Bug Blog

Which Bug Bites Can Lead To Serious Health Issues?

Bug bites may cause annoying sensations of itchiness, and they often result in visible welts or minor wounds, but in most cases, bug bites do not cause any lasting health issues. Of course, this is only in most cases, as some bug bites require medical attention no matter how minor they may seem. Bugs like chiggers, wasps and spiders inflict wounds that could cause serious medical conditions or, in rare cases, death if left untreated.

Chiggers are tiny insects that come from the larvae of a type of mite that feeds on numerous animal species, including humans. Their bites leave behind welts with bright red dots in the center. Typically, chiggers are not visible to the naked eye, but if a group of these minute insects gather in a cluster on a person’s skin, they may become visible. When chiggers bite they inject a digestive enzyme into their host’s skin that causes tissue death. Chiggers are unique in that they feed on tissue as opposed to blood, which results in wounds that can take weeks to heal. Antihistamines are helpful for reducing the sensations of itching and the inflammation that results from chigger bites.

As most people already know, wasp stings may require medical attention in some cases. The vast majority of wasp stings result in nothing more than an unpleasant sting and a minor welt, but some individuals may notice swelling that increases for two or three days after the sting. However, if a serious allergic reaction takes place, it will happen almost immediately after the sting is inflicted. If you experience excessive swelling of the face, lips, or throat, lightheadedness, difficulty breathing, weak or racing pulse, then an emergency call to the paramedics is in order, and taking an antihistamine can help in case an epinephrine shot is not available.

Most spider bites resemble any other harmless bug bite, but some spiders, such as brown recluses, black widows, tarantulas, or jumping spiders can inflict bites that lead to more serious medical problems. If a spider bite results in a worsening rash, progressively worsening pain around the bite wound or blistering at the bite wound, then medical attention should be sought out as soon as possible. Spider bites are usually less serious to an individual’s overall health than tick and mosquito bites, but caution should still be taken upon sustaining a bite from any kind of arthropod.

Have you ever sustained a bug bite that became infected?