From mosquitoes to bed bugs, biting insects can be a bit of a nuisance, especially considering how much those tiny red marks itch!
No matter what season there is always one species of biting insect ready to feast upon you when you. At least, with stinging insects you get a break during autumn, winter and spring! Luckily there are some prevention measures you can take to prevent yourself from being these pesky creatures next lunch time snack.
As always these are only a handful of useful tips and tricks to make life a bit easier, they are not a guaranteed fix. If your pest problem persists then the best course of action is to contact a pest control professional.
Usually associated with pets such as cats and dogs, these biting insects have been known to have a sweet tooth for humans. Like all insects bites, flea bites can become very itchy, causing much irritation to you and your pet.
What do flea bites look like?
- Small, dark spots surrounded by reddened haloes
- Usually, appear around the feet and lower legs
Luckily there are a few prevention techniques to prevent these biting insects using you for their midnight feast.
How to prevent flea bites
- Regularly inspect your pets for fleas
- Purchase flea treatment products such as flea collars from your local pets store
- Hover regularly, and empty vacuum away from home after doing so – this will help eliminate both adult fleas and their eggs.
- Wash your pet’s bedding weekly, ideally at a temperature above 50℃
- Keep eucalyptus plants around the house – it repels fleas
To add to the annoyance of stinging insects, mosquitoes are also one of the main instigators to your summer holidays being ruined. There’s nothing worse then waking up in the morning to find you’ve been treated like an all-you-can-eat buffet by mosquitoes, plus those pesky bites produce one of the most irritating itches known to man.
What do mosquito bites look like?
- Puffy white bump often with a small red dot in the middle
- Swelling around the bite area
- Sometimes a hard reddish bump that appears a day after.
How to prevent mosquito bites
- Keep windows and doors closed
- Fit fly screen to windows
- Cover water butts, and empty old flower pots/containers that have accumulated water – this is where mosquitoes like to breed.
- If you have a garden pond, invest in some goldfish – they love to snack on mosquito larvae.
- Wear mosquito repellent – this can be purchased from any pharmacy and/or drug store.
- Keep cool in the summer months – Mosquitoes are attracted to sweaty skin!
Once upon a time, these biting insects were only talked about as a humorous way to say goodnight to someone, now they are back and just itching to use you as their new midnight feast.
For the most part, bed bugs only feed upon you during the night, and tend to nest in areas not that far from your bed, this can be anywhere from your mattress, your bed frame, and even your skirting boards.
What do bed bug bites look like?
- small, flat or raised red areas on the skin
- can sometimes become inflamed, red and blistered
- usually found in a line in areas such as neck and arms. These are usually the places of the body we are exposed at night time.
How to prevent bed bug bites
- Wash and dry clothes at high temperatures, especially when returning from holiday
- Vacuum regularly
- When entering a hotel room inspect for possible bed bug infestation
Unlike the other insects discussed in this blog, not all species of flies bite. However, there is a handful of fly species fall under the biting insects category, relying on our blood to survive.
What do fly bites look like?
Different species of flies produce different bites. However, there are some common characteristics to look out for to help identify if your insect bite is from a fly or not:
- small bumps
- red in colour
- swelling around the bitten area
How to prevent fly bites
- Apply an insect repellent before leaving the house
- Keep windows and doors shut
- Empty bins regularly
- Clean dirty plates, cups and dishes so no food residue is left lying around, especially in the summer.
Spider’s aren’t regarded as insects, they are actually part of the arachnid family. Arachnids are defined by their 8 legs, lack of antennae and their body is split into two sections as a pose to three like insects. However, these small creatures pack a nasty bite, especially when some species are extremely venomous.
Unlike the previous insects discussed in this blog, spiders don’t bite through a need to survive by feasting on the blood of humans, but rather as a defence mechanism to warn off predators. However when it comes to feasting on insects, and other animals, their bite turns into a powerful offensive weapon.
What do spider bites look like?
Spider bites tend to differ depending on the species, some bites have little effect on people besides minor swelling and itching. However, spider bites which inject venom into their victim can produce a different reaction.
How to prevent spider bites
- Make sure your home is bug-free – spiders love to eat insects, the fewer insects found around your home the less likely you are to have a run in with a spider.
- Remove webs – removing webs found around your home using a vacuum will force spiders to find another place to live.
- Be careful when wandering near vegetation – Some spiders like to live in areas surrounded by trees, plants, grass and bushes. Getting too close to a spider may land you with a painful bite.
Like spiders, ticks are also arachnids.However, unlike spiders, ticks are parasites, feeding on the blood of animals to survive.
What do tick bites look like?
Compared to the other biting insects on this list, it is extremely easy to identify a tick bite. This is due to one key characteristic. Ticks remain attached to your body after they bite you. You can spot a tick bite by the red, swollen mark and a small black dot in the centre, and on closer examination you will be able to see the tick itself tucking into it’s latest feast – you!
How to prevent tick bites
- Avoid long grass and vegetation
- Keep away from typical host animals such as squirrels, deer, mice and rats
- Apply insect repellent before leaving the house
- If you regularly enter a highly wooded area then inspect body for ticks.
If you think you might have a problem on your hand with any of the biting insects described above, then get in contact with Rentokil today!