Do Water Bugs Bite or Cause Disease?
Due to their habits and traits, water bugs are often referred to as toe biters. As fierce as this alternative name sounds you’ll find out why it’s justified as you read on.
You can find them in or near water bodies or well-lit places. They are fierce predators that show no mercy to their prey. Possessing a hook-shaped claw and a sharp beak water bugs have been created to be fearless warriors who will hunt down their victims.
Aside from their natural weapons for offense, on the defensive side water bugs have a rough exterior. They are usually dark brown or tan. From a minimal 1 inch, their bodies can grow up to a maximum of 4 inches making them look all the more intimidating. They are thought to be one of the biggest insects in the United States.
As with any insect bearing such an overwhelming description, many questions arise. The most obvious would be ‘do water bugs bite?’ And if so, do they carry or spread disease?
Do Water Bugs Bite?
Equipped with sharp hook-like claws and a razor-sharp beak it would be a safe bet to say that indeed water bugs bite. After all, they don’t have these weapons for decoration; they are used strictly for the offense.
A water bugs bite is so painful it can be fatal in children, the elderly, and people allergic to their venom.
When it comes to their prey water bugs are known to hunt a variety of insects and animals. From the small creatures like ants, mosquitoes, and tadpoles to much bigger creatures like crickets, fish, lizards, frogs, and crustaceans.
In close proximity to either prey or humans, water bugs often play dead so as not to be noticed. Once the distance closes water bugs will eject venom to prepare for the attack. This makes their bite all the more painful as if the sharpness of their beak was not painful enough.
It is important to know when water bugs bite then inject a potent toxin through their beak. This venom serves two purposes. It first paralyzes the prey and then liquefies their insides. This enables the water bugs to slurp up a liquid feast. However, the same doesn’t apply to human beings.
Why Do Water Bugs Bite?
Water bugs bite humans only if they feel threatened. This may be when you’re cleaning up the area or trying to get rid of water bugs. The situation could be almost anything really, but it is when they feel like they’re in danger that they feel the need to activate their self-defense.
Water bugs bite humans for sure without any hesitation if they feel threatened or in danger.
A water bugs bite doesn’t have the same effect on humans as it does on their prey. This is because their claws, beak, and venom were tailored to hunt down their victims. However, this doesn’t mean that the excruciating pain from the bite doesn’t apply to humans too. Although relatively less effective on humans, a single bite from a water bug may still sting a lot.
The important takeaway from here is that while humans are not as susceptible to a water bugs bite, some humans could be allergic to their toxin. In this case, immediate medical attention should be sought at the earliest.
Related Article: Types of Water Bugs
Do Water Bugs Cause Disease?
Water bugs carry a distinctly sharp and potent smell. Because of the toxins, they build up, and the sharpness of their beak and claws, water bugs are perfectly tailored to hunt down prey for food. Their sting can still prove to be a health hazard to certain humans. Children and the elderly who are allergic are particularly at a greater risk to a water bugs bite.
Water bugs are not known to carry or transmit any diseases to humans, but an allergic reaction to their toxin is possible.
People susceptible to the toxin may have a severe allergic reaction in which case immediate medical help should be sought. Besides the sting, their cast-off skin may also act as an allergic substance.
Treating a Water Bugs Bite
Although a water bugs bite may not carry diseases it still causes excruciating pain. So like any other pest bite a water bug bite can be treated the same. Failing to do so may worsen the bite symptoms, causing much agony, and discomfort to the person who’s bitten.
A person bitten by a water bug may initially experience:
- minor swelling
- pulsating intense pain
- mild burning sensation in the area
If not treated properly this can all further develop into:
- muscle cramps
- swelling of the lips and throat
- difficulty in breathing
- increased heart rate
Mostly, water bugs not only look dangerous but also are potentially dangerous if not careful. Since they are mostly known to inhabit water bodies, they are likely to feast on creatures they cross their path with there. Regardless, being the nasty toe biters that they are, they also readily bite humans if they feel threatened by them.
More Related Articles About Water Bugs:
- Do Water Bugs Bite or Cause Disease?
- Facts About Water Bugs
- The Life Cycle of Water Bugs
- What Attracts Water Bugs and How to Prevent Them
- How to Get Rid of Water Bugs in the Swimming Pool
- Roles of Water Bugs in the Ecosystem
- Types of Water Bugs
- Giant Water Bug: The Beast of Pests
- How to Get Rid Of Water Bugs