If you’re itching and scratching from what feels like tiny bugs but you can’t see anything, don’t just assume that it’s all in your head. A number of tiny, microscopic pests may be living around you, even in your own home, without your knowledge.
We’ll take a look at some of these microscopic pests and how they can impact your life:
Fleas are tiny, wingless creatures that are dark brown/red in color and usually around 2.5 mm in length. Without wings, fleas are unable to fly, but their legs make jumping their preferred form of transportation. They like to hide in and move through the fur on animals.
Flea bites can leave reddish, swollen marks on the skin. Some people and pets may have an allergic reaction to flea bites. Furry pets (cats and dogs) are most at risk. Some fleas may also carry diseases, making it critical to put prevention measures in place when possible.
See Also: What Pests are Harmful to Your Pets?
A truly microscopic bug that is often difficult to see with the naked eye, mites are normally harmless to humans but some can bite–leaving tiny, itchy red spots. Mites often travel on hosts, such as birds or rodents, meaning that controlling larger pests is a first priority before being able to control mites.
- Clover mites: often found in stored products during late winter and early spring
- Grain mites: most frequently found in processed cereals
- Bird mites: live on birds (especially chickens) and sometimes move into buildings and attack humans
- Dust mites: feed off of dander and often create allergic reactions and asthma in humans
These little guys travel by grabbing onto bedding, clothing, suitcases and more. Bed bugs are small, flat and oval-shaped wingless creatures in a brownish-red color. Sneaky and difficult to find, they hide in the folds in soft furniture (such as mattresses or sofas) and come out at night. Bites on humans are red, itchy and swollen, often occurring in zigzag lines or clusters. Getting rid of bed bugs almost always requires the help of a professional.
While these parasitic creatures don’t carry diseases, they can certainly cause massive irritation. Thriving on the scalp and body of humans (especially school-aged children) lice spread when eggs come into contact with hair, hats, combs, or clothing. Small, reddish bites are often found on the back of the neck and behind the ears. Adult lice are dark gray-ish in color and can be seen with the naked eye, but their eggs (called nits) are whitish-gray, shiny, and more difficult to see.
Lice reproduce every couple of weeks so the process needs to be stopped immediately upon discovery. Combing, attentive laundry procedures, vacuuming and specials shampoos may all be enlisted to fight a lice infestation.
See Also: Lice: What You Need to Know
Spending time outdoors, especially in brushy or forest areas, can mean picking up these little hitch-hikers along the way. Parasitic ticks make their homes on animals and humans, waiting on leaves or bushes for someone to pass by. In the same family as spiders, ticks are reddish brown with eight legs, and like to burrow into their hosts.
Because of the nasty diseases they can spread, it is important to perform tick checks on people and animals after they come in from outside adventures. Preventative measures such as tick spray and protective clothing are important.
Tiny creatures that like to breed in moist places, No-See-Ums are only .03 inches long and easy to mistake for specks of dust or dirt. They’re so small that they can often permeate through standard window screening. Other names include gnats, sand flies, or biting midges.
Similar to mosquitoes, the female injects her saliva under the skin which causes smallish, red splotches to develop. These extremely itchy bites can grow up to 2 inches in diameter. Bug spray and special screening may help with prevention.
Obviously, when it comes to insects and other pests, just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you. That is why it is important to be attentive and aware of pest prevention even before you detect a problem. For Houston Pest Control measures, Cypress Creek offers comprehensive prevention and extermination for all of your pest control needs. Inquire about our Healthy House program to stay pest free year-round.