Bite Marks

It can be difficult to identify the culprit just from 'bite' marks.

Identify the problem Identify the problem

Bites tend to form similar sorts of localised reddening and swelling because the marks are caused by our immune systems reacting to foreign substances; whether proteins in the anti-coagulants and anaesthetics that blood sucking insect inject or just the physical damage caused by the bite.

Bed bugs, fleas, mosquitoes, sand flies, spiders, dust mites, scabies mite and other pests can bite and sometimes allergic reactions to other things in our environment are mistaken for insect bites.


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How to Identify the Cause of Bite Marks

  • In general it can be very difficult to identify the culprit just from the 'bite' marks. There are however some indications that can help to identify what pests, if any, might be responsible.

Bed Bug Bites

Flea Bites

Spider Bites


Mosquito Bites

  • Mosquitoes are well known for their biting habits. Mosquitoes are blood sucking flying insects and in tropical areas they frequently carry and transmit serious diseases including malaria, dengue fever, and others. In New Zealand mozzies rarely carry disease but there is concern that if the world warms up due to global warming, northern parts of New Zealand would be vulnerable to disease carrying mosquitoes. Mosquitoes, as with other blood sucking pests, inject anaesthetic and anti-cogulant when they suck blood. It is the proteins in these that cause allergic reactions in some people. Causing reddened raised itchy lumps at the bite site. It can be difficult to tell if the bite was caused by mosquitoes another biting insect. (How to control mosquitoes)
  • In general mosquitoes bite at dusk or and attack exposed skin areas where blood is close to the surface; neck, arms, ankles, and legs.

Other Marks


Did You Know Did You Know

Just talking about fleas or bed bugs commonly makes people feel itchy and scratch the skin in response. Scratching can cause reddening and inflammation that can be mistaken for bites. It is therefore not easy for medics or pest experts to identify red marks as bites never mind being able to identify the possible culprit.

Dust, chemicals (natural or synthetic) and others can cause allergic reactions that include raised red itchy marks and these can be mistaken for insect bites. The waste products of the house dust mite is frequently the cause of allergic reactions of the skin as well as asthma.

However, if bed bugs, fleas, white-tail spiders, mosquitoes or other biting insects are found, then appropriate treatment to eradicate the pests can reduce the risk of bites.


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