15 Sep Know What to Look for When Identifying Insect Bites
Due to the West Nile, Zika and Chikungunya viruses, in addition to malaria and dengue fever, there is a lot of “buzz” around mosquito bites these days. When it comes to itchy and irritated skin, many people often assume it’s par for the course with a mosquito bite. Many though aren’t aware of certain things to look for when identifying insect bites. Since mosquitoes aren’t the only disease-carrying bugs, it is beneficial to know how to identify different insect bites.
Probably the most common insect bite, mosquito bites appear as small, round red bumps on the skin, occasionally with a small dot at the center. When female mosquitoes bite, they inject their saliva into the human body. This saliva contains certain proteins to which most humans are allergic. causing a red bump on the skin accompanied by irritation and itchiness. People with weaker immune systems may experience a more severe reaction, such as a larger area of swelling around the bite, swollen lymph nodes or hives.
Unlike most other varieties, identifying tick bites can be easy, as the creatures often remain attached to your skin after striking. Tick bites produce swelling and a red spot or rash on your skin. When they bite, you may experience a burning sensation, followed by pain at the point of attack. Those who are allergic to tick bites may experience more severe rashes on larger areas of the body.
Identifying insect bites often means determining what exactly bit you. Fly encounters are inevitable; worse yet, there are many different flies that like to feed on us. One such exemplar is the sand fly. Found primarily in southern states, sand flies breed in places of warmth and moisture, like on plants and in mud. They are quiet and small in size, not easily noticeable before they attack. Sand fly bites can be painful, causing red bumps and blisters.
More common throughout the United States, deer flies tend to reside near ponds, lakes and swamps, among other bodies of water. Their sharp mouths can pierce skin and cause pain and itching to their victims.
Chiggers are tiny members of the arachnid family; so small in fact that you probably won’t even notice them on your skin. Chigger bites leave behind reddish bumps with a bright red dot in the center (actually part of the insect) resembling a blister, pimple or even hives. Bites typically appear in clusters around the ankles, waist, armpits and behind the knees.
Fleas are typically associated with having pets. However, they are just as much of a nuisance to humans. Flea bites cause itching and appear as round, red bumps on the skin, usually around the ankles or lower legs. They are very similar in appearance to bed bug bites, so identifying which you are a victim of may require locating the bug itself.
Protect Yourself and Prevent the Need for Identifying Insect Bites
Of course there are many other insects with which we share our environment, many which can leave us sick from just one bite. Researching which native insects are harmful before traveling to foreign countries will help you to know what to look for when identifying insect bites abroad.
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