Bug Bite Identification


Bug bite identification can be tricky, but we're here to help.

Bug bite identification can be difficult. For example, chigger bites, which are relatively harmless, can be confused with bed bug bites — and those can indicate a possible infestation. Many bites look similar — and people have different reactions to them — further complicating an ID. Check out the infographic below for information on how to identify bug bites.

A quick note before we dive into the various types of bites: “Dust mite bites” are not real. These mites’ bites are reserved for eating sloughed-off skin cells and other debris found near humans.

bug bite ID infographic

Bed Bug Bites

Found: Over the entire body; commonly on the face, neck, arms and hands.
Appearance: Small, raised red bumps often appearing in clusters or a straight line; sometimes confused with mosquito, flea or chigger bites. May appear up to 14 days after initial bite.
Reaction: Mild itching to anaphylactic shock. Contact a medical professional for assistance with any symptoms or reactions.

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Chigger Bites/Red Bug Bites

Found: Around the waist, wrists, ankles or places where skin folds.
Appearance: Small, red bumps that may look like pimples or a skin rash. Appear within a few hours of being bitten.
Reaction: Mild to severe itching is common. If you need assistance with any symptoms or reactions, contact a medical professional.

Flea Bites

Found: Elbows, knees, ankles, armpits or around the waist.
Appearance: Small, raised bumps, sometimes in clusters of three; hives or a rash that can turn white when pressure is applied.
Reaction: Mild to moderate itching; swelling near bite site. Consult a doctor if you are sensitive to insect bites.

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Mosquito Bites

Found: Anywhere on the body; most often on exposed skin.
Appearance: Varies depending on the type of mosquito. Can include: a puffy, white or reddish bump; a hard, reddish-brown bump that itches; small blisters or dark spots that look bruised. All of these may occur a few minutes to a day after initial bite.
Reaction: Mild to moderate itching, swelling near bite site, hives or a low-grade fever. If you are worried about a symptom or reaction to a mosquito bite, contact a medical professional.

Click for our free Ultimate Mosquito Guide.

Spider Bites

Found: Anywhere on the body, often on feet or legs (spiders hide in shoes and clothing).
Appearance: Varies depending on the type of spider. For many types, a red, swollen area will appear hours to days after a bite.
Reaction: Spider bite symptoms vary from mild to moderate itching to severe reactions, depending on the type of spider. If you experience a reaction or suspect you were bitten by a dangerous species, seek medical help for spider bite treatment.

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Now that you know the answer to, “What do flea bites look like?” and other bite identification basics, you can keep an eye out for signs of fleas and other pests in your home. If you suspect you might have bed bugs, fleas or others pests, call Terminix®.

Sources: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States National Library of Medicine.

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