Small red bugs can appear in your home. Some of them may bite while others may simply be a nuisance pest.
Various species of red bugs that are small can make their way into a home either by accident or on purpose.
They can make their way into the house with food, plants, and pets, or on their flying through open windows or crawling under doors or through wall cracks.
Table of Contents
Small Red Bugs In and Outside Your House
The following species of small red bugs are the most common either in the house or outdoors.
Part of the Arachnida group, chiggers are similar to spiders and they are immature mites or parasitic larvae that bite.
There are various species of chiggers, especially in states such as Texas. The bugs grow to a size between 0.15 and 0.30mm being quite small and often not easy to immediately spot on the skin.
You can pick up chiggers by walking through dense vegetation in parks, woodlands, or other outdoor areas.
These small bugs that are mostly red attach themselves quickly when you pass by the vegetation they live on.
One of the common misconceptions about chiggers is that they attach themselves to the skin.
Chiggers bite and pierce human skin using very sharp mouthparts. The skin reacts by inflammation and the bitten area sometimes engulfs chiggers themselves.
These small bugs bite the skin with the sole purpose of injecting digestive enzymes at first. These digestive enzymes break down the skin to the extent they can eat it.
The injected digestive enzymes turn the skin red and cause itching.
One of the bad parts about these bites is you may only realize you’ve been bitten by chiggers after a few hours.
During this time, multiple bites might have occurred on the body.
Wearing long-sleeve clothes and taking a quick shower after camping, hiking, or passing through thick vegetation are among the common measures for keeping these bugs away.
2. Clover Mites
Clover mites are a common species of red small bugs commonly found in the house or outdoors.
These small bugs may appear on the lawn. They feed on clovers and grass and they can make it indoors as well.
These small bugs move indoors mainly attracted by humidity.
Clover mites should not be seen in the house and you might want to check for water leaks or high humidity if you see the red bugs indoors.
Known for not biting, these bugs cannot be squashed as they leave red residue and stain floors, walls, and carpets.
It’s best to vacuum them to eliminate them without leaving residue.
Clover mites can also be prevented by regularly mowing the lawn and taking care of all vegetation around the house. This includes clearing mulch and heavy damp conditions in mulch which may favor these bugs.
Clover mites are known to only have female bugs which means they don’t need males for reproduction. A single female can lay tens of eggs at a time which means multiplication rates are high.
3. Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are some of the most problematic bug species when it comes to poor sanitation in the home.
These tiny red bugs are problematic because their bites often go unnoticed since they only bite at night.
The nocturnal bed bug has a tiny body of a red color which is influenced by the blood it consumes from the host.
Poor sanitation as well as infestation from visiting a home or sleeping in another bed with bed bugs are among the most common reasons these bugs can be in your bed.
The bites of bed bugs can cause itchiness. But not all bed bug bites are itchy which means it might take longer for you to notice them in your bed.
Dealing with bed bugs requires proper sanitation measures around the house and on the bed. Vacuuming and washing the bed are often needed.
Bed bugs might crawl into tiny spaces during the day. You need to inspect and clean these tiny spaces yourself as the bugs might be hiding during the day, the time you are most likely trying to clean the bed.
Washing all bedding at a high temperature is also recommended.
Another common aspect to remember is that a growing number of bed bugs leads to a wider infested area.
Bed bugs can move onto furniture and walls around the bed when they start multiplying in high numbers.
4. Red Flour Beetles
Stored grain products attract Red Flour beetles. These small bugs typically measured 4-5mm when spotted in the pantry.
Bugs of the genus feed on flour, nuts, seeds, and even dry pet food.
They make it into the house through infested foods, typically brought from farmer’s markets or supermarkets.
Long shelf life foods such as flour are less likely to be checked for pests. This is why Red flour beetles can thrive in multiple dry foods until they are spotted.
Very high multiplication rates don’t help either.
Female Red flour beetles have multiple male partners which ensure they find a good mate for rapid multiplication.
