The Four Creepiest Crawliest Critters That Might Be Nibbling On You

It's Halloween and sometimes the scariest things of all are the smallest little monsters in our homes and on our bodies!

In the spirt of the season, we asked some of our experts to share images and videos they've collected of the spooky little buggers in action.

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And the top four creepiest critters include:

Number Four - Bed Bugs: One of the scariest critters around. The bites are red, fairly round, and usually raised. They occur most frequently on the trunk, because bed bugs like to feed on the warmer parts of the body. Bed bug bites are often grouped near each other, sometimes in a line. Except when there is a heavy infestation, it is unusual to have more than a dozen or so bites or involvement of more than one or two body regions. Forget the hotel shower, you'll never look at your hotel bed the same again. 

Number Three - Mites: So small they often go unnoticed, Mites are tiny arthropods that have successfull invaded nearly every ecosystem on the planet.  The tropical rat mite lives on rats and in their nests, as well as in homes with rat infestations.  When trapped or poisoned rats die, the mites move on to new hosts in the house.

Number Two - Lice: The human louse is a tiny insect that feeds on human blood. The female louse lays eggs (nits) on the hair shaft close to the scalp, and they become glued to the hair shaft. The nits hatch about 8–10 days later and begin to feed with any remaining adults. The nits can stay alive for a long period of time off of the body, such as on hairbrushes, furniture, or linens.

Number One - Scabies. Yet another sinister mite, the tiny scabies mite tunnels very slowly under the outer layer of skin (the stratum corneum), and the body reacts with itchy bumps. Patients and doctors often miss scabies because they mistakenly think that there is a scabies mite at each bump on the skin. In fact, just a handful of mites can cause dozens to hundreds of itchy bumps on the skin. Scabies is diagnosed by finding the very rare and hard to see mite tunnel (known in medical terms as a burrow).

If you are concerned that you have been bitten by something, you should know what the bug bites look like, where they tend to bite the skin, and how they compare to other bug bites. Many people will ultimately need assessment, diagnosis, and treatment by a doctor, and any additional information you have will help solve the puzzle and stop the infestation.

Published on 10/30/2013 | Last updated on 11/28/2016