9 Winter Bugs That Bite – Updated Guide For 2023

Most winter bugs that bite in the house are primarily active during the spring and summer when they invade homes.

Thanks to your home’s cozy and warm atmosphere, these bugs can remain active during the winter. 

They continue their feeding and breeding activities that worsen the infestation. 

However, some biting bugs invade homes during the fall and winter months while looking for a warm place to spend the winter. 

The worst part is that some of these pests’ bites can cause severe diseases. So, it is vital to know what they look like, where they hide inside the house, and protect yourself from their bites. 

Keep reading to find out.

Fleas

Where do fleas live in yard

Outdoor fleas enter a period of diapause during the winter. They become inactive in the winter and wait for spring.

But not inside the house.

Fleas in a heated house will remain active. They’ll continue to feed on your pet’s or your blood. 

Fleas enter homes via your pets or you. They’ll latch onto your pet’s fur, luggage, or clothing if you or your pet walks through their habitat. 

Not all fleas will remain latched onto your pet, luggage, or clothes. 

Some will undoubtedly fall off and hide in bed, carpet, and couch. 

A few can also hide in the crevices of hardwood floors, furniture, and even walls. 

These fleas will bite you to get their bloodmeals. Without the bloodmeals, female fleas can’t develop eggs. 

So, if the fleas have ready access to a host, then flea infestation will worsen no matter the season.

Flea bites are intensely itchy. The bite wounds look like acne or pimples, always in clusters

Ticks

Ticks

Like fleas, ticks become inactive in the winter. But only at the outdoors. 

Ticks can remain active inside an adequately heated home during the winter. 

And they’ll bite. 

Ticks are also hitchhikers that enter homes in the same way fleas do, by hitchhiking.

They hide in dense bushes and grasses in shaded damp areas where they wait for a host to pass through.

Ticks in the house will track a human to feed on human blood. They can reach their mammalian hosts by picking up on their body heat.

So, ticks will end up on your bed to feed on your blood. 

The worst part is that tick bites cause Rocky Mountain fever and Lyme disease. 

And their tiny size makes it hard to detect them, especially when your home has no pets.

Tick bites look like bulls-eye rash with a dark spot in the center. The bite wound becomes red, and it itches.

After feeding on blood, ticks’ size increases. They become engorged and start to look like grayish-blue.

Stink Bugs

Small brown bugs in michigan homes stink bug

Stink bugs are shield-shaped bugs with a rugged appearance. 

These insects aren’t typically pests that can breed inside the house. 

However, stink bugs enter homes during winter while looking for a warm place to overwinter. 

So, their presence becomes suddenly noticeable during the winter months.

Stink bugs enter homes through an aperture or crack on the windows, walls, and doors. 

They’ll hide in cluttered places such as attic, basement, garage, and storage rooms where there’s less human footfall.

Any thin gap or crack on the wall, furniture, or floor in these areas can be their overwintering place.

Most stink bugs don’t bite. They release a chemical that produces a nasty stench. 

It’s a self-defense mechanism for stink bugs to ward off their predators. 

However, many species of stink bugs bite. The predatory stink bug species and the plant-eating stink bugs can bite if you try to handle them. 

Stink bugs have a long snout-like mouthpart, which is known as proboscis. They use it to stab their prey and bite.

Stink bug bites are not too painful. Bite marks appear as red lumps, which itch a bit. 

Mosquitoes

What Are These Tiny Mosquitoes

Most mosquitoes die off during the winter. Many people notice a sudden decline in mosquitoes when temperatures drop.

However, not all mosquito species die off during the winter. Many start overwintering in protected sites such as voids and waste piles.

Mosquito larvae and eggs can also enter a period of inactivity during the winter.

However, if the temperature rises during the winter, they become active.

With global temperatures rising, mosquitoes have become more active than ever. In many regions, mosquitoes are a year-long menace. 

I’ve found that homes with a mosquito problem during the winter have secret mosquito breeding sites.

Water in places like saucers with houseplants, trays under refrigerators or air conditioners, choked drains, catch basins, and uncapped pipes in crawlspaces or basements are all mosquito sources in the winter months.

Removing these sources is vital for mosquito control because mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water.

Outdoor breeding sites such as clogged gutters, ditches, old tires with water, and garbage bins are also sources of mosquitoes. 

Mosquitoes enter homes through any thin crevice they can find on windows, doors, vents, damaged screens, and other openings. 

So, if mosquitoes are in the house during the winter, check and eliminate any standing water indoors and outdoors.

Mosquito bites can cause illnesses such as Zika, dengue, and Chikungunya. 

Use mosquito sprays and traps, or hire a professional to treat your home for mosquitoes. 

Some species of black flies, such as black gnats or fungus gnats, can be active in winter inside the house or in greenhouses. 

These flies look like mosquitoes, but they don’t bite.

Spiders

How to get rid of black widow spiders in home

Spiders sneak inside the house in winter, looking for warmth, shelter, and food.

Cluttered areas such as basement, attic, garage, storage rooms, and even closets and dresser drawers can be their hiding places.

However, spiders are human-shy. But they can bite if you try to handle them or if they feel they’re under threat.

Many venomous spiders that bite, such as wolf spiders, black widow spiders, and brown recluse spiders, can sneak inside the house looking for prey and shelter.

These spiders will also lay eggs in sacs, which can lead to hundreds of more spiders in the house. 

Other harmless spiders, such as the sac spider, common house spider, cellar spider, daddy long legs, and the cute little jumping spider, can also sneak inside homes during the winter.

