Insect bites identification

 

Some insect bites are harmless while others are poisonous. Hence, insect bites identification is really important especially when treating fatal ones. Read on to learn more.

Insects sting or bite to protect themselves against predators. Although most insect bites are mild, some can be life-threatening. Most of these insects lurk within your home and you may have provoked them accidentally without the intention of upsetting them. At some point, you may fail to notice them at all and would not feel the bite. Therefore, the only possible way to figure out the type of insect that has bitten you is by knowing how different insect bites appear. Insect bites identification is the key in treating insect bites properly.

Insect bite symptoms

Insect bites identification starts by learning the signs and symptoms of insect bites.  Regardless of the species of insect that bites you, the common signs and symptoms of insect bites include itching, pain, skin rashes, swelling and redness of skin. If you are allergic to some sting or bite from a particular insect, severe reaction may be visible beyond the area of bite or sting. Severe allergic reactions are manifested in the form of suffocation, breathing difficulties, nausea, muscle cramps, wheezing and unconsciousness. In such case, prompt medical attention is needed. Even so, if you feel sick after being bitten by an insect, you should never delay professional medical attention.

How do you go about Insect Bites Identification?

Although most insect bites cease to irritate the skin within a few minutes of getting bitten, some persists much longer. While there are people who don’t experience allergic reactions to insect bites, some exhibit severe and even unusual allergic reactions. Because of this, insect bites identification is very crucial as this helps in providing the appropriate treatment for the particular type of insect bite. Here are some guidelines on how to proceed with insect bites identification:

  • Observe the insect

If the culprit is still there, observe how the insect looks like and its unusual characteristics. Does it have wings? What is the color of its body? In case you did not find the insect that bit you, check the clothing surrounding the insect bite as it may still be nearby.

  • Inspect the site of sting or bite

Insects often leave marks on the bitten area which often changes in color. Check the patterns of puncture wounds, rashes, swellings and other revealing marks. Some visual characteristics of stings or bites don’t show right away. That is why you need to closely observe the site of the insect bite for several hours or days after.

  • Look for other symptoms

Indicators of insect bites are not limited to the bite site. There are accompanying symptoms such as headaches, high fever, lethargy and restlessness. Take note of any unusual symptoms. Breathing difficulties, trouble in swallowing and inflammation on your throat are symptoms that call for immediate medical attention since these indicate anaphylactic reactions.

Identifying Bites from Various Insects

When you know how to go about insect bites identification, you will be able to identify which insect has stung you.  Below are some characteristics of insect bites specific to the type of insect.

  • Mosquito Bite

This is the most common type of insect bite responsible for the dreaded disease malaria. Bites of this blood-sucking insect appear like red rashes with bruises or blisters. They are also itchy. This occurs due to your skin’s reaction to the mosquito’s saliva.

  • Ant Bites

Even with the slightest aggravation, ants are ready to attack you. Ant bites bring about slight bump on the skin causing itching and insignificant burning sensation. However, symptoms subside within two days. But if you are bitten by a fire ant, it’s a different story. Bites of fire ants often start out as typical ant bite. But, it may progress into pus-filled lesion which is quite painful too.

  • Tick Bites

Bites from ticks appear bright red and become darker towards the center. More often than not, you will find a tick sticking on the skin with its head buried underneath the skin. In this case, don’t pull it away as doing so would leave the head underneath the skin.

  • Flea Bite

Flea bite is characterized by small red nodules that form at the bitten area. For people with intense allergic reactions, they may experience severe itching. If you are unsure whether the insect bite is caused by a flea, assess the severity of itching. If you experience persistent itching, it is most certainly caused by a flea bite.

  • Bed Bug bites

Bed bugs are the peskiest type of bugs that lives on beddings, whose bites appear like small, red, itchy bumps, which can be painful sometimes. Even if they don’t result to any serious complications, the persistent, severe itching will make your life feel like hell. If you look at the bites closely, they look like large wheels arranged in rows. Itchiness is felt within an hour after the bed bug has bitten you. Here is more information about bed bug bite.

  • Spider Bites

If you notice two small marks on your skin, these are most likely cause by a spider bite. Although most spider bites are harmless, it is really important to closely observe the marks for fear that they may be due to bite from a poisonous spider. If the insect bite is caused by a brown recluse spider, the bitten area becomes red, slowly turning white, and finally taking the form of a bull’s eye. The symptoms worsen as made evident by skin blistering. If the bite is caused by a black widow spider, the bitten area will turn red and a hard lump will develop under the skin’s surface. Find out more about spider bites

  • Chiggers Bite

This insect is known for giving extremely itchy bites. Bites from chiggers give rise to red lesions in warm skin areas such as ankles and waists. Itching associated with chiggers bite is often felt several hours later. These insects inhabit tall grasses that stick onto the skin; they are highly inconspicuous, leaving only large and prickly red welts. Here is more information about chiggers bite.

Insect bites treatment

Once you have figured out that you have been bitten by an insect, clean the bitten area immediately with water and mild soap. This is to avoid getting further infection especially when the insect bite is caused by fleas. Fight the urge to scratch the bite. Apply some antiseptic cream or ointment. Most importantly, it is critical to seek emergency medical attention if you experience any manifestations of severe allergic reaction.  Consult your doctor if you start to feel ill.

Most of the above mentioned insects are found at home. Hence, cleaning your home regularly and observing precautionary measures when cleaning undisturbed spaces such as basements or attics is very important to avoid getting bitten by insects. Learning about insect bites identification is your key to detecting the insect that had bitten you and aids in coming up and starting the appropriate insect bite treatment.

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