Generally speaking, insect bites have a lot in common with various skin diseases, injuries and allergic reactions: some of them can be easily confused, for example, with nettle or parshevika burns, while others can be taken as the characteristic symptoms of allergic dermatitis.
The photo below shows the bites of typical blood-sucking insects. Mosquitoes:
Fresh marks on the skin after the "feast" of bed bugs:
And in this photo - the consequences of stinging nettle:
Nevertheless, insect bites can still be distinguished from skin injuries of a different nature - even if they are quite similar. There are some signs and symptoms that indicate precisely the effects of an insect attack:
- Characteristic location. For example, burns from various plants are rarely found on the neck, face or shoulders, but such localization for the bites of flies, midges,mosquitoes or bedbugs are absolutely natural.
- The presence of damage to the skin in the form of a point, sometimes with local hemorrhage. In the center of the bites of a variety of insects, it is often possible to see a clear puncture site of the skin. In addition, subcutaneous hemorrhage may develop from the venom or insect enzymes (not only blood-sucking), and a small hematoma may form.
- The amount of damage and their size. A single swelling on the body is clearly not in favor of allergies, and vice versa - a multiple small rash often speaks of an allergic reaction.
Unfortunately, in practice it is not always easy to distinguish an allergic reaction or skin diseases from the bites of some insects. Moreover, some dermatitis itself may be the result of regular or numerous bites, so in cases causing serious doubts and concerns, it is still better to consult a doctor.
Insect bites can be both practically harmless and occurring in just a few hours, as well as extremely dangerous, which can lead to extensive hemorrhages, edema, and even anaphylactic shock with a likely fatal outcome.Again, there is no uniform framework: for example, mosquito bites, which are quite innocuous for adults, can turn into a severe allergic reaction for children, high fever and a generally serious condition.
The photo below shows bedbug bites on the body of an adult:
Multiple flea bites:
And in this photo - wasp sting:
Different types of insect bites can be divided into several groups according to external signs and severity of the consequences and complications caused.
The first group includes light, unobtrusive, almost non-disturbing bites. They are left, for example, single small midges or red forest ants. A person may not notice the consequences of such attacks at all - on his skin after them only small reddenings or just dots remain.
In the photo - the ant is trying to bite a man:
The second group also combines relatively light, but already more pronounced and, as a rule, numerous insect bites: for example, mosquitoes, bedbugs, fleas and lice. The attack of one such offender is often unobtrusive and does not attract much attention, but these insects "take" precisely with mass - and this already threatens with severe itching, allergies, and sometimes fever (for example, in children).The victim usually gives a very colorful description of his feelings, precisely because of the large area of the bitten body surface.
That summer we went to the pond to have a rest, it was some kind of nightmare, in the evening everyone was bitten. Komaria - not measured! Sasha's face is all swollen, the temperature has risen, and the beginning is nauseous. Then another week went all stained ...
In the photo - a mosquito at the time of the bite:
On a note:
It is interesting to note that when bed bugs are infested in the house (which is not uncommon in our 21st century), many people do not believe to the last in the presence of insects in the house, copying redness in themselves, and especially in children, for an allergic reaction. At the same time, they sin on anything, on laundry detergent, irritation from clothes, allergies from fruits, coffee, etc. Until one day they find a bug in their bed or child's bed ...
The third group consists of bites, causing a pronounced local reaction in the form of severe pain, swelling and redness, with the possible development of serious edema and allergic reactions, up to anaphylactic shock. These include the bites of wasps, hornets, bees, some tropical ants, certain types of equestrians, large gadflies, etc.
Such bites (especially in children) require the closest attention, because in some cases they can threaten a person’s life. Even a single hornet bite is often fatal.
The photo shows the effects of a hornet bite:
Gadfly at the time of the bite:
In addition to the above-mentioned insects, there are also other arthropods, the bites of which in the framework of the above classification should be assigned to separate groups. For example, it is possible to identify ticks, which are carriers of serious human diseases, as well as poisonous spiders, scolopendras, scorpions, which also pose a serious danger.
