Bug and Insect Identification

by Michele K.

I need some help with bug and insect identification.

Yesterday, I was playing in the yard with my cat, when I felt a tiny itch and looked at my arm. I saw about 5 tiny little bugs crawling, so I tried to brush them away, and I could SWEAR that I saw them burrow into my skin very quickly.

They were black or light brown, and difficult to see. I immediately took a shower to wash any off, but I am not sure if I really saw what I think I saw, or if my eyes were playing tricks on me.

I know scabies burrow in the skin, but that I should not be able to see them as they are microscopic. I am not itchy as of yet, just a little creeped out that there may be mites or something in my skin.

Can you please tell me if there are any visible bugs that would burrow into your skin?? I would appreciate any info!!!

Hi Michele,

Bug and insect identification can be pretty tricky. The trouble is that there are different types of bugs in different regions of the world, and I'm convinced there are many variations that we don't really know anything about.

You're right, in general, about scabies mites. They are extremely difficult to see with the naked eye. But there are numerous other mites too.

I'm not familiar with other types of mites that burrow "under" the skin. Ticks, of course, bury their head in your skin, but not their whole body.

Other common skin parasites like lice, fleas, chiggers, bed bugs, etc., tend to just bite, not burrow.

I wouldn't worry too much about the bug and insect identification at this point. You did well to bathe right away. If you have some tea tree, oregano, or neem oil on hand, you can rub some of that on your arm as a preventive measure.

If you don't, maybe you have some apple cider vinegar? It's a little smelly, but the smell goes away fairly quickly. Just rub some ACV straight on the area where you saw the bugs.

You may be worried about nothing. If the bugs were that small, your eyes really might have been playing tricks on you.

I think you'll know soon enough if it is something to be concerned about. If you develop any symptoms of skin parasite infection, there are some natural remedies you can use to deal with them, or you could see your doctor if you are overly stressed by it.

Another simple preventive measure is to take some extra probiotics (good bacteria) over the next couple of weeks. That will build up the friendly bacteria in your system and keep your immune system strong to fight off anything that may have burrowed into your skin. I like Florafood, but you can often find some good probiotics locally if you prefer.

Keep me posted on how you progress. I'll be interested in hearing your outcome. Keep your eyes open while you're out in the yard and see if you spot these little critters again (check your cat, too).

Who knows, you may be able to do a little bug and insect identification of your own! :)

To your good health!

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