People generally don’t like bugs.
In fairness, this feeling is not without reason.
Throughout history we have consistently dealt with insects and their relatives who like to use us as a source of food. As a result, our bodies and minds are wired to look out for pests ready to bite us.
However, sometimes the cause of an itch is not a fault at all. Here is a selection of pests and other conditions that cause itching.
This insect lives in your bed or other areas where you sleep or spend a lot of time. Everyone reacts differently to a bed bug bite, but the most common reaction is an itchy, raised bump that resembles a mosquito bite.
You can find more information about bed bugs at the following link: https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef636.
If you suspect you may have a bed bug infestation, contact a pest control professional.
These tiny bloodsuckers often end up at home after driving pets. The adults are the ones responsible for the itchy bites that can appear in humans and pets.
Adult fleas are amazing jumpers and live off their host. But they find it difficult to hold onto people because we don’t have enough hair. Often the larvae live in animal litter and feed on their parents’ droppings.
Humans can encounter head, body and pubic lice. Head lice are the most common and are the ones people think of often, especially in school-age children.
They don’t fly, jump, or crawl much in the area.
It is the female mosquitoes that turn us into a meal of blood. Your saliva usually induces an itchy red welt on your skin. Larvae live in the water and do not feed on humans.
Chiggers are immature mites that partially digest skin cells and slurp them for nutrition. Instead of digging into the skin, they insert a long tube into our body.
Unlike chiggers, scabies mites actually live in the body. Scabies can cause pimple-like pustules on the skin and, if infected, leave noticeable “tunnels” in the skin.
Only a dermatologist can help you identify and treat a scabies problem. Most entomologists or county extension agents don’t have a powerful microscope to identify them.
Sometimes people experience sensations that feel like insects are crawling on them or that something is biting them, but they find no evidence of pests. This “invisible itch” can be caused for a number of reasons.
You may be dealing with sensations similar to a bug problem, but actually caused by something else. At this time of year, dry skin is a major cause of invisible itching.
Additionally, some medications can produce side effects that mimic insect sensations, as well as problems with untreated diabetes, lupus, or arthritis, among others. In other cases, homes can become contaminated with irritants such as fiberglass or broken paper.
Chemicals can also cause irritation similar to an insect bite. It is important to be open about such symptoms and consider other possible causes of the lack of six legs or more.
If your skin is itchy, it is best to contact your dermatologist or family doctor. Home remedies like topical anti-inch creams, oatmeal baths, witch hazel, and over-the-counter allergy medications can help.
Sources: Jonathan Larson and Zachary DeVries, British entomologists