It should be borne in mind that even if the insect bite itself does not cause catastrophic consequences, in some cases, deadly infections can be carried into the bloodstream with it.
At the same time there is an interesting relationship: the most painful and pronounced bites almost never lead to infection with something, and vice versa - those types of bites that are least of all paying attention to themselves are sometimes especially dangerous. As an example, there are ticks, the bites of which are dangerous by the transfer of encephalitis and Lyme borreliosis, anopheles mosquitoes, and also fleas,able to spread a variety of diseases, of which the plague, encephalitis and anthrax are most known.
On a note
From an epidemiological point of view, the most dangerous biting insects are just parasites. The causative agents of brucellosis, plague, encephalitis, and others have learned to spread between their victims during the course of their evolution through parasites.
But the stinging insects - wasps, bees, hornets - bite only in exceptional cases, defending or defending their nest. Therefore, bacteria and viruses (even if they infected such an insect) would not have a great chance of being transmitted to humans or animals.
Parasite insect bites
And now let's take a closer look at illustrative examples of how the bites of certain insect species look and what features they have. Let's start with those who most often attack people - insect parasites.
For example, below are some photos showing how they look. domestic insects at the time of the bite:
In the overwhelming majority of cases, the bites of parasitic insects are felt rather faintly (with the exception, perhaps, of fleas), and attract attention only when the attack was massive.A striking example of this is the bedbug bites presented in the picture below, unfortunately, fairly common insects in apartments and houses to this day:
A characteristic feature of bedbug bites is to line them up in long chains (paths). So, it is for bugs that are characterized by three-point bites, located in one short line (this helps determine which insect bit at night: a mosquito or bug).
Flea bites also have a specific appearance (see the example in the photo):
Traces of flea bites usually have clearly visible single red spots in the center. This is explained by the fact that when a flea bites, it has to immerse almost its entire head into the skin:
As a rule, the traces of the attack of these insects are noticeably less than after the bites of bedbugs. "Tracks" of red dots on the body may also be present, but very short, usually not more than 2-3 points.
Another example of biting insects, which can only be tentatively called homemade, is lice. Head and pubic lice never leave the “tracks” of bites and attack only the hairy areas of the body (sometimes even the eyelashes and eyebrows), because for life and reproduction they need to attach their nits to the victim's hair:
However, speaking of these well-known insects, we must not forget about the rarer, but still common in the civilized world, wardrobe (underwear) lice. In the course of evolution, they adapted to bite a man for any part of the body and not to depend on his hair.
The characteristic difference between lice bites is bluish spots on constantly attacking places and scabs from scratching. In the photo - marks from the bites of these insects:
As mentioned above, single bites of domestic insects are generally not very disturbing, however, for example, regular attacks of bed bugs can even cause nervous disorders, insomnia or anemia in children.
But most of the insect parasites are still found in the wild. In the tropics, mosquito bites can cause malaria. In the taiga and tundra, the bites of local blood-sucking insects - midges - are a real disaster, especially for unprepared "newcomers." Compared with the usual "city" mosquitoes, the attacks of these insects lead to much more serious consequences: blisters on the skin, a long and debilitating itching.
Perhaps the leading position among all the parasitic insects that inhabit our country is occupied by horseflies - large flies that live everywhere near water bodies and have very painful bites. When attacking, horsefly actually cuts off a piece of the victim’s skin, and then injects a special enzyme into the open wound that prevents blood from clotting.
In the photos you can see the bites of these insects:
What the bites of bees, wasps, hornets, poisonous ants and other stinging insects look like
Unlike most parasites, the bites of stinging insects are very painful. And this is not surprising, because the goal of their attack is precisely to scare the enemy with great pain.
The venom of wasps, bees, some stinging ants and their relatives contain a large number of allergens that can lead to the development of extensive edema, urticaria, fever and general intoxication of the body. In some cases, such bites lead to the death of the victim, especially if insects attack the whole swarm.
