24 Tiny Black Bugs That Bite and Itch

It can be difficult to identify tiny black bugs that bite without correctly identifying each species.

You can prevent these bites once you know how the tiny bugs can bite you look.

This is important as bites from even the smallest black bugs can lead to rashes, and allergies and even help spread diseases.

24 Tiny Black Bugs That Bite

The following tiny bugs are known to bite. They are the most common small black bugs known to bite. Here’s how to identify them correctly.

1. Gnats

Gnat

Gnats are flies seen around the house and outdoors next to poultry and animals.

Not many know these small black flies can bite.

Only the female gnats can bite as they have scissor-like jaws they use to cut through skin and use the mandibles to eat blood.

Male gnats don’t have these scissor-like mandibles.

Female gnats need a blood meal to lay eggs. They need protein so they can lay as many eggs as possible.

Up to a few hundred eggs are deposited by the female after having a blood meal

The bites of this insect are identified as painful. Red skin is common in the area of the bite.

Some allergic reactions can be transmitted through the bite.

While not common, the bite of female gnats can also carry disease-causing bacteria.

This includes Sandfly fever.

In the worst allergic reactions, people might also need medical treatment.

Fever and even breathing difficulty are common in the case of gnat bites, albeit to a lesser extent compared to the bites of other bugs.

2. Biting Midges

Biting Midge

Biting Midges look similar to bulky flies. They have a red-brown color and may also appear similar to mosquitoes.

These small flies are sometimes even too small to see and their red coloring appears black due to their reduced size.

Biting Midges measures anywhere between 1 and 3 mm being some of the smallest black bugs that can bite.

They are prevalent near water and most bites happen next to ponds and other sources of still water.

Biting midges are known for their multiple bites when they look for blood.

Multiple small red dots on the skin indicate multiple Biting Midges bites.

These bites are best avoided similarly to mosquito bites.

Staying away from water in the morning and the evening helps keeps these insects away.

Wearing bug repellent spray is also important, especially for campers or hikers, people directly interested in being in nature at dusk and dawn.

3. Ticks

Tick

Ticks are some of the most problematic tiny black bugs that can bite.

The biggest problem with ticks is they stay attached to the skin after they bite.

An average tick can remain attached to the skin for up to 10 days. 

Furthermore, ticks are known to spread a series of important diseases such as Lyme disease.

Ticks are known as some of the most serious small black bugs that can bite people both outside or inside the house.

These bugs are sometimes known for causing severe allergic reactions with or without skin infection.

Even mild reactions to tick bites include red skin, pale skin, pain, rashes, and blisters.

Ticks need to be physically removed from the skin as they can spread diseases or cause infection the more they stay attached to the skin.

Ticks are a type of arachnids, bugs in the family of spiders. They grow to a small maximum size, mostly under 1 inch in size.

Most ticks appear black but they might also come in other colors such as brown and even dark red.

Tick bites are common out in nature. You can get ticks on you when hiking or camping.

One of the reasons why hikers are told to always stay on the trail is because there’s no or less vegetation in the middle of the trail so the chances of a tick bite are reduced.

4. Fleas – Tiny Black Bugs That Jump

Fleas
Flea. Image by Alexis via inaturalist

Fleas are tiny black bugs that can bite people and animals. They live in tall grasses and attach themselves to a host with blood such as people and pets.

Fleas don’t crawl, they jump.

These small bugs can jump on you when walking through tall grass or when camping.

Fleas can also jump on you for blood when you have pets infested with fleas.

Pets that get in and out of the house regularly are a typical target for blood-hungry fleas.

You can reduce or eliminate the risk of flea bites by washing your pets and animals regularly.

Flea-free places also require a clean yard with a mowed lawn and a clean vacuumed home.

Most fleas might not carry disease-causing bacteria. However, flea bites can get infected quickly.

You can identify flea bites whenever you see a row of small red dots on the skin as fleas bite linearly multiple times.

5. Mosquitoes – Tiny Black Bugs That Bite at Night

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are some of the smallest and most common black flies that bite.

Similar to gnats, it’s only female mosquitoes that bite as males aren’t known for biting.

Females need blood and water to reproduce.

