Ticks, Fleas, Mosquitoes, and Bed Bugs – Which Biting Pest Are You Dealing With?
If you wake up with itchy, red bites on your skin, you might first wonder what bit you. This is especially true if you were not recently in an area where mosquitoes are prevalent or you were not aware of a pest problem.
Even if you have not seen other signs of pests around your home or yard, observing any bites you have received can help you determine what kind of pest is biting you. From there, you will also know how to treat a bite, what other pest signs you should look for, and how to go about getting rid of biting pests.
Distinguishing the Different Types of Bites
In general, all biting pests will leave a type of sore that is often itchy and not every bite will be distinguishable. But if you can identify which bug bit you, it can help you direct your pest control efforts:
- Ticks – Ticks embed themselves in the skin while they feed which can be anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Around the bite site, you may experience a rash, pain, or swelling. Ticks prefer armpits, groins, and hair where there is moisture. If the tick is still on you when you notice the bite, use tweezers to remove it at the point where it is attached to your skin.
- Fleas – Fleas prefer to bite pets over humans, but will still bite if they are nearby. Fleas cannot fly, but may be on a couch or chair, so you can expect to see flea bites on your ankles (near the floor) or on your lower back and legs if you sit where they frequent. One bite is common, but clusters may also occur in these regions.
- Mosquitoes – A mosquito bite is usually a single red welt that is larger than other bug bites. The bites can often be felt as they occur, as mosquitoes do not fully numb the skin the way that other pests do. Their bites are most often on arms, legs, necks, and faces. Mosquito bites often go away within two days.
- Bed Bugs – Like fleas, bed bugs frequently bite in clusters or straight lines, often with 3 or more bites. They can also occur anywhere, but are more likely to occur where skin is exposed. Because they tend to bite people as they sleep, it’s more common to wake up with bites. You may also find them anywhere on the body.
Most bites do not need additional treatment unless more severe health complications develop. An antihistamine can soothe itching while the bites heal. The only exception would be if the bite transmits a disease.
Of all of the biting pests, ticks and mosquitoes generally have the most potential for harm to people as they can transmit various diseases. Ticks will often carry Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Depending on the area, mosquitoes can spread West Nile Virus, Dengue fever, and St. Louis encephalitis. Bed bugs do not carry a risk of disease, and flea diseases are rare, but the bites can be irritating and the idea of sharing your home with a bloodsucking pest is unappealing.
The pest control process for these four bugs varies slightly, making professional pest control a must if bug bites are overwhelming your family. If you are tired of dealing with biting pests, 24 Pest Control can help you identify the cause and design a treatment plan to get rid of them. Call us today to get started.