Recognizing Insect Bites
Ticks can attach to people outdoors that brush past plants and grass. Although they do not always cause illness, ticks can carry diseases including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Ticks feed on human blood and can pass these diseases on during feeding.
This characteristic bulls eye rash occurs in about 80% of individuals with Lyme disease, an infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi transmitted to humans via the Ixodes tick vector. Typical symptoms include fever, headache & fatigue.
Also known as climex lectularius, bedbugs live and lay eggs in the corners of walls and folds of furniture. They are commonly found in hotels, shelters and apartment buildings and can spread to homes by attaching to luggage or clothing.
Bed bug bites
Bedbugs emerge at night to feed on human blood. Although they are not known vectors of specific diseases, their bites may provide a route for bacterial infection. Mostly a nuisance, bedbug bites can be treated with corticosteroid creams and oral antihistamines.
Fire ant stings
Red hive–like lesions that burn and itch, caused by stings from fire ants. Fire ants are typically found in the Southeastern United States. They look like regular ants, but are more aggressive. Stings can be treated with cold packs, antihistamines and pain relievers.
Sarcoptes scabiei mites caused the itchy small scaly swellings pictured here. The female mites burrow into the skin & lay eggs. Newly hatched mites are transmitted by physical contact. The mites’ burrows are usually found between the fingers & on the wrists & genitals, but also appear on the limbs & torso.
Tunga penetrans, also known as chigoe fleas, are parasites found on the beaches of South & Central America. These insects burrow in the skin causing lesions that range from asymptomatic to pruritic & extremely painful. Advise travelers to wear shoes & to refrain from sitting or lying on sand.