Hornet sting photo:
And here is a photo of a honey bee at the moment of a bite - its sting gets stuck in a person’s skin along with a part of insect entrails:
A photograph of a bullet ant - its bites are so strong that they are considered, by the degree of pain, one of the strongest among insects in general:
On a note
The bites of giant Asian hornets in some countries lead to more deaths than the attacks of any wild animals (for example, Japan, where about 40 people die from the attacks of hornets each year).
If during the sting you did not have time to notice and recognize which insect has bitten you, then first aid should be given in a universal scheme in such cases with an emphasis on preventing the development of a severe allergic reaction:
- visually assess the presence of a sting in the wound, and if it is, then remove it;
- suck out poison from the wound (without spending more than 1 minute on it);
- disinfect the affected area with hydrogen peroxide, iodine or brilliant green;
- apply a cold compress to the bite site;
- take an antihistamine (Suprastin, Diphenhydramine - but only in the absence of contraindications, a list of which can be found in the instructions for the appropriate drug).
“This summer I could not stand it and called in specialists to deal with the wasp nest. For two years, these wasps were settled down behind the barn.At first they tried to get rid of themselves, smoked them, but after they bit their granddaughter, they did not save. The child was all swollen, even had to call an ambulance, everyone was scared. Two bites in the face, one on the collarbone, were afraid that the swelling of the lungs would go, the temperature rose greatly. It's good that everything was okay, but we still got rid of the wasps, at the same time they also restrained the ants. ”
Anna Valerievna, St. Petersburg
The bites of spiders, ticks, skolopendr and other "non-insects"
In the daily life of ticks, spiders and skolopendr often called insects, although those are not such creatures (insects have only 3 pairs of legs).
Often, the tick is found injured too late - when the parasite is already stuck in the skin (when attacked, they release special painkillers). The tick bite stain is usually quite large, but in some cases it may not be much different in color from the surrounding tissues. Its characteristic feature is the ring shape: the red center of the spot is often surrounded at first by a pale, and then brighter "rims".
In the photo below, these “rings” are clearly visible:
Also, it is possible to determine whether a bite belongs to a tick by a dense and non-painful blister, which remains after the parasite is detached.In the center of this bubble there is always a trace from the hole through which the sucking took place.
In the case of a tick bite, you should immediately contact an infectious disease physician and pass the necessary tests to rule out encephalitis and borreliosis (it is advisable to bring the tick you bitten yourself with). If this is not possible, then you need to carefully monitor your condition and “listen” to the body: the slightest indisposition may indicate a developing disease.
Often, the tick may not cause significant health damage, but the bites of poisonous scolopendra are almost always very dangerous. Thus, the attack of the Crimean skolopendry, or drupes, usually ends with extensive edema, fever up to 39 ° C, hemorrhages and painful inflammation. The pain from her bite persists for several days.
Unfortunately, even this is a serious condition - not the worst thing that can happen after an attack of scolopendra: the tropical species of these arthropods can be deadly for humans.
In the photo - the Crimean skolopendra:
The insect bite in this case consists of two points - this is how the affected result of the scolopendra attack usually describes.Outwardly, it really looks like two characteristic points, because the arthropod pierces the skin with two jaws.
One more “not insects” that leave significant traces on the human body are leeches. Their attacks are notable for the fact that the wound that forms is bleeding for a very long time, and from this a person loses much more blood than from sucking by the leech itself.
In the photo - leech bites:
The bites of some spiders can be quite painful. Among them there are many species, the bite of which is deadly for a person - for example, karakurt, or, otherwise, a steppe widow:
The most pronounced are the effects of karakurt bites in May-June, when the spider season runs, and it is in large females. However, it is believed that the deadly threat of bites from these spiders is only for children and the elderly.
On a note
Ticks also belong to the class of arachnids, although their parasitic lifestyle is very different from the life style of spider predators.
Males of all types of karakurt are much smaller than females, and they rarely bite humans.
Tarantula is also a well-known poisonous spider, although in most cases it does not pose a serious danger to humans.However, its bite is very painful, and it feels like a bee sting both in its sensations and in its consequences.
