So, you have a bug bite. What do you do? The answer to that question depends a lot on what type of bug bit you. That is why identifying the type of bite can be so important. It can also be difficult. Generally, bug bites are red, bumpy, and itchy. However, while they have some basic similarities, they are also quite different. Learning those differences can help you determine what type of pests you have.

Bed Bugs

Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite. This saying has always seemed a little ominous, and even more so when you realize how nasty bed bug bites can be. Bed bug bites are small and red. They may be a little swollen, but the swelling can be difficult to detect because of their small size. They tend to be in folded areas of your body, like your elbows and knees. They are known for being very itchy and may even form blisters. Even though they are a nuisance, they are not a danger for most people. However, if you are allergic, they can cause a severe reaction.

To treat bed bug bites, clean the area thoroughly and treat with a topical antihistamine or corticosteroid.


Fleas will bite people but prefer to feast on our pets. So, if you get flea bites, they are likely to be in places close to where pets may lay, such as ankle bites from infested carpets. Flea bites are small red dots with a halo around the bite. They can be very itchy. They can also transmit parasites like tapeworms.

To treat flea bites, wash the area thoroughly. You can use an ice pack to reduce swelling and antihistamines or corticosteroids to deal with itching. If you develop parasites, see your doctor for treatment.


Mosquito bites show up as raised red bumps for most people. However, some people can have dramatic reactions that result in bigger bite areas. While these puffy bumps are itchy and annoying, the real danger is that mosquitoes can spread disease. So, if you begin to feel sick after getting mosquito bites, it can be worth a trip to the doctor to check on your health.

Bees and Wasps

Most insect bites are mildly painful and itchy. Bees and wasps have painful stings. They may leave a stinger in you or depart with their stinger. These strings are painful because bees and wasps actually have venom. For most people, the pain is sharp and immediate, but not serious. However, many people are allergic to bee or wasp venom. In those people, a sting can lead to anaphylaxis.

To treat a bee sting, clean the area and apply a topical antihistamine or corticosteroid. You can also use ice to treat the swelling. You may want to take an oral antihistamine, as well. If you have a known allergy, take allergy medicine or use an emergency treatment such as an Epi-Pen.


Spider bites show up as itchy red welts. However, the size and severity of the bite depends on the species of spider. Some may come with other symptoms including headaches, muscle aches, fever, chills, pain, sweating, nausea/vomiting, cramping, and breathing difficulties.

The treatment for spider bites ranges from washing the affected area all the way to seeking emergency medical care. So, if you cannot identify the type of spider that bites you and you begin to experience severe symptoms, seek immediate emergency medical attention.

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