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What are the Different Types of Biting Insects?

By Kris Roudebush
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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There are a wide variety of biting insects and where you live will have a large role in the kinds of biting insects you'll have to tolerate. While some insects will bite, others bugs may sting or suck. There are some insects that aren't really insects at all that bite and suck; spiders and ticks. Most of these biters have the same thing in common; they're pests to humans and animals alike. Knowing what bite is serious and who's just making your life miserable will give you the information on when to get help quick.

There are a lot of very dangerous spiders, even though they aren't really insects, they do bite and some are serious. One of the most dangerous spider around the world is the black widow spider. While fatalities are rare, children, elderly, and people with immune deficiencies are at risk. If you see one of these shiny black ladies sporting her infamous red hourglass, only the female of the species is dangerous, be sure to protect yourself. Seek medical help immediately if you do find yourself with bite.

Spider bites have created a great deal of fear for many people, but some biting insects deliver their poison through disease. Ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas all carry disease, and mosquitoes are considered one of the world’s deadliest killers for its spread of malaria. Fleas can transfer a number of diseases from rodents to humans, including tapeworms. Ticks, especially in the U.S., are known for their spread of Lyme disease. In some cases, it can be months before you know of a problem.

Other types of biting insects include bedbugs, black flies, horse flies, midges, and ants. Bedbugs are a particularly painful for those who are sensitive. Bedbugs live exclusively on blood. These biting insects do not transfer disease, which makes them only a nuisance, albeit a nasty one.

Biting flies are mostly just pests. Of the horse or deer fly, the female is the biter. The males will swarm and hover. While technically these pests are not considered dangerous, the female's bite is painfully deep. Although it’s important to realize that repeated attacks can leave some animals with blood loss.

Some biting insects are so tiny they're called no-see-ums. Other types of biting midges are sand flies and punkies. Their bite, however, is not so invisible. Their bites often leave a red welt behind. These insects can pass through mesh screens which keep out mosquitoes and flies. Depending on the type of midge, attacks can occur when they crawl up your ankles or they can attack the face and head. They're not known to spread disease.

While all ants can be considered biting insects, fire ants may have the worst reputation depending on where you live. Most fire ants are reddish brown. They can live in huge colonies with one or more queens. When a colony is disturbed, fire ants are known to attack, often biting offenders repeatedly. Bites are characterized by intense burning, which will blister, and finally form a white pustule. In the event of a fire ant attack, seek medical attention.

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Discussion Comments
By sneakers41 — On Aug 24, 2010

BrickBack- I also heard that flying biting insects like mosquitoes breed in standing water. It is best to stay away from lakes and ponds. In addition, removing standing water helps to avoid mosquitoes as well as wearing light colors. Her

Also, avoiding going out near sundown is also advisable as mosquitoes tend to be attracted to dark areas.

By BrickBack — On Aug 24, 2010

Cafe41-

I hate mosquito bites. I will have to try that tip next time because I always get mosquito bites. What really scare me are bees. Those are biting stinging insects that really hurt. A bee stung my daughter once and her hand was a little swollen.

It happened in school and the funny thing was that she was crying because of the pain, but because all of the kids were asking her about the bee sting she stopped crying and loved the attention.

Bee stings can be dangerous to those people that are actually allergic. These people need to be hospitalized immediately from these bee stings. Some people can even die from such stings. I read that insects are attracted to sweet scents so it is best to avoid wearing perfume if you will be spending a lot of times outdoors.

By cafe41 — On Aug 24, 2010

The worst flying biting insects are the mosquitoes. A mosquito bite is really uncomfortable. Once this insects bites you can't stop scratching. If you scratch too much it can cause an infection.

When my children get mosquito bites, I put a little bit of that vapor rub over the mosquito bite and it takes the itchiness away.

Once the itchiness stops, then the swelling will of the mosquito bite will also go down. A family friend that was actually a nurse told me this. I tried it once and it worked. Now I know what to do with these insect bites.

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