Watch Out for These Biting Bugs!
During these chilly months, it’s more likely that you’ll see a few extra creepy-crawly pests inside your home. While most of these bugs are benevolent by nature, some do bite and others are poisonous. Use this guide to look out for these biting bugs that can invade your home.
Out of the 170 known species of ants in Alabama, every one of them has a colony member that can bite. Yes, even those tiny black ants will still bite you—you may just not notice it.
The most notorious and painful ants are fire ants. These suckers won’t just bite you, but will latch on to your skin so they can sting you. Their toxic alkaloid venom can be extremely painful if you’re allergic.
Spiders are, perhaps, the most feared home invader. While some may try to bite you, most are harmless and even beneficial in keeping other insect populations down. But there are a few species of venomous spiders to look out for.
- Brown Recluse: These spiders get their name from their shy nature which means that oftentimes you won’t see them or even know you were bitten until much later. They can be anywhere from a light tan to a darker brown color and if their bites aren’t treated, they can lead to serious skin tissue damage and scarring. If you’re bitten by a brown recluse, it’s important to seek medical treatment right away to avoid permanent scarring.
- Black Widow: Black widows, with their distinctive red hourglass, are easy to identify and pack the biggest punch behind their bites. Contrary to popular belief, they are relatively docile and only bite when they feel threatened. However, if they do bite, you need to seek immediate medical attention because of the powerful neurotoxin in their venom.
- Brown Widow: While not as well known as their black counterparts, the brown widow’s bite is every bit as dangerous.
Beetles that Bite
Their bites may not be venomous, but some beetles in Alabama will bite you if they’re given the chance. Avoid these beetles’ pincers:
- Sap Beetle: These beetles are one of the few species that have pinchers strong enough to sink through the skin of humans—however, they typically prefer to munch on other beetles, not gardeners.
- Long-Horn Beetle: The long-horn’s stinger, combined with its chomping pincers, gives it a powerful one-two punch. But it will rarely use these on humans.
- Asian Lady Beetle: Also known as the ladybug, these beetles love settling in homes for the winter months. When feeling threatened, they’ve been known to bite bystanders.
Blood Sucking Bugs
These pests won’t just bite you and go away. They tend to feast on their hosts continually after they latch on.
- Lice: Their signature itch isn’t just them moving around on your scalp. Lice will bite into your scalp and suck your blood. Yikes.
- Ticks: Ticks can carry all kinds of diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. They’ll latch on, suck your blood, and—if not dealt with—can give you diseases.
- Bed Bugs: Bed bugs are by far the most dreaded biting insect. Once they get into the house, they multiply quickly and can be extremely hard to get rid of. The worst part about bed bugs? They’re nocturnal and will only bite you in your sleep!
- Fleas: These are your pet’s worst nightmare. They bite their hosts in search of blood and will jump quickly from one unlucky individual to the next.
- Mosquitos: Known for their blood-sucking bites, mosquitos are also notorious for spreading diseases. In warmer areas like Alabama, they’re right at home.
- Cockroaches: As if they needed another reason to be despised, cockroaches have been known to bite and feed on both living and dead human flesh. Bite sites will swell and irritate the skin.
Biting Bugs Begone!
The best way to prevent bug bites in your home is to have regular preventative pest control treatment. Vulcan Termite has been saving Birmingham and Over the Mountain homeowners from biting bugs for decades. Contact us today and keep the creepy crawling pests out of your home!