Bugs can be a bane on your life. From a mild itching sensation to a severe allergic reaction, bug bites can cause all sorts of symptoms. So it is wise to know how to identify bug bites so that you can figure out what's bothering you and what measures can you take to manage the problem.
How To Identify Insect Bites
Usually most bug bites cause a rash which would appear in the form of red, itchy bumps on the skin. Although similar in appearance, different bug bites would vary from each other in terms of their severity.
Bed Bug Bite
Bed bug bites appear as large wheels in orderly rows. Often found in hotels, shelters, and apartment complexes, bite from these pesky parasites cause a rash that may be accompanied by swelling of the bitten area, blisters or inflamed bumps. The itching begins about an hour after the bug is done with sucking blood. Some people do not develop any kind of rash even after a day or so. Recurrence of such a rash would mean that you are still being sucked on by these parasites. One good thing about bed bug bites is that they do not give rise to any medical concern, and gradually fade away after a day or two.
Now let's talk about the annoying, flying blood sucking parasites known as mosquitoes. In this case, the skin rash that appears in response to the bite, indicates severe allergic reaction. Itchy, red blisters or bruises may show up, after the person has been bitten. These insects play host to diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, and other diseases. To add to this, constant scratching a bite can cause skin infection.
Although I have mentioned about chiggers in this article, it is to be known that these are not insects but arachnids. Inspect the areas around the waist, ankles, or in warm skin folds. These are the areas where they lay their bite and cause wounds in the form of small raised red lesions. Itching does occur, but after several hours of the bite. That is why the victim may not be aware of a chigger bite. If you have ever come in contact with poison ivy or oak, then it would be easy for you to identify the symptoms of a chigger bite, as they are similar to those of the ivy.
When this parasite bites you, you won't feel it until a lump develops. Know that this lump is not some kind of rash, but the tick itself which has buried itself in the skin. Gross! About 4 weeks after the bite, the rash appears. It develops around the wrists and ankles and later, spreads to the whole body. Lyme disease is a severe infection that is caused by the black-legged tick, and the western black-legged tick. Its characteristic symptom is the occurrence of a circular, expanding rash. In some cases, the infection causes fever, headaches, chills, joint, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle aches. If the infection is left undetected, it may start affecting the joints, heart and even the nervous system. This could be worsened by memory problems, facial paralysis, and rapid heartbeat.
Bleeding small itchy bumps are indicative of the bite of a flea. The characteristic symptom of these bumps is a single puncture at the center. Even these itchy bumps are a result of an allergic reaction. The bumps are inflamed and may appear in the form of clusters of two bites. It may take several weeks for these rashes to subside and disappear.
Among spiders, the black widow and the brown recluse are the ones to be watched out for. A bite from the former one leaves one or more red fang marks on the bitten area. The bite can cause a sharp shooting pain, while in some people, there may not be any. The bitten area usually turns red, swollen and you could also notice a nodule at the bite site. Some people reported to have experienced high blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps, and even seizure, because of the bite. Such bites require anti-venom medication.
The brown recluse spider is no less notorious than the widow. Although the insect is highly poisonous, and its bite can cause severe wounds and infection, you may not feel its bite. When the bite is laid, it first causes the skin to go red, then white, develop a rash, blisters, and then the pain begins.
Head Lice Bite
Although it may be difficult to notice their bite, you know its head lice because you keep scratching your head like crazy, once these parasites attack. Also, you can see them upon examining your hair carefully. In kids, excessive scratching may trigger bacterial infection, and may cause the scalp to become inflamed.
As aforementioned, bees are one of those insects who attack in defense. The bite causes immediate pain, swelling, and the bitten area is warm to touch, accompanied by itching. The wound may turn into a bacterial infection. People who are allergic to a bee sting may exhibit symptoms like hives, swelling of mouth or throat, wheezing, vomiting, chest pain, and low blood pressure.
Not just any ant, but the fire ant! When this insect attacks, it latches onto the skin using its powerful jaws, and stings with its abdomen. The insect can sting several times and inject venom. Fire ant sting can be identified by looking for burning, and itchy red lesions similar to hives. If the person gets bitten several times, then the venom could be potential enough to set off a life-threatening allergic reaction thus, pressing the need of immediate medical care.
A threat to agriculture, caterpillars could also be a source of trouble to human health. Many of these insects have venom in their hair. When they come in contact with the human skin, the hair inject the venom and cause symptoms like dermatitis, pain, and itching. Some species of these insects can even cause upper airway inflammation, bronchospasm, muscle cramping, vomiting, bleeding and kidney failure.
Although the appearance of these insects look deadly, not all of them are poisonous. One can identify a scorpion sting by the symptoms it causes in the person. Common ones include the stung area getting red, and warm to touch. There might be little swelling or none, tingling and muscle twitching. Some people may exhibit unusual head and neck movements, abnormal sweating, and drooling.
Having an untidy kitchen, cracks and holes in walls or floors, increase the chances of cockroach infestation. Although rare, these insects have been reported to bite humans, but without causing any medical concern. However, getting continuously exposed to their carcasses or feces, could trigger asthma and allergic reaction.
As it can be inferred from the above information, there are mainly two things that need to be looked after for bug bite identification; the appearance of the bite, and the symptoms that follow. But more important is to monitor the condition of the affected person, depending on which, medical help could be called for.