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12 Common Bug Bites And How To Recognize Each One

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Have you ever looked at a bug bite on your body and questioned what it was?

Or maybe you're convinced it's a mosquito bite, but then you start showing some strange symptoms that you can't explain.

The better you are at identifying the bug that chose you to be its host, the better you'll know which course of action to take.

Another reason why it's important to know which bug has bitten you is because some of these pests can transmit life-threatening infections.

1. Ticks

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The scary part about getting bitten by a tick is that you probably won't feel them latch on.

These sly pests have a way of catching their host off guard and sucking their blood.

Their bites cause redness that stretches out a few centimeters around a black or red dot.

If you get bitten, make sure you remove the whole tick immediately, before it sends a life-threatening disease, like Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever, through your veins.

2. Mosquitoes

TreeHugger / Trombocyte

Mosquito bites look like swollen red ridges on your skin. You'll either find bites shaped like a circle or a blob.

When you scratch it, which is a terrible idea, the affected area will get more irritated and become a darker shade of red.

3. Wasps

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Wasp bites are painful, but you'll rarely catch them in action.

Their stings are super itchy, and cause redness and swelling.

The bite area will be slightly wider than that of a mosquito, and you'll clearly see where they've penetrated the skin.

4. Bees

Vox / Hunker

Honey bees are willing to lose their lives in order to sting a human.

After they penetrate the skin, they cannot pull back their stinger. The problem is that they also leave their abdomen and digestive track, which is why they end up dying.  

Because of this, their bites are easy to recognize.

Remove the stinger from your body immediately to prevent the poison from entering your bloodstream.

5. Hornets / Sussex Scrapbook

You may not be able to tell the difference between a wasp and a hornet, but you will if you get bitten by one. Hornet stings contain venom.

The sting from a hornet causes the area to turn red and swell. Sometimes, the sting will cause blisters.

If you experience other symptoms like blue skin or numbness, see your doctor immediately.

6. Fleas

Den Herder Veterinary Hospital / Pest Removal Guide

You'll usually find these bites on your legs, as opposed to other areas of your body.

The reason why flea bites are easy to spot is because these pests will bite several times.

Their bites are itchier than your common mosquito bite and they'll look and feel like small, hard red balls on your skin.

7. Red Ant

NPR / Medical News Today

Most ants are not poisonous, and the worst thing they can do is annoy you. But if you see a red ant, swipe off that pest immediately!

When they bite, these ants release a toxin that may cause allergic reactions.

The affected area will look pink and similar to a flea bite, but the difference is that ant stings cause instant pain.

8. Lice

Reader's Digest / Healthline

Lice is usually found on the head, but it can also appear on other hairy parts of the body.

Aside from the unbearable itch that they cause, their bites leave small red dots.

9. Horse-fly

Horseflies have a nasty bite, so you'll definitely notice when you get bitten.

They leave a large mark that causes swelling, which sometimes blisters. This painful bite can cause dizziness, and in rare cases, infections.

If you ever get bitten by a horse-fly, clean the area and apply an ice pack to soothe the area.

10. Bedbugs

McCall Service / OnHealth

Bed bugs are a headache. If you get these bites in your home, then you'll definitely have a big task ahead of you.

Bed beg bites are oftentimes mistaken as mosquito bites, but they'll usually have a zigzagging pattern.

Other symptoms include redness, swelling, and puss.

11. Deer Flies

Wikipedia / HealthTap

Most flies wreak havoc by only buzzing around, but some of them can transmit diseases. Deer flies are one of them.

If you ever get bitten by one, you'll definitely feel it. Their bites are extremely painful, causing red bumps.

Deer flies can transmit a disease known as rabbit fever. If you experience skin ulcers, fever or a headache right after you get bitten, see a doctor immediately.

12. Brown Recluse Spider

EarthSky / philipcaruso-story

Spiders aren't technically bugs, but it's important to know some of the common bites you can get from them.

The brown recluse spider is found in many southern states, including Missouri, Tennessee, and Louisiana.

They usually hide in the dark and don't want to be bothered with, but if they get trapped against your skin, they'll bite.

It will take you a few hours to actually feel the itch, but once you do, it hurts a lot.

The bite will cause redness or purple ring that looks like a bull's-eye.

It's likely that you have to get treatment for this bite if it starts to blister and give you a fever, headache, or chills.

Which one of these bites do you get most often?

[H/T: Newsner]

If you have a pest problem, check out 15 common household pests and the best way to get rid of each one.

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at