Eliminating these red or red-brown bugs from the pantry involves getting rid of all infested foods.
There are no proven methods of eliminating these bugs by picking them out as they also lay eggs and grow larvae in stored dry foods.
Red flour beetle larvae are white or yellow-white. It can also be found in the dry foods adults consume.
Both the larvae and the adult beetles are eliminated by discarding all infested foods.
You can also replace stored dried foods every few months to eliminate the risk of growing pests inside the house.
5. Red Deer Ticks
Deer ticks are small red bugs that bite. These ticks prefer larger mammals such as deer and even humans to small mammals for a larger blood meal.
You can pick up Red deer ticks by brushing against vegetation or foliage when walking through woodland, parks, or other areas of dense vegetation.
These bugs can move on to a host such as a human when in close contact with their natural habitat, mainly in areas with deer.
Red deer ticks have painful bites and attach themselves to the skin. They need to be removed by hand using tweezers.
These red biting bugs also carry diseases such as Lyme disease.
This makes them as dangerous are regular ticks or even more dangerous as they feed on more blood.
You can reduce the risk of picking up Red deer ticks by staying away from foliage when walking in areas of dense vegetation.
Wearing insect-repelling sprays such as those with picaridin is also recommended to repel Red deer ticks as well as other types of ticks.
Red deer ticks might also make it to the vegetation around the house if your home is located next to woodlands.
It means you need to trim vegetation and mow the lawn as often as possible to reduce the risk of having a Red deer tick invasion around your home.
6. Red Spider Mites
Growing to a size of around 0.5mm, Red spider mites are some of the smallest red bugs that can bite humans.
These bugs prefer not to bite people, however. They feed on plant sap, similar to aphids.
Unlike aphids, Red spider mites can bite. These bites can be painful and cause an allergic reaction.
Red spider mites are found on apple trees as well as on dense vegetation.
A particular factor about their habitat can influence them and keep them away. This is high humidity.
Red spider mites prefer dry areas.
Watering plants and trimming vegetation around the house are recommended to keep these bugs away.
Insecticides such as insecticidal soap might also keep Red spider mites away. You need to spray the garden in the spring as the weather gets warm before these bugs arise.
Red spider mites can be a considerable problem on crops or farms. Large-scale prevention measures are different in these situations.
Introducing predatory species is often recommended in these cases. Lacewings are among the bugs that eat Red spider mites to the extent they eliminate them from a given area.
Preventing Red spider mites is easier than removing them. These small red bugs rapidly infest a given area otherwise.
7. Boxelder Nymphs
Boxelder nymphs typically do not bite. These small red and black bugs only bite when roughly handled.
The bugs are the young of the Boxelder species known for feeding on the sap of boxelder, ash, and other types of trees.
Adults might have a gray color but their nymphs have a dominant red color.
These bugs first appear in the spring or early summer before turning into adults in mid-summer or late summer.
Boxelder nymphs appear on trees where they feed on tree sap for the rest of the summer.
The damage to trees such as ash is minimal as the pests do not feed or breed in excessive amounts.
One of the main problems with these nymphs is that they turn into adults that overwinter in homes or other warm places.
Adult bugs of the species move indoors in the fall when temperatures drop. They overwinter in warm sheltered locations.
You can eliminate them from your home by vacuuming. Alternatively, you can spray water with soap to kill these young bugs on the spot.
While these bugs don’t bite or cause damage to your home, they are still unpleasant. Furthermore, they can leave a red residue when squashed.
8. Red Ants
Red ants such as Red fire ants are some of the most problematic tiny ants that can bite. These ants have a red or dark red or red-brown color.
They move indoors through wall openings or open windows.
Red ants can sting and can sometimes cause allergic reactions. Unlike bees, red ants don’t lose the stinger as they bite.
This means they can sting multiple times. Even more, they prefer to sting multiple times until you stop them by brushing them off the skin.
Red fire ants are a bit more complicated to notice if you do not feel the sting yourself. These ants inject toxins which can lead to itchy skin.
