What is This Bug Bite From?

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Have you ever gotten a red bite or sting without knowing the source? This page has advice for people wondering "What is this bug bite from?"


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August 18, 2017

Every parent getting their child all settled in their new living facilities can be daunting and stricken with anxiety. However, it didn't occur to me or my husband or child, that after encasing the dorms mattress and spraying the room, she would begin getting massive welts or bites?

This is her 3rd bite/welt but her roommate has had nothing. The medical clinic on campus in Virginia first told her it was a spider bite. Then she got another one. The campus clinic told her it was bed bugs. Now she has yet another one, #3!

She is an athlete at this school in Virginia. We live in Illinois and can't easily get to her to examine and assess the situation. These wounds ooze and hurt and leave a pretty sizable hole. What are they? What can a do to help her?

Is there some bug only in Virginia biting her, any suggestions? All information would be greatly appreciated.


August 18, 20171 found this helpful
Best Answer

Normally bed bugs bite in patterns on the skin. They don't usually only bite once. Whatever is biting her, she has an allergic reaction to the bug.
She will need to check her bed for small stains. The bed bugs leave stains on the cover of the bed and you can find them in the bedding.
For now she will need to use a good bug repellent to protect her skin. One of the best bug repellents I have ever found is mint oil. I make my own here on the islands. Bugs won't buy mint oil for some reason.
Also, keep the bite clean and covered. Wash it daily with an antibacterial soap and use an antibiotic cream on the bite. If the bites are happening at night, tell her to keep her skin covered when she sleeps. Make sure she applies mint oil to her skin several times a day to prevent any further bites. If this continues have her throw her bed away and buy an airbed to use in her room.

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August 19, 20171 found this helpful
Best Answer

Jn, I'm so sorry this is happening to your daughter (and to you)! That's stressful. My first reaction/thought was "spider bite." I don't think these are bed bugs. Bed bug bites would typically be numerous, not just one here or there. Also, it sounds like you've enclosed the mattress, and that SHOULD help decrease the possibility of bed bug issues. What did you spray the room with? (Some things work better than others). Did you also spray any dresser drawers? I use Alpine PS. It is what pest control companies use (but just in a slightly less concentrated form) and it works GREAT. I order from a Do Your Own Pest Control site online.

HOWEVER, let me offer another possibility. You mention that your daughter is an athlete and that her roommate is not getting these "bites." Some bugs do indeed prefer the hormones or pheromones of one person over another. BUT, this MIGHT be a skin infection rather than a bug bite. Your daughter is an athlete, so she is (I'm assuming) sweating a good bit and possibly having clothes rub against her skin more than the average college female. This might cause enough irritation on the skin to allow a small break and allow normal staph on the skin to enter. From there a cellulitis could start and this type of irritation and eruption could occur. The prevention treatment is not going to hurt in any way, so I would suggest telling your daughter to go to her local grocery store or drug store. They SHOULD sell Hibiclens there. (Or send some to her via the mail). For more info, the website for the product is here: http://www.hibiclens.com. She should shower like normal, but then "wipe down" with the Hibiclens. She does NOT need to drown herself in it! Just wipe down with it. (Perhaps the college clinic will give her a large package of gauze and she can put them in a plastic dish, pour the Hibiclens over them, then cover and leave them in the bathroom to use.) She should do the shower and wipe-down AFTER her athletic activity. Additionally, as another responder said, she is having a reaction. Be sure she gets her thyroid level checked. An inability to fight off such offenses could be the presence of a disease (like hypothyroidism), which leaves the immune system weakened. College is a great time with spreading one's wings and trying new things, but encourage her to eat healthy, and get PLENTY of rest, and try some relaxation to deal with any newfound stress.

To treat the itching in the meantime, she should ask the college doc or NP/PA to prescribe her some Triamcinolone ointment. It is a very potent steroid/anti-itch cream (one of the most potent, therefore it is prescriptive) and it works wonderfully.

Again, my guess is going to be between a spider bite and a skin cellulitis. (I've seen both in practice). This does not have the typical rash of a tick bite and she doesn't have multiple bites (which should rule out bed bugs, fleas, chiggers, mites). Wish you and her all the best. Hope this can be treated and prevented so she can enjoy college life.

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June 12, 2020

I woke up with itchy red spots on my knees and arms. I haven't found any bugs in my apartment, but I can't think of what else it could be. Anyone know what this is from?


