The warm, humid weather in Texas makes it a hotbed for all sorts of insects, many of which bite, sting, or burrow. Some bug bites are nothing but an itchy nuisance, but others can transmit diseases or cause life-threatening allergic reactions. Here are 10 bugs—and the bites and stings that go with them—that you should never ignore.
- Bedbugs: While bedbugs don’t transmit disease, bedbug bites indicate an infestation in your sleeping area. Contact an exterminator right away to help prevent the problem from spreading to other parts of your home.
- Ticks: Ticks burrow their heads under the skin as they feed. Remove any ticks you find as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of contracting Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, or other illnesses.
- Chiggers: A chigger bite produces a red welt with a bright red dot in the middle, accompanied by an intense, unrelenting itch. They most often gather around the waist or lower legs, so keep a watchful eye on these areas when venturing out in the wilderness.
- Mosquitoes: Most mosquito bites are relatively harmless, but some can cause severe swelling or blistering due to an allergic reaction to mosquito saliva. These insects also transmit malaria, West Nile virus, Zika, dengue fever, and other diseases.
- Fleas: Fleas live on the blood of their hosts. Their bites can cause unpleasant itching for a week or longer, especially if you’re sensitive to fleas. What’s worse, getting bitten could expose you to typhus or the plague.
- Horseflies: Over 100 species of horseflies and deerflies live in Texas. They deliver incredibly painful, itchy bites. Other symptoms may include swelling, hives, dizziness, weakness, and difficulty breathing.
- Bees: In most cases, bee stings only cause localized pain and swelling that dissipates with at-home treatment. However, you could experience anaphylaxis if you’re allergic to bees and require life-saving epinephrine.
- Wasps: Wasp stings are similar to bee stings, though the pain can be more severe. If you know you have a wasp allergy, carry epinephrine with you on outdoor escapades in case you get stung and need to treat anaphylaxis.
- Scabies: Mites known as Sarcoptes scabiei cause this unpleasant skin infestation. These microscopic critters can live under your skin for months, causing an itchy, red rash. Scabies is highly contagious, so have your condition examined right away.
- Spiders: Most spiders in the US aren’t venomous, but their bites can still pack a powerful punch. Don’t ignore a suspected spider bite if it causes severe pain, swelling, sweating, cramping, chills, or body aches.
If you have been bitten or stung by a bug and are experiencing a severe reaction, seek immediate medical attention at the nearest emergency room. Exceptional Emergency Center is a freestanding emergency clinic providing bug bite treatment in 13 locations across Texas. We accept walk-ins 24 hours a day and offer shorter wait times than hospital emergency rooms. For more information about our ER services, please contact us today.