While most bug bites are relatively harmless, a few can cause serious complications or even long-term health problems. So if you’ve noticed a suspicious bump or mark on yourself or a child, identifying it quickly can help you decide whether to seek emergency treatment. And in some cases, professional pest control services might be necessary, too.

Mosquito bites will leave a red, itchy welt on the skin. You’ll usually notice these when spending time outdoors, especially if you’ve been near any type of standing water. In most cases in the United States, mosquito bites are harmless but annoying.

Tick bites. You can usually spot a tick bite because the tick itself will still be attached. They latch on, fill up on blood, and eventually drop off. Ticks can transmit several serious diseases, although in most cases this does not happen.

However, if you spot a bite mark with a bulls eye rash around it, this can be a telltale sign of Lyme disease and you should seek medical attention right away.

Flea bites will look like small red bumps, and are usually painful and/or incredibly itchy. In most cases you won’t have a problem with fleas unless you have pets, or live in a place that recently allowed animals. You will often be able to determine a bite came from a flea because you will spot the pests in your home. While certain diseases (like murine typhus and the bubonic plague) are linked to fleas, annoyance is often the first concern. Fleas are notoriously difficult to eradicate, so you should call for professional pest control services right away.

Bed bug bites will also resemble small, itchy red welts, but often in a line. If you notice a straight (or near-straight) line of bumps, start checking the cracks of your mattress and other furniture. Give us a call if you think you might have bed bugs, because they can be particularly stubborn to banish.

Spider bites can range from harmless to extremely dangerous, depending upon the species. Luckily, the most harmful spiders usually won’t take up residence in populated areas. But if you’ve spent any time in a basement, crawl space, storage shed, or garage lately (or simply in the great outdoors) a spider bite could originate from a harmful species. Always seek prompt medical care if you do suspect a spider bite, just in case.

Hopefully these tips help you to identify bug bites, but please remember that there’s no substitute for medical care. If in doubt, always proceed to the doctor. We can help you with professional pest control services after you’ve ruled out more serious complications.