Hey, what's eating you? Don't get down because you're already covered in bug bites this summer! Instead, take some time to learn how to identify the different types of bug bites that are most common, and why some can actually be fairly dangerous.
Here's what you need to know about identifying those mystery bug bites on your body
Everyone's familiar with that itchy red bump, but it's important to start here because it can easily be confused with other bites. Typically, it is a round red or pink bump that varies in size - its dependent on how long the bug was sipping on your blood for. These bugs will go anywhere, but they're especially drawn to shady, wet areas and stagnant water, as this is where they lay their eggs.
Bites are not typically dangerous, but Everyday Health noted that this summer you should be on the look out for the Zika virus, West Nile virus or malaria. All of these conditions start with similar symptoms: fever, headache, muscle aches and nausea. If you experience these symptoms after you know you've been bitten by a mosquito, it might not be summer flu, so seek medical attention immediately.
Summer brings everyone outdoors into the woods for long hikes, or into the long, unkempt corners of the park grass. Hiding in those areas, however, are ticks. Health Line explained that ticks are relatively common throughout North America, so it's crucial you keep your eye out for these bites. If you have been bitten by a tick that isn't carrying a disease, it's likely that you won't experience any symptoms. However, a nibble from one of these bugs can be incredibly dangerous if they are host to a disease.
These bites are easy to pick out because ticks typically stay attached to your body as they consume more and more blood. However, if the tick detaches itself before you notice, your body could react with a rash or, if the tick carried Lyme disease, a bruise in the shape of a target. If you think you've been bitten by a tick and have the following symptoms, you should see a doctor: neck stiffness, swollen lymph nodes, headache, nausea, weakness, fever or chills.
Bed bug bite
If you've been on vacation this summer, you may have brought back an unwanted souvenir: bed bugs. These bugs attack while you sleep, so if you wake up with clusters of red, swollen bites that get dark red in the center - similar to the appearance of hives - you likely have been bitten by the bed bug. You'll feel an itching or burning sensation from these pests. They are also often mistaken for mosquito bites when they first appear. The best way to differentiate them is to look for the pattern, explained Health Line. Bed bugs bite in small groupings or in a straight line - mosquitos will just go for one big bite.
There is typically no serious reaction to a bed bug bite, however they are impossible to get rid of without professional help. You will need to call bed bug exterminators if you notice these bites on your family.
If your pets have been running around outside, they may have been exposed to fleas this summer. And once your pet has fleas, they can transfer to your whole family. According to SafeBee, a flea bite will feature two or three bumps with a small red dot in the center and can irritate you for weeks. Typically they will bite you around your feet or ankles. Although very rare, flea bites can carry different variations of the plague. Symptoms will include: swollen lymph nodes, weakness, fever and bleeding under the skin. If you experience any of these symptoms seek immediate medical attention, otherwise an over-the-counter topical antihistamine should also do the trick.
Preventing bug bites will help you stay safe this summer, and that means keeping them out of your home. You don't want bugs striking when you least expect it - like when you're lounging around or while you're asleep - so contract your local pest exterminator to get rid of any bugs lurking within your residence before the season gets into full swing.
Abell Pest Control is a family owned Canadian company dedicated to providing effective, professional and courteous service in pest management.Started in 1924 with one office, Abell now employs several hundred people with branch offices across Canada and the United States.