Regular cleaning of the house, removing clutter, and sealing the gaps and cracks on the walls, windows, crawlspaces, and doors are keys to stopping spiders from entering the home. 

Spider traps help lure out a hiding spider. But it would help if you used it when you’re sure there are hidden spiders in the room.

Professional help is always your best bet for dealing with venomous spiders like black widows or brown recluses

Kissing Bugs

Bugs that look like kissing bugs

The kissing bug is the one bug you must be aware of during the winter. 

Kissing bugs feed on human blood. They cause Chagas disease because of a parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi.

Kissing bugs are true bugs with flat, oval bodies. Their heads are conical with a long snout, also known as proboscis, that they use to penetrate their prey’s bodies. 

Kissing bugs in the US are black or dark brown with orange markings on the edge of their bodies.

Kissing bugs are active from early spring to late fall. They enter homes during the winter months to overwinter.

The lack of prey inside the house makes these bugs bite humans and pets.

They’ll hide in any thin gap they can find in the house. Chances are they’re more likely to hide near your bed because it gives them easy access to a human host.

Kissing bugs bite near the lips. That’s why they got the name Kissing Bugs.

Kissing bugs’ bite is not immediately painful. So, you won’t realize that a kissing bug bit you.

Bites generally take place at night when you’re asleep. 

You start to notice the bite symptoms a day or two after the bite. 

People allergic to bug bites can start showing symptoms after a couple of hours of the bite.

Kissing bugs bite more than once. So, you can start to notice multiple bite wounds. 

The bite wound swells and turns into a hive. And it itches, too. 

The bite wound is hard to distinguish from other bug bites. But if it’s on the face, then chances are that it’s a kissing bug bite.

Kissing bug bites don’t cause Chagas disease. Their feces do.

Kissing bugs may defecate near the bite wound, and the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi in the feces may enter the body through the injury, mucous membranes, eyes, or mouth.

Any allergic reactions, severe pain, redness, or swelling due to the bite should make you consult the doctor ASAP.

Scabies

White Microscopic Bugs That Bite Scabies Mites

Scabies are microscopic biting mites that are more common in winter than summer.

Researchers found that 28.6% of all scabies mites under study survived sub-zero temperatures.

These mites are too small to be detected. And scabies mites burrow under the skin to lay eggs. 

These mites inside the skin cause intense itching because they feed on the skin.

You’re more likely to get scabies mites from an infected person than from any other source. 

Physical contact with the infected person can make the scabies mites jump onto your skin and burrow. 

You won’t get scabies mites just by a handshake or hug with an infected person. 

Prolonged physical contact, such as sexual activity, can cause scabies. 

Using towels, clothes, and bedsheets of a person with scabies can also cause scabies in you.

Symptoms of scabies mites in the skin include itching and visible tunnels under the skin’s layer.

It’s always best to consult a dermatologist if you have scabies mites. 

Boxelder Bugs

boxelder bug - bug that looks like kissing bug

Boxelder bugs are black insects with orange markings on their back. These bugs live in the boxelder, maple, and ash trees, feeding on their leaves and sap.

When the temperature drops during the winter, boxelder bugs gather near the windowsills, patio decks, and doorsteps, trying to make their way inside the house.

Boxelder bugs are a nuisance in the house when they enter homes in large numbers.

Like the clover mites in the winter months, they, too, can show up in random areas of the house. 

Boxelder bites are known for biting humans and pets. But there are many incidences where boxelder bugs bit humans in self-defense when they tried to pick them up with bare hands.

I remember when a boxelder bug bit me. It was on my bed and got pressed against my skin in my sleep, causing it to bite.

But boxelder bug bites are harmless, and their bites have minimum to zero effects. 

The best part is that boxelder bugs can’t lay eggs or breed inside the house. So, there’s no chance of infestation.

Using a vacuum cleaner to scoop them off the surfaces is the easiest way to eliminate them.

However, there are both natural and chemical ways that you can safely use to kill boxelder bugs.

But in some years the number of boxelder bugs can be too many. You might need to hire a pest controller if too many of them are overwhelming for you to eliminate.

Bed Bugs

Will an exterminator get rid of bed bugs

Bed bugs can also survive the winters in the house. In fact, they’ll thrive.

Bed bugs can remain active in the winter months by hiding in places where they’re most likely to get their blood metals. 

So, their hiding areas are places like your bed, bed mattress, bed frame, and bed headboard.

However, when the bed bug infestation is terrible, these blood-sucking ectoparasites can also disperse in other areas of the house. 

Bed bugs die in cold when the temperature is below freezing. 

But a well-heated home doesn’t have freezing temperatures. 

Bed bugs in the house during the winter will continue their breeding and feeding activities without a pause. 

Protecting yourself from bed bug bites is vital to ensure a good sleep. 

However, relying solely on the measures to protect yourself from bed bug bites isn’t the solution. 

You’ll have to get rid of bed bugs with consistent and repeated treatments until you’re sure your home has no bed bugs.

In most cases, a bed bug exterminator is needed to eliminate bed bug infestation. 

Summary of Winter Bugs That Bite

There you have it, a complete list of winter bugs that bite in the house. 

Spring and summer are the bug season. But a heated home and rising global temperatures keep many insects active year-round.

The best option to protect yourself from these bugs is to take safety measures that stop them from entering the house.

A professional pest controller’s help is always your best option for pests such as fleas, bed bugs, ants, and other problems that can breed inside a human home. 

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