Below is a photo of a tarantula bite:
It is interesting
The "lucky ones" who have experienced the bites of various spiders say that the more dangerous a spider is, the less painful its bite. For example, when walking through hard and prickly grass, a person may not even notice a karakurt bite, while a tarantula bite immediately causes severe pain. But in half an hour the situation is changing: the bite of a tarantula can stop hurting, and a bite of a steppe widow can cause a person to lose consciousness.
Scorpions living in our country are also dangerous to humans. Their bite is very painful, can lead to anaphylaxis and death.
In the photo - yellow scorpion, which can be found in Dagestan or the southern Volga region:
Specificity of insect bites in children
Often children react to insect bites more acutely than adults, because their bodies are not yet “ripe”, and their immunity is not strong enough. On their skin, bite symptoms can appear more clearly, and blisters and swelling last longer.
In the photo - traces of bites in a child, left by the bedbugs living in the apartment:
On the other hand, children are less likely to have severe allergic reactions to insect bites due to the absence of previous sensitization - a certain amount of “experience” accumulated by the body, which is necessary for a violent immune response.
Speaking about the specifics of insect bites in children, it is impossible not to say about the rules of treatment for babies: it is necessary to take into account the peculiarities of the child’s body and use only those medicines that are allowed for use in children. Unfortunately, many adults forget about this and give babies drugs that are even more aggravating and complicating the already serious consequences of meeting with insects.
It is a fact that with a very large number of blood-sicking insects - mosquitoes, bedbugs or lice - their bites can lead to anemia in children due to regular blood loss and ingestion of an anticoagulant enzyme. Therefore, if the insect bites in a child appear regularly, you need to start fighting with parasites in an apartment as soon as possible.
If insects have bitten a pet
Insect bites in dogs, cats and other pets are often less noticeable than on humans, due to the thick wool or feather cover.Animals may not even express their “feelings”, and suffer in silence, but this does not mean that insect attacks on them can be completely ignored.
In dogs, tick bites, which leave large hard bumps in the ears and neck, most often attract attention. Dogs cannot become infected with encephalitis, but ticks are dangerous for them to transmit other serious diseases. For example, ticks tolerate piroplasmosis, from which an animal may die even during the first day.
Slightly less frequently, animals are attacked by stinging insects. The effects of these bites on them are generally similar to those of a person. The photo shows how a cat's paw swelled by a wasp sting:
Cats and dogs who regularly walk on the street are often disturbed by fleas and eaters. It is not always easy to notice the bites of these insects on the animal, so the owners usually learn about parasites by the changed behavior of pets: the constant combing of wool, anxiety, restlessness.
Poultry - especially chickens - are often bitten by bed bugs who settle in outbuildings. With mass reproduction, insects can lead to loss of egg production of birds, slowing the growth of chickens and their freezing.
And the following photos show examples when birds are dominated by the so-called chicken fleas:
A similar situation can be observed in other household animals and birds - rabbits, ducks, pigeons. The latter, by the way, are often disturbed by bird bloodsuckers, which endure some deadly diseases for these birds.
And finally, we will touch on one important topic that concerns many tourists - insect bites in Thailand, India, Vietnam and the Caribbean. These resorts are very popular among Russians, but many are frightened by the stories of the "monstrous" insects found in those places.
Indeed, on the beaches of these countries, a sandy flea can easily bite the leg, which then remains under the skin as an internal parasite and can lead to suppuration, ulceration and even gangrene.
Photo of a sandy flea under the skin and after extraction:
Tropical hornets - also fairly common local "inhabitants" - are considered one of the most dangerous insects in the world, and South American ants are the owners of the most painful bite among insects in general.
However, this does not mean that it is impossible to rest in the tropics, and that it is not worth going there. You just need to know what insects bite a person in a particular country and a particular place, and also have a specially prepared first-aid kit with you and be careful in communicating with unknown nature.
And one more thing: you shouldn't be shy to go to the hospital with insect bites - in any country this particular step often saves many lives.
How to protect yourself from insect bites in the summer time and what to do if you are still bitten
5 rules for choosing a service for the destruction of insects