The Most Common Bug Bites, Which one do You Have?

“What Bug Bite do I Have?” Here is a list of the most common insect and bug bites, along with general information. I hope this helps you identify your pest!

The Most Common Bug Bites, Which one do You Have


Fleas are small, dark insects. They are wingless and travel by leaping. They live by feeding on blood from their host (can be animals or people). Flea bites can be extremely itchy and symptoms arise usually hours after the bite. Flea bites are commonly found on the legs, but may also present on the upper body. They are commonly found as multiple bites and may take weeks to resolve. They may become swolen and sore, and tend to become larger over time. Upon applying pressure, the rash may turn white.

Bed Bugs

Very small bugs that hide in your bedding. Commonly transmitted through hotels and apartments. They can also travel with your luggage and pets. These red, itchy bites are usually found in uncovered areas such as the arms and shoulders. The bite itself does not hurt, most people will have an allergic reaction to the bed bug’s saliva two to three days later. They present as elevated, red bumps on the skin. They may also present as extremely itchy and inflamed welts. These bites usually lasts several days.


Most commonly attaches to you in the outdoors, while on a hike or even during an afternoon picnic. Ticks will latch themselves to your body, preferably in warm areas such as the groin and armpits. Ticks can carry serious diseases such as Lyme disease, but do not always do so. Lyme disease presents as a bull’s eye lesion and may initially cause fever, headache, and fatigue. Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics.


Mosquito bites are generally less painful and irratating than the other bug bites seen here on this page. They present as itchy round, red bumps on the skin. They are known to be able to spread diseases/viruses such as West Nile and Dengue Fever.


Found in hair, lice are most commonly found on the scalp and behind your ears. These bites are small and cause much more itching than pain. They can be transmitting from the sharing of combs/brushes, hats, etc. A lice infestation presents with itching and in more serious cases, hair loss. Lotions, shampoos, and other products are used to kill lice and their offspring. It is also important to wash everything that has come in contact with your hair: pillows, clothing, combs, family members, etc.

Bees, Hornets, and Wasps

Stings from these insects can be very serious if the person is allergic to them. A bee sting presents as a sharp pain, resembling a stick from a needle. A dull, aching feeling may follow, and become sore and warm to the touch a few days later. A regular bee can only sting once, because it loses its stinger upon stinging. However, hornets and wasps may sting multiple times.

Fire Ants

Most commonly found in the South East (U.S). Fire ants can be very agressive and stings with its abdomen, while hanging on with its jaws. Fire ant stings look like red hives which itch and burn. These lesions can contain puss.


These arachnids only feed on people in their early stages. Their bites are extremely itchy and can leave red welts lasting several days.

Scabies, Mites

These tiny bugs burrow into your skin and can cause severe reactions. They are spread through skin to skin contact or by sharing things like beds, clothing, etc. These are unique in that they don’t present until several weeks after the initial infestation. Severe itching will be present and peaks at night time. The most common locations for these will be on your fingers, wrists, elbows, and torso area (including your genitals).


-The common spider bite is not poisonous and presents much like a bee sting. They usually present as red, painful swellings of the skin. A poisonous spider bite may cause allergic reactions and breathing difficulties, swelling of the face, and chest tightness. These symptoms may present a half hour to an hour later and needs immediate medical attention.


These large flies are found near damp environments such as wetlands and forests. These bites are known to be very painful and can spread diseases such as Tularemia.


Houseflies don’t bite, but they have the potential of spreading infection from the million plus bacteria they carry.


Cockroaches don’t bite, but they can carry diseases like salmonella. Even after dying, their dead bodies can spark allergic reactions and asthma.

With all bug and insect bites, try to resist itching. Itching can open up a wound and cause infection. If systemic symptoms such as fatigue, chest tightness, swelling of the face, etc. presents, be sure to recieve immediate medical attention.

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