a bit more about how to treat a bug bite rash, check out the video below.


Written by Catarina Alves

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