In extreme cases, Red fire ant bites can cause nausea, sweating, and even fever. It’s time to go to the hospital if you have these symptoms.
You can pour boiling water on red ants to kill them efficiently. Baking soda can also be used to keep them away.
One of the most pleasant methods of keeping red stinging ants out of the house is by spraying essential oils on the perimeter of the house.
Peppermint essential oil is one of the natural preventive solutions that keep these ants away.
You can also use insecticides or call a professional to spray insecticide at least once per year to keep these ants out.
Red spiders are common in homes as well as around man-made structures such as barns and garages.
These spiders can sometimes bite, even if the bite and its symptoms can vary considerably.
The Red House Spider is the most common species of red spider you find indoors.
Spiders of this genus have a red body color and they appear similar to Black Widows as their abdomen has a darker color.
Red House spiders have a red or dark red body that grows to a size between 5 and 8mm.
While small, these spiders may still bite.
This species has venom but the venom isn’t necrotic. It means it doesn’t cause significant levels of pain or that they aren’t as dangerous are Black Widows.
You can remove these spiders from your home by vacuuming.
Preventing measures also involve frequent vacuuming and closing the windows at night when these spiders might be attracted to artificial light.
Eliminating all insects red spiders might see as food from the house is also recommended.
Essential oils and vinegar don’t deter these spiders. Unlike other red bugs, red spiders need to be manually removed to have a bug-free home.
10. Fruit Flies
Fruit flies can sometimes be red. Fruit flies can sometimes be known as Red house flies due to their large red eyes which make it appear as if their entire heads are red.
Flies of this genus are very common homes. They appear on ripe fruits and fermented fruits and they spread quickly.
While these flies do not bite, they can still be problematic through the rapid spread and possibly through the infestation of food.
Red fruit flies need to be eliminated from the house before multiplying in large numbers.
This might only be possible by eliminating their favorite food, ripe fruit.
All overripe fruit attracts fruit flies.
Storing fruits in the refrigerator is one of the common methods of keeping fruit flies out.
These flies are identified by their large red eyes when feeding on fruit. Furthermore, they might pose a health risk by laying eggs directly on the fruit.
Centipedes are some of the most common small red species seen in or around the house.
The presence of food and high moisture are among the most important aspects when it comes to a perfect centipede habitat.
Not all centipedes are red and not all centipedes bite. However, species such as Scolopocryptops sexspinosus (Red Centipede) that are common in North America are red.
This type of centipede grows to a length of up to 3 inches and it lives in damp soil.
It also bites which means you should not handle it barehanded.
Such red centipedes are normally seeking insects, bugs, and spiders to feed on. Some manage to make their way indoors, especially in the basement where your home has higher humidity.
Eliminating centipedes is difficult as you don’t see them easily. They crawl under mulch, logs, and rocks.
Out of direct sunlight and sheltered by a humid place, centipedes only come out looking for food.
Controlling humidity levels normally helps get rid of centipedes.
You can trim vegetation to reduce ground-level humidity and proceed to reduce indoor humidity.
Using a dehumidifier in the basement or the bathroom is among the measures that help control excessive humidity.
In turn, this also helps reduce the natural habitat of some of the bugs centipedes eat. Since roaches like humidity, you’re eliminating a wider range of pests by controlling air quality inside the house.
Outside of the house, centipedes are known for eating earthworms.
These types of worms also need humidity so reducing plant and lawn watering frequency when possible can be a good additional preventive measure.
Millipedes often come in red color, alongside common brown, orange, and even black colors.
They eat dying plant matter and are often found in gardens and backyards. While not specifically common indoors, they can still make it into the house by accident.
These creatures don’t bite. They don’t sting either.
However, millipedes have toxins which is why they have very few natural predators.
While they don’t carry diseases, millipedes are still not a comfortable sight around the house.
These creatures are beneficial and are sometimes seen as a bug that recycles organic matter. Millipedes eat decaying plant matter and animals.
