Bug Bites

Bug Bite Identification Help

Use the pictures and information below to help you identify bug bites and stings.

Bite Symptoms & Appearance Table

 

Ants

ant sting

sting appearance

  • Redness & swelling

sting symptoms

  • Moderate pain
  • Allergic reactions: sneezing, wheezing, hives, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sudden anxiety, dizziness, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, itching or swelling of the face.

notes

While not always the case, a person who is highly allergic to wasp and bee stings may be highly allergic to ant stings. This is a general overview of ant stings & bites. See also carpenter ants, fire ants, and harvester ants.

Bed Bugs

bed bug bites

bite appearance

  • Red welts (small, flat or raised )
  • Swelling
  • Red rash
  • Bites can appear in tight lines of multiple, small, red marks

bite symptoms

  • Initial burning sensation
  • Itching
  • Possible to have no reactions, and bite goes unseen

notes

May go unnoticed for a few days. One bug may bite multiple times. Read more about bed bugs bites.

Blister Beetle

blister beetle welt

bite appearance

  • Blisters or welts
  • Caused by a chemical called cantharidin

bite symptoms

  • Occurs within a few hours of contact
  • No lasting skin damage

notes

Do not crush blister beetles on skin, instead gently remove them. Read more about blister beetle warts.

Brown Recluse Spider

brown recluse bite

bite appearance

  • Reddening and swelling
  • Blister may appear at the bite site

bite symptoms

  • Mild skin irritation (itching)
  • Skin lesions
  • Fever, convulsions, nausea and muscle pain

notes

Fatalities have never been verified. Deep scarring can occur if left untreated. Read more about brown recluse bites.

Fire Ant

fire ant sting

sting appearance

  • Red welts or lumps
  • Semi circular pattern for multiple stings
  • Becomes a blister

sting symptoms

  • Burning, stinging sensation

notes

One ant may sting multiple times. Read more about fire ant stings.

Fleas

flea bite

bite appearance

  • Red spots surrounded by reddened haloes
  • Often found on legs and feet

bite symptoms

  • Very itchy

notes

Contact doctor immediately if bite wounds excrete puss. Read more about flea bites.

Horsefly

horse fly bite

bite appearance

  • Bleeding (horsefly feeds on the blood)
  • Reddish bumps

bite symptoms

  • Painful bites
  • Soreness
  • Itchiness

notes

Aggressive biters. Possibility of infection if not treated with antibacterial medications. Read more about horsefly bites.

Lice

lice bite

bite appearance

  • Bites in pubic hair, armpit, or eyebrow
  • Bluish-grey skin reactions sores
  • Small red bumps

bite symptoms

  • Itching that often gets worse at night
  • Tiny white eggs called nits may be found in hair

notes

Itching may start soon after getting bitten or it may not start for up to 2-4 weeks after contact. Read more about lice bites, including head lice and body lice.

Mosquito

mosquito bite

bite appearance

  • Hard bumps
  • Bumps can be puffy with a red dot in the middle
  • Stings may appear as small as blisters instead of bumps

bite symptoms

  • Itching

notes

For children, large swelling or low grade fever may accompany stings. Read more about mosquito bites.

Scabies

scabies

appearance

  • Pimple-like rashes usually on the wrist, elbow, armpit, nipple, waist, belt-line, buttocks, and between the fingers
  • Small, raised lines on the surface of the skin

symptoms

  • Intense itching that worsens in the evening
  • Numbness, tingling and swelling around the sting site

notes

Caused by the itch mite that does not actually bite or sting, but burrows and eats human skin. Read more about scabies.

Spiders

spider bites

bite appearance

  • Two puncture marks close together

bite symptoms

  • Widow spiders: muscle cramps and pain, increased blood pressure, sweating, skin rash
  • Violin spiders: anemia, blood in the urine, fever, rash, nausea, vomiting and even coma (rare)

notes

This is a general overview of spider bites. Read more about spider bites. See also black widow, brown recluse, hobo, tarantula, wolf, and yellow sac.

Ticks

tick bites

bite appearance

  • “Bulls-eye” rash can be signs that a tick had Lyme Disease

bite symptoms

  • Initial sign is redness around the bite area
  • Itchiness
  • Burning sensation

notes

Fever, headache and fatigue are early signs of Lyme Disease.