Did you know, spiders are not insects? That’s right. They are actually arachnids, as are scorpions, chiggers, and ticks. Fun fact, huh?
Now, let’s get right to the main topic: insect bites. Hmm, this makes me think of a personal story. Okay fine, I’ll share it with you! While traveling abroad with my little sister, we decided to be adventurous and stay at various hostels. Much like grasshoppers, we ended up “hostel hopping” quite a bite bit. Our trip was magical—that is—until one morning we woke up looking like ladybugs. To our dismay, we were both covered in red, swollen, welts; and did I mention, ferociously itchy ones? Just thinking about it literally makes me itchy. To fast forward a bit, we soon learned that we had been “cuddling” with bed bugs—not the coziest buddies, I’ll tell you that.
Whether you have been bitten by bed bugs, mosquitoes, horse flies, or other insects, bites often leave you with itchy, swollen, red, raised bumps or welts. Before you get mad at bugs for biting, keep in mind that insects generally bite/ sting to protect themselves. Some insects, however, are parasites (i.e. bed bugs) and need a human or animal host to survive.
Here’s how they prepare an “appetizing cocktail” for themselves: They feed by piercing through the skin and drinking blood with their sucking mouthparts. Cringeworthy or cool, what do you think? I definitely vote cringeworthy. The good news is that, in most cases, insect bites only cause minor discomfort and aren’t dangerous unless you have a severe allergy to them ( swollen face or mouth, difficulty breathing, etc.). Another concern is a bug bite that has become infected. If you notice pus, or increased pain, swelling, and redness, see a qualified healthcare.
To decrease your chances of being “bugged” with bites, prevention is the best medicine.
If you are going outdoors, be prepared with a safe, natural, effective bug repellent (especially during prime bug season: the summer). Also, if you are traveling and need to sleepover somewhere—perhaps at a sketchy hostel, or even at a lovely hotel, read the reviews. If there is any mention of bed bugs, you should probably run for the hills. Also, it helps to learn how to spot bed bugs. Check out this website for some great tips on how to identify and avoid them:
I hope this gives you something to chew on. 😉