A recycling-related benefit is tied to all millipedes.
On the other hand, eliminating millipedes is the first action that comes to mind of those who see them around the house or on indoor potted plants.
A bug-repelling spray is often used to kill millipedes. You can use such a spray directly on millipedes to kill them on the spot.
Most millipedes go into a defensive position when a toxic spray is applied to them. They curl up to protect themselves.
Spraying millipedes for up to a few seconds is recommended when it comes to controlling their numbers around the home.
13. Red Springtails
Identified by their short legs and oval body shape, red springtails don’t bite. They don’t spread disease either.
These red bugs grow to a size of around 0.2mm, being one of the smallest types of red bugs found around the home.
Tiny bugs such as red springtails can also make their way into the home, mainly through cracks or with potted plants.
Springtails feed on fungi and bacteria. Both of these developments in high moisture conditions.
Controlling excessive humidity is the best method of controlling red springtails.
Allowing soil to dry completely is known to kill springtails. Furthermore, these bugs are also known for being killed with pesticides, but not completely.
Non-toxic soil treatments are a better choice when it comes to springtail management.
Springtails multiply in their thousands. Even in high numbers, these bugs are a nuisance pest.
Preventing them involves applying similar measures to the prevention of other bugs such as spraying insecticide.
Some people into more natural gardening use essential oils which may act similarly to insecticide.
Eucalyptus essential oil can be sprayed around the house to lower the chances of springtail invasions.
This type of essential oil has insecticide properties.
Red wasps are some of the most common wasps around the house.
These insects feed on nectar and they build large nests close to the home, on the home, or other man-made structures.
Red wasps are known for adding to their nests which means these nests get larger and large with time.
You can identify red wasp nests by their wood-like or plant-like texture and by hearing wasps inside during the night.
Red wasps are about 1 inch long and they have dark or black long wings.
These creatures are diurnal and always away from the nest collecting nectar during the day. Red wasps further use saliva to build nests.
Saliva and chewed materials are used by these wasps to build nests.
Eliminating these wasps is not based on preventive measures. Recommended elimination methods involve removing the nest.
You can remove red wasp nests by using a large plastic bag while the wasps are inside.
They are only in the nest at night as Red wasps are diurnal.
Removing the nest when small is easier compared to a larger nest that’s attached to the house better.
A reduced size also means you can handle the nest easier.
Planting flowers further away from the house might be one of the methods to control the risk of having a wasp nest too close to the house.
However, this type of wasps can still fly up to a few miles looking for food so the method isn’t a guarantee wasps won’t settle next to the house.
15. Red Velvet Mites
Red velvet mites are known biological control bugs. They prey on multiple species of invasive bugs but are parasitic as larvae themselves.
Red velvet mites are types of arachnids. These small red bugs become predators as they mature.
They can be eliminated with insecticide even if no insecticide is specifically made for Red velvet mites.
These bugs appear late in the summer and even in the fall. They overwinter as adults and begin mating in the spring.
You can eliminate them by spraying insecticide in key areas around the house.
Insecticidal soap is also used to kill Red velvet mites when seen around the house.
16. Snout Mites
Snout mites are named after their elongated mouthparts or snouts. These bugs have an orange-red or red color and are generally harmless to humans.
The bug eats fungi and multiple other types of small insects.
Largely harmless to humans, Snout mites can still be a problem when they multiply in high numbers.
They can be eliminated by using a biological control agent.
The insecticide is often used to deter these types of mites.
A sanitation solution is also used against these types of mites which may cause allergies.
Managing snout mites properly is recommended since the bugs can cause various types of breathing allergies or skin allergies.
17. Red Aphids
Red aphids are commonly found in gardens. An elongated oval body with short legs is characteristic of these small red bugs.
Red aphids have a distinguishable trait when it comes to diet. They only feed on plant sap which means they live and rest on plants as they need a lot of it to survive.