June 12, 20201 found this helpful
Best Answer

Double check your mattress for bedbugs. If no problem there, do you sleep with any windows open at night? In my area (central NY state), we get a tiny little bug called no-seeums. They are a biting gnat that fits through window screens easily. Around me, they come out after dinnertime. I have to take my screens outside and spray them with bug spray, a few times from spring till fall (or more often depending on how often it rains). That is the only way i can keep windows open at night for fresh air. Their bite doesn't wake me up in the night, but the red welts I find in the morning are proof the screens need re-spraying. Good luck !!

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June 12, 20200 found this helpful
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I believe you have bedbugs.
Perhaps you have a 'new' mattress or you have been somewhere and brought bedbugs home on your clothing or?

first - see what bedbug bites look like (and they can get infected).


Links showing where to find these bugs.


How to get rid of these bugs.



You can go to your local Ace or True Value Hardware store and ask for something to kill bedbugs and they will have some good suggestions.

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June 13, 20200 found this helpful
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These bits cam come from fleas, mites, mosquitoes, or even bed bugs. You will need to look around your home and check around to see if you have any type of bugs around your bed, on the floor, or under the bed. This can rule out bed bugs in your home. If you can't find any then start to check for fleas in your home or even mites.

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July 23, 2020

I got this after sleeping. It's itching really bad.


July 24, 20201 found this helpful
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It sort of looks like a no see-em or flea bite. To stop the itching and take out the redness and swelling put some apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball and apply this to the bite. Change it out several times. This will draw the poison out of the bite and stop it from itching. If you seem to get more of them at night then you should try and get some mint oil to apply to your skin. Bug of all kinds hate the small of this and they will not bit you if you are wearing it.

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July 26, 20200 found this helpful
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Not sure - this looks like maybe a delayed reaction to a mosquito bite. Maybe you were outside the day before and didn't realize you had been 'caught' by a mosquito?
I've seen similar on my grandson.

Usual first treatment is to wash the area with soap and water.
Try a cool/cold compress using a clean cloth and a cold/frozen item such as frozen bag of peas or wrapped ice. maybe this will help with the pain.
You can also try a baking soda paste directly to the spot several times a day.
Ask pharmacist about medication but they usually recommend hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion.
Pharmacist may also recommend Benadryl to reduce the itching.

If it turns red around the edges or does not go away in 2-3 days you should try to see your doctor.

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I live in Las Vegas Nevada. Last week I was doing yard work, raking sticks, etc. and I felt a pinch on my right leg above my ankle, but ignored it. About 45 minutes later I looked under my sock and saw the redness. I ignored it because it did not hurt or itch. 4 days later its pretty much healed. But I'm so curious to know what the heck is out there. It looks like two little fang marks, but I don't think it's a spider.


May 6, 20190 found this helpful

You have a bulls-eye rash. I hope it is not a tick. You can get Lyme Disease. Go to a doctor to make sure.

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May 7, 20191 found this helpful

Web MD has pictures of bites:

This is a tick bite:


This is the whole slide show. Post back what you figure out.

www.webmd.com/.../slideshow-bad-bugs (the arrow to the right moves it along)

It looks sore. I would have a doc check it out ASAP!!

Post back with an update! Healing prayers!

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May 12, 20190 found this helpful

Thank you all for your nice replies. Well I never went to a doctor and it's completely healed now. it was just weird that there were two marks, but maybe it was just two separate bites? I'm completely healed. I see no tick buried in my skin or anyting. Hmmm?

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May 12, 20191 found this helpful

Glad you are healed! Prayers for ongoing good health!!

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I have been getting bites since moving into a new rental home. I have taken out rugs, cleaned my house from top to bottom, and gotten the vents cleaned, to no avail. I am still showing fresh bites and it happens day or night. I have gone to the doctor and have received allergy treatment and did not work. At this point, I am completely baffled as to the cause. Any advice?


March 11, 20180 found this helpful

Could be bird mites. You may need an exterminator. Notify the landlord.

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March 11, 20180 found this helpful

They could be anything, even spider bites. Contact the landlord and let them know so they can do something about the area.

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March 12, 20180 found this helpful

Yes, it was finally determined to be spider bites and landlord was very understanding and will be fumigating the house, thanks for answering

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March 13, 20180 found this helpful

If you are renting the landlord will need to come in and spray your home. This looks like some sort of mites that are biting you.

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