Other Bugs Insects That Bite Besides Spiders, Fleas, Ticks, Lice, & Bed Bugs - Bugs You Never Thought Bite That Actually Do: Black Ants, Gnats, Chiggers, Scabies Mites, Kissing Bugs, Flies, Wasps - The Diseases They Spread To Humans


It is summer time, and the weather is warm ☀. During this time, we have to worry about biting insects 🐛, and the rashes, irritation, and possible diseases that they carry. Most people are familiar with mosquitoes and the more common biting insects, but there are several others that bite as well that people are unfamiliar with. So today, we will go over seven insects that bite that many people do not know about.


Gnats


Little black gnats seem harmless and innocent enough, but many of them are actually considered flies. Female flies are like vampires; they need blood to feed their eggs, so she will bite you and suck your blood.

"Gnats are tiny flies, and they’re sometimes called midges or blackflies. Similar to mosquitoes...they also need blood to survive (so)...gnats...do bite. And while they can’t bite through clothing, they can get underneath your clothing and even crawl into your hair" ("4 Fast Ways to Treat Gnat Bites & How to Prevent Infection", 2016, Irina, pestwiki.com).


Flies


Many people do not realize that flies bite, but they do. "The most common types of biting gnats or biting flies are buffalo gnats, deer flies, stable flies, biting midges or sand flies" ("Do Gnats Bite?", Terminix).

Fly bites are very common during the summer. You also have to worry about them in wooded areas (deer flies) and at beaches (sand flies). 


Image source/read the full article here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190531135826.htm

If you find a fly in your home, you should kill it to make sure that it does not bite you. "House flies (along with other species of filth flies) are known to spread a range of harmful diseases. The World Health Organization estimates that house flies are responsible for transmitting at least 65 diseases"
("House flies and diseases: How to get rid of house flies", 2019, deBugged The Pest Control Blog, rentokil.ie/).


A Few Diseases Spread By Flies:

1. Tularemia
2. Anaplasmosis
3. Anthrax
4. Filiariasis
5. Lyme Disease
6. Cholera
7. Onchocerca


Scabies Mites/Sarcoptes Scabiei

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/micahmacallen/63359157

A lot of people are familiar with scabies, but many do not realize that the rash that comes with scabies is caused by a mite. The scabies mite infects the whole body. Their bites and the way they burrow into the skin causes irritation, a rash, and itching. 


Ants 🐜


Many people believe that black ants are harmless, but all ants have the potential to bite and many of them do, including black ants. Any ant can bite if it feels threatened, if it is trying to protect the nest or its nestmate, or when fighting a predator.


Some Of The Most Common Biting Ants Are:

1. Fire Ants
2. Bullet Ants
3. Acrobat Ants
4. Jack Jumper Ants
5. Red Harvester Ants
6. Sugar Ants 
7. Carpenter Ants
8. Crazy Ants

Bites from ants are not the only thing that you need to worry about though. Ants can carry diseases that can spread to you through their bite and physical contact with your skin. 


"They can carry bacteria and might transfer them to food or an open wound. Various disease-causing organisms—including E. coli, Streptococcus, Shigella, Salmonella,and Staphylococcus—have been found on some species of ants..." ("Can Ants Harm Health?", Berkeley Wellness).

Kissing Bugs

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Three_species_of_kissing_bugs.PNG

Kissing Bugs are very common where I live. They are found all over the Maryland area. These bugs are pretty noticeable because they can fly, and they are a good size; they are much bigger than gnats and mosquitoes. They are even bigger than U.S. pennies and dimes, since they are about the size of a U.S. quarter. 

Kissing Bugs have a wood stick appearance, which helps them blend into trees and wood. 

Kissing Bug bites cause a disease called Chagas. These bugs were thought to mostly be in the tropics, but they are across the United States as well. 

"A total of 11 different species of kissing bugs have been documented in the US, with the highest diversity and density in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Previous studies have found that, on average, 50% of kissing bugs are infected with the Chagas parasite" ("Kissing Bugs & Chagas Disease In The United States", Texas A&M University)


Chiggers

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flat_mite,_Brevipalpus_phoenicis.jpg

Chiggers are related to ticks; they are in the spider family, so they are red looking spiders commonly found in forests, wooded areas, and around rivers and lakes 🌊. The people who tend to get chiggers the most are those who do a lot of outdoor sports, traveling, and have pets that go outside. 

Chigger bites cause itchy rashes as they feed on your skin cells. Unfortunately, chiggers are not limited to just warm weather. You can also find them in early fall.

"Chiggers insert a feeding structure into the skin and inject enzymes that destroy host tissue. The chiggers then feed on this dead tissue" ("Chiggers (Bites) Center", MedicineNet)

A disease caused by chiggers is Typhus, so it is important to kill these bugs when you see them around your home. You should also wash your pets after you bring them in from outside. 


Wasps


Wasps look like ants in body and shape, but they have the coloring of bees, though they are considered neither. Most of you likely know that wasps can sting, but their stings can do a lot more than just pain you. Their stings can get infected, and you can even develop anaphylaxis as a result of it. In addition, wasps spread Lyme disease and Malaria. Getting many stings can also lead to death, and sometimes "central and peripheral neurological manifestations after single or multiple wasp stings have been reported" (Volders, J., Smits, M., Folkersma, G., & Tjan, D. H. (2012). An unusual neurological consequence of massive wasp stings. BMJ case reports, 2012, bcr0120125555.doi:10.1136/bcr.01.2012.5555).


Final Thoughts

Summer time is an amazing time for love, romance, and fun, but it is also a double-edged sword because it can also be a very dangerous time for our health. Thus, the best way to fully enjoy the summer is by avoiding wooded forest areas, and by always carrying bug repellent with you to keep you and your family sprayed down to protect them from deadly disease carrying parasitic bugs and insects.


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