Like most other aphids, red aphids don’t bite. They don’t have mouthparts, just an elongated needle-like mouth used to pierce and drink the sap.
These elongated mouthparts cannot pierce human skin.
Eliminating red aphids is mandatory when it comes to saving plants, flowers, vegetables, and herbs in the garden.
Red aphids are known for their impact on these plants as they can suck the sap to the point plants die.
You need to remove aphids by hand or by using other methods to save the plants.
Washing plants with a water hose can remove aphids.
Spraying deterring sprays on plants also keeps aphids away. Deterring solutions include vinegar, essential oils, and water with soap.
Aphids tend to move along quickly as they hate the smell of soap.
Cockroaches are some of the most problematic bugs in the house as they carry diseases and viruses.
They are seen as dirty bugs as they are also scavengers.
American cockroaches have a brown-red color. The species represents one of the largest cockroaches often found in homes.
American cockroaches feed leftover food and organic material around the kitchen.
Unlike many other types of red bugs, American cockroaches thrive in homes and seek out homes to live in.
Warmth, humidity, and food availability make these bugs love living indoors.
Removing all leftover foods and cleaning out organic material buildup in or under the sink are recommended first measures to keep these bugs out of the house.
Sealing all entry points around doors and windows is also a must as American cockroaches easily move indoors.
These roaches can also move indoors when the weather turns bad quickly. These roaches seek out shelter under heavy rain or when the temperature drops unexpectedly.
19. Scarlet Lily Beetle
Scarlet Lilly beetles (Lilioceris lilii) have flattened oval shapes and an orange-red or red color.
As their name implies, Scarlet Lily beetles feed on lily leaves. They also eat the leaves of all Liliaceae flowers.
Scarlet Lily beetles are some of the most effective species in damaging lilies in gardens.
One of the recommended preventive methods is not to plant any lilies at all.
However, lilies have a decorative purpose and they can be grown without any Scarlet Lily beetles around.
These bugs don’t bit but they can be eliminated with neem oil sprayed directly on lilies.
Other types of essential oil such as peppermint essential oil are successfully used against Scarlet Lily beetles.
Essential oils are sprayed on lilies to prevent these bugs.
Are Tiny Red Bugs Dangerous?
Tiny red bugs may be dangerous, but most aren’t. Blood-sucking bugs are particularly dangerous but many red bugs of a small size pose no human threat.
Correct species identification removes all doubts when it comes to the dangers of a certain species.
You can identify red bugs species to know if they are dangerous. Some tiny red bugs are known to bite it is best to brush them off the skin as soon as they land on you.
What should you do when you are bitten?
You should try to remember which red bug has bitten so that you know what to do next.
Even tiny red bugs can be dangerous so it’s best to know which species have stung or bitten so that you can inform a doctor in case the symptoms require visiting a doctor.
What do you need to do when you are bitten?
Some bugs such as chiggers might bite. You need to clean the bitten area or the stung area with soap and water first.
Stingers that may get stuck into the skin also need to be removed.
You can apply ice or a cold compress to prevent the area from swelling.
When should you see a doctor
Seeing a doctor might be necessary in case of severe reactions to the bite of a small red bug.
You might need to see a doctor even if mild symptoms do not go away within 1-2 days.
- Itchiness that doesn’t go away
Itchiness is common when bitten or stung by certain bugs. What’s not common is for itchiness to persist for a long time.
It’s time to see a doctor whenever itchiness doesn’t go away after 24-48 hours. It should not take longer than 48 hours to see a doctor with these symptoms.
- Respiratory issues
Some bug bites are known to cause either mild or severe allergic reactions. Some of these reactions are tied to respiratory issues.
Red bug bites can lead to breathing difficulties. You need to see a doctor to get treatment if this is one of your symptoms.
Anti-allergic medication might be recommended by the doctor but each person with a respiratory problem is dealt with separately.
- Allergic skin reactions
Allergic reactions to small red bug bites are also seen on a skin level.
Large red blotches or puffy skin that doesn’t go away are signs of an allergic skin reaction.
