Identifying Common Insect Bites and Stings
A bee with its mandibles and sucking mouth parts. (Photo: Karen McDonald)
Answering Questions About Spider & Insect Bites and Stings
When I take groups into the woods, along the shores, or into the field, invariably we have to deal with bug bites. One of the most common questions I get is, "What does a spider bite look like?" or "How can I tell what bit me?" It's a tough question to answer, but I'll try to provide you with some basics of what to look for.
There are more insects and invertebrates on Earth than any other living creatures, thus it becomes difficult to specifically classify how they all behave and how they interact with humans, in part because it varies by where you are, the temperament of the crawlie wee beast, the invertebrate's physical make-up, your physical chemistry, etc. However, there are a few commonalities you can look for.
NOTE: I am not a medically trained doctor, so please take the materials below as general advice and guidelines, and seek professional treatment if you have been bitten or stung, and you need assistance.
First, Not All Things That Bite And Sting Are Insects
Remember, all insects have three body parts and six legs. This means that not all invertebrates that bite are insects. This is true of spiders, which have two body parts and eight legs, as well as ticks, chiggers, scorpions, and leeches.