Which Bug Bites Can You Feel – and Which Can You Not?

In the diverse climate of Northern Virginia, residents often encounter a variety of insects, some of which are known to bite humans. Understanding which bug bites are perceptible and which go unnoticed can be crucial in identifying and preventing potential infestations. This technical overview will delve into common regional pests, focusing on the sensory experiences associated with their bites.

The Bites You Feel

It may come as a surprise, but not all bites can be felt at the time of the bite. While the bites may itch or sting later, some bites stealth, occurring without being felt at all. But that is not typically the case with the following pests:

  • Mosquitoes – Mosquito bites are among the most commonly felt. At the time of the bite there tends to be this odd poke-like feeling that isn’t necessarily painful, but is noticeable. Mosquitoes do have a numbing agent, but humans can usually feel them. Within minutes to hours, the area often becomes itchy and inflamed due to the body’s reaction to mosquito saliva.
  • Ants – Certain ants, like fire ants, are notorious for their painful stings. When disturbed, these ants can deliver a sting that feels like a sharp pinch followed by itching or burning sensation, often leaving behind a raised welt.
  • Spiders – Many spider bites can be felt at the time of the bite as their fangs have no numbing agents. The bite may not be painful, however, depending on the spider. Some spider bites, such as those from the common house spider, can be painless and only cause minor symptoms. However, it’s worth noting that Northern Virginia is home to the black widow spider, whose bite can be painful and medically significant.

Most of these bites do not necessarily hurt, but they will be felt, and you can notice them at the time of the bite or immediately after.

The Bites You Do Not Feel

With that in mind, some bugs have a numbing agent that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to feel them at the time of the bite (though you will still feel the itch or pain caused by the bite). These pests include:

  • Bed Bugs – Bed bugs can also bite, leaving itchy, red welts on the skin. While the bite might not be felt instantly due to the numbing agents in the bed bug’s saliva, the discomfort usually arises later and can be quite bothersome.
  • Ticks – Tick bites can often go unnoticed. Ticks secrete an anesthetic in their saliva, allowing them to attach and feed without being detected. Being aware of ticks is crucial as they can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease.
  • Fleas – Flea bites may not be immediately felt, especially when the individual is asleep. However, fleas can leave several bites in the area that become itchy and irritating after some time.

Some people may feel flea bites on occasion, but typically, these are all pests that are numb at the time of the bite.

About Bites in Gainesville and Beyond

In the Northern Virginia area, residents can encounter a variety of insects capable of biting, with varying degrees of sensory detection. Understanding which bites are noticeable and which are more insidious helps in both personal vigilance and home maintenance. For comprehensive pest control solutions, including prevention and treatment of infestations, ExtermPRO stands ready to assist homeowners in safeguarding their homes from unwelcome pests.


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