When you get a mosquito bite, the mosquito injects a small amount of its saliva into your skin. An allergic reaction to the saliva is what causes the red welt and itchiness we associate with mosquito bites. In fact, most of the insects that have a reputation for painful or irritating bites cause the pain and irritation when people have an allergic reaction to their venom.
The amount of venom that bugs inject through their saliva or stingers is very small, but it is enough for our immune systems to fight back and produce a reaction around the wound site or elsewhere in our bodies. A large number of bites or stings can mean a lot more venom, and be dangerous, as can a bite or sting in individuals with specific pest allergies.
Bugs that Cause Allergic Reactions
The average American generally has a mild reaction to these insects, or even none at all. For instance, some people experience no itching with bed bug bites and can go weeks without realizing there are bed bugs in their home. Others experience raised bumps, some itching, and pain that will last for a few days to a week depending on the type of bug.
But about 2 million people in America experience severe allergic reactions to one or more of these bugs. Those with asthma may have a reaction triggered by certain bugs like roaches, or have an anaphylaxis reaction after a sting or bite. These reactions can be serious, and even lead to death, by causing hives, swelling, fainting, dizziness, and trouble breathing. If you start feeling any of these symptoms, immediate medical treatment may be necessary.
The various bugs that most often cause reactions and often live around homes in the Rocklin and Roseville area include:
- Mosquitoes – Perhaps the most well known type of bug bite, these raised bites can itch intensely for a day or two. They are generally harmless unless a person breaks skin when scratching, in which case they can become infected.
- Bed Bugs – Bed bugs often make three bites in a line which can be raised and itchy, and will go away in a few days. A more severe reaction is extremely rare, but possible.
- Fire Ants – A fire ant bite causes pain the moment it happens, and then will turn to itching that can last a few days. Getting bit by several hundred fire ants, such as when a person walks into a nest, can be fatal.
- Cockroaches – Roaches will not bite (their teeth are not sharp enough to piece human skin), but their pheromones can irritate the respiratory system. It can trigger asthma attacks or cause cold like symptoms for some people.
- Bees and Wasps – Severe allergies to bees and wasps are one of the most common insect allergies. These stings usually result in pain, although people with allergies or who come into contact with an entire nest can be severely hurt.
If you do receive a bite or sting from one of these bugs and do not have extreme symptoms, cleaning the bite site with soap and water is your first step. For a bee or wasp sting, remove the stinger as soon as possible to keep additional poison from getting into your bloodstream. Once clean, you can apply hydrocortisone, an antihistamine, or a cold compress to reduce itching or pain.
Because bug bites and stings can be anywhere from uncomfortable to dangerous, you want to limit any chances of encountering bugs around your home. ADAPT can get rid of pests like mosquitoes, ants, and roaches. We can also find stinging insect nests and safely remove them from your home. To get help managing any potentially harmful insects around your property, give ADAPT a call.