Insect Bites: How to Spot and Prevent Them

Utah is home to a plethora of insect species, and some of them bite. Insect bites can range from mildly irritating to downright dangerous. These bites can lead to infections, transmit diseases, or even be poisonous. Here are some of the most common insect bites and how you can prevent them:

Bedbugs

Bedbug bites are very itchy and can sometimes leave a burning sensation. Severe infestations can leave numerous welts all over the body. You might need to buy a new mattress or one of those bedbug encasements that you can usually find in local retail outlets or online. Bedbug bites typically appear as patches of swollen red welts and might leave blood specks on your pillows or covers. Bedbug bites are usually more irritating than dangerous, but constant bites can cause insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Avoid staying in motels, and if you do, wash your clothes in hot water as soon as you arrive at your residence. If your house is already infested, heat treatment is the most effective way to eliminate these bugs and their eggs.

Fleas

Flea bites usually occur in the legs and feet. Flea bites are extremely itchy and will usually swell within an hour. Hives or rashes can develop around the bite and infection can occur if the bite is scratched or the skin is broken. If you have pets, flea medication will ensure that your pets are flea-free. Vacuum your carpets, rugs, or any place that can hide fleas. Also, make sure that you dispose of the debris outside the house.

Mosquitoes

Mosquito close up

Mosquito bites appear as round welts, and the actual bites can usually be felt. Mosquitos are known vectors of many deadly diseases: malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, and many others. Still, these diseases are very rare in Utah. Mosquito bites can easily be prevented by applying topical repellant and making sure that there are no places around the house that have standing water.

Spiders

Spider bites can be dangerous, especially since Utah is home to three deadly types of spiders. The black widow spider, hobo spider, and desert recluse all have bites that can be extremely damaging or even life-threatening. Spider bites can cause allergic reactions, necrosis, and in the case of the black widow and the brown recluse, systemic poisoning. Spiders can be easily avoided if spotted early. Keep your house neat and avoid leaving stuff on the floor where spiders can hide.

Ticks

Tick bites can carry parasites that cause Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain fever. Ticks can bite and suck blood for up to ten days, usually remaining attached to the bitten area. Bites followed by rashes, fever, and joint pain might be signs of severe problems, so don’t hesitate to seek medical care. Avoid places known for heavy tick infestations or use insect repellant when going there. Once home, examine your clothes, gear, pets, and your body to make sure that no tick hitched a ride to your home.

Insect bites can be dangerous, but they’re also avoidable. Know what signs to look for and try to practice preventive measures to keep everyone in your family safe.