Blood is used as a source of nutrients while stagnant water is required for mosquitoes to lay eggs and reproduce.

Mosquito bites can be mild and sometimes not even noticed. They can also be severe, especially whenever you aren’t aware of mosquitoes in the area.

Puffy red skin is a sign of a mosquito bite. There can be many bites on the skin as mosquitoes come back biting multiple times.

Eliminating stagnant water around the house is recommended to keep mosquitoes out.

Clean drains are also recommended as they prevent quick mosquito formation and the formation of other bugs that live in drains.

Antihistamines can help relieve the extreme itching associated with some mosquito bites.

Some of the most problematic bites can also benefit from cooling ice on the skin.

6. Bed Bugs – Tiny Black Bugs in Bed That Bite and Itch

Bed bug

Bed bugs are some of the small black bugs that live in beds. These bugs like blood and they bite frequently.

Most bed bug bites are seen on exposed skin.

These bites are hard to notice at first as they don’t come with pain or itchiness.

Bed bug bites only turn itchy after a while.

Bed bugs travel on clothes, luggage, and other items from one infested place to another.

A clean or a dirty home aren’t indicators of bed bugs as they can live even in the most orderly home.

Bed bugs need a host to feed on. They also need places to crawl into so they can easily hide.

Seeing blood stains on the bedsheet is a clear indication of bed bugs.

Bed bugs aren’t known for spreading disease, but their bite can still be painful.

You can avoid bed bug bites and itching by washing the skin with soap and water and using a good anti-itch ointment. 

7. Ants

Black carpenter ants

Ants come in thousands of species that can bite.

Carpenter ants are some of the most common small black ants that invade homes and that can bite.

The symptoms of the bite vary from person to person from mild skin-level discomfort to severe rashes.

Most of these bites don’t require any type of special care, similar to the bites of mosquitoes.

You can keep your home ant-free by fixing all water leaks.

Carpenter ants are attracted to damp wood, similar to termites.

These ants can also be kept at a safe distance from the house by keeping firewood further away from the home.

8. Black Widow Spiders

Black Widow Spider

Black Widow Spiders are some of the most dangerous arachnids that can bite in North America.

This spider species has a small black body, black legs, and an hourglass-like red marking on the body.

Spiders of this genus have a potent venom that can cause all types of reactions in biting humans and animals.

Black Widow spiders are common around the house and they can make their way indoors as well.

They can be found on clothes or in shoes, locations where they can easily bite as they might feel threatened.

These spiders aren’t inclined to bite people without being harassed.

However, you can also get bitten by a Black Widow spider even without roughly handling one.

The symptoms of its bite are more severe than the symptoms of a mosquito bite.

You can feel rashes and pain in the area of the bite as well as in an extended area.

Black Widow bites are soon followed by muscle pain, breathing difficulty, and chest pain.

These bites might require hospitalization and seeing a doctor is recommended.

Antivenom can be given to those with severe reactions to the bite.

Other people bitten by Black Widow spiders can feel better with simple muscle relaxants.

9. Insidious Flower Bugs

Insidious Flower Bug

Insidious Flower Bugs are small. They grow up to 1/5 inches and they are green, black, or brown.

Found in gardens, these bugs enter homes easily.

Biting humans isn’t their main purpose. Some people believe it’s human sweat that attracts these bugs to bite.

Bugs of the genus make their way indoors through open windows. They’re also attracted to light at night.

They don’t inject saliva or venom into the skin which means their bite marks are small and they tend to go away quickly.

You can prevent these bites by keeping these bugs out.

Installing window screens might be one of the best actions against these small bugs.

10. Minute Pirate Bugs – Tiny Black Bugs That Bite in the Fall

Minute Pirate Bug

Minute Pirate Bugs appear like small black flies. Similar to Insidious Flower bugs, these bugs also grow to 1/5 inches.

The bugs are seen in warm weather, especially in the warm summer months and in the warmest fall months.

They are considered beneficial insects in the garden.

Minute Pirate bugs feed on a wide range of invasive bugs and flies, especially those small in size.

These bugs can accidentally enter homes or bite people outside.

They don’t drink blood and they don’t inject saliva into the skin either. Small rashes are characteristic of these bites.