You can eliminate the risks of a severe allergic reaction by testing yourself if you’re a person prone to allergic reactions.
Tests reveal exactly the species you’re allergic to and the species you need to stay away from.
Sweating that doesn’t naturally go away is a sign of a complication following a red bug bite.
Since some of these bugs carry diseases such as Lyme disease, it’s best not to overlook sweating as a major warning sign something is wrong and to see a doctor.
Fever symptoms following a tiny red bug bite are rare. However, they exist and you should take fever as a major warning sign your body is showing a severe symptom of a red bug bite or sting.
All cases with fever should see the nearest hospital. It helps to know which red bug has caused the fever so that doctors can act accordingly.
Not all symptoms are as serious as fever. Still, severe symptoms such as nausea that don’t go away are an indication a hospital visit is also needed.
Red bugs can cause nausea in the case of multiple stings. Insects with stingers that don’t break can sting multiple times.
As a result, nausea can be a serious symptom in the case of repeated bites or stings.
How to Get Rid of Tiny Red Bugs
Getting rid of tiny red bugs requires considering multiple methods of elimination. These methods depend on the species of red bugs themselves.
Spray insecticidal soap
Insecticidal soap is a recommended method of getting rid of tiny red bugs outside of the house such as aphids and other bugs on plants and flowers.
Insecticidal soap is a type of soap that acts as an insecticide and kills bugs on the spot.
Reduce humidity levels
For indoor red bug invasions, you need to consider alternative measures.
Most are tied to reducing the variables which attract and keep bugs in the house such as humidity.
Lowering humidity levels in the basement, bathroom, and kitchen is recommended.
A lower humidity level also keeps insects and red bugs eating away.
Vacuuming is the safest method of getting rid of tiny red bugs inside the house.
Since insecticide isn’t safe for indoor use without the recommendations of a professional, vacuuming becomes one of the processes that safely remove these bugs.
You can vacuum the entire house or the area you see these bugs in.
For example, bed bugs affect the bed and the area around it only in the case of serious invasions with high reproduction rates.
You can vacuum the bed, the mattress, and the entire bedroom to eliminate these bugs without spraying insecticide.
How to Prevent Tiny Red Bugs
Small red bugs can also be prevented. It’s best to create barriers to keep these bugs out as they are more difficult to eliminate once they establish themselves.
Spray essential oils
Essential oils such as peppermint essential oil can be sprayed on lilies affected by red bugs. Peppermint oil can be sprayed on these plants to keep them safe.
Neem oil is also widely used as a preventive solution against a wide range of small red bugs such as springtails and centipedes.
Keep the house and the yard clean
Trimming vegetation and clearing clutter around the house are recommended to keep these small bugs away.
One of the overlooked methods of keeping bugs away is swapping old dry food for new food.
Red flour bugs are mainly attracted to old flour or they can be completely overlooked in flour that’s been sitting in cupboards for more than a few months.
The area of the house also needs to be clean and dry. Excessive mulch use sometimes favors high soil humidity which some red bugs love.
Don’t overwater plants and flowers
Refraining from overwatering the plants is also recommended.
Too much water creates the perfect conditions for many red bugs. Some of them can make it indoors.
Roaches are some of the bugs that love high humidity around the house, especially when there’s plenty of organic matter to feed on.
They also love high indoor humidity as they can easily move into the house looking for food.
You need to keep soils dry to either kill roaches or similar bugs or to keep them away as long as possible.
Small red bugs can be nuisance pests or they can be dangerous pests that can bite.
For example, Red deer ticks are some of the most problematic red bugs as they can bite and they can get stuck in the skin.
Other species such as mites might not pose an immediate threat. However, many mites might still pose a long-term threat, especially when it comes to developing allergies.
While small, red bugs need to be eliminated when seen in the house as they can carry diseases such as Lyme diseases or attract other predators which eat small bugs. You should avoid touching the small red bugs you cannot correctly identify as many can bite.