Bugs of this genus don’t transmit disease.

Most people believe wearing dark color clothes makes these bugs turn around as they’re attracted to white and yellow clothes.

11. Black Wasps

Black wasp

Black wasps have a black body, black legs, and smoky brown to black wings.

These are solitary flies that can bite, albeit they rarely do.

People who roughly handled these wasps can easily get bitten as Black wasps react in defense.

One of the characteristics of the Black wasp bite is high pain.

You cannot overlook a Black wasp bite as its acute levels of pain are high to very high regardless of the person it bites.

Black wasp bites can cause mild reactions such as itchiness.

They can also cause severe reactions that require immediate hospitalization and medical care.

Anaphylaxis is one of the most severe reactions to tiny black bug bites and it’s common in those with severe reactions to Black wasp bites.

Black wasps’ severe bite reactions that lead to anaphylaxis include swollen heads or swollen heads.

Dizziness and breathing difficulty are also very common in those with severe reactions to wasp bites.

Antihistamine drugs are a common treatment for Black wasp bites.

Home remedies include applying baking soda and water to the bitten area to soothe the skin.

12. Black Carpenter Bees

Black Carpenter Bee

Carpenter bees are mostly black and yellow. These fuzzy bees grow to a size of ¼ inches and they are seen around homes and trees as they nest in wood.

These types of bees are highly beneficial as true pollinators. Their fuzzy legs and body collect a lot of pollen and help in pollination.

Male Black carpenter bees do not sting. It’s the females that have a stinger which they might use against people or animals in rare circumstances.

The first thing to do after being stung by a Black carpenter bee is to look for the stinger which might still be stuck in the skin.

It can sometimes be scraped off with a fingernail.

The sting of this bee is painful and normally followed by puffy skin in the area of the bite. As long as the stinger is removed from the skin these symptoms should go away in a few hours.

Some adverse reactions to the sting of this bee have been reported, mainly in people with allergic reactions to bees.

These severe reactions include shortness of breath. Medication and hospitalization might be required for people stung by the Black carpenter bee that also has allergic reactions to be stingers.

13. Earwigs

Earwig

Earwigs can be black with red or orange marks. These bugs are often mistaken for a species that enters humans’ ears, which inspires their name.

Earwigs love high humidity and they are found either outdoors or indoors in places where humidity is considerable.

This is why they can be found in bathrooms or around drains.

These bugs have long pincers they used to defend themselves.

People don’t get bitten by earwigs too often. Many people are bitten by other tiny black bugs and think it was earwigs.

Extremely rare, earwigs bites can still happen, especially when these bugs are roughly handled.

The pincers of earwigs can rip off the skin, which in turn, can cause infections.

In the case of a confirmed earwig bite, it’s best to clean the area of the bite and see a doctor.

All small particles left in the skin need to be removed, but only when the skin is ripped as surface-level bite symptoms go away without medical help.

Keeping the area around the house dry is recommended to keep earwigs away.

Refraining from watering plants too much and clearing drains or gutters are routine actions to reduce humidity levels.

14. Kissing Bugs

Kissing bug

Kissing bugs are mostly known for drinking blood. These bugs bite areas around the mouth, which inspires their name.

Kissing bugs grow from 0.5 to 1 inch. They have an elongated body that widens at the abdomen.

These bugs are common in homes that have animals nearby. Bugs of the genus migrate from animals to homes when the weather gets cold.

Inactive during the day, kissing bugs move on for food and blood at night.

They can bite people fallen asleep attracted to carbon dioxide and body heat.

Bugs of the genus aren’t particularly dangerous to humans as their bites are minor.

However, they can turn serious whenever they bite multiple times and when they lay feces around the mouth.

People with itches rubbing these feces in the wounded areas of the skin may contact a bacteria that causes Chagas disease.

Keeping these bugs out requires similar techniques to keeping other tiny black bugs out such as fleas.

Sealing all home entry points is recommended together with keeping pets and animals further away from the house.

15. Mites

Mite

Mites are some of the tiniest black bugs that can bite. Furthermore, the reduced size of mites makes them one of the most problematic tiny bug species for respiratory issues.

There are thousands of species of mites and a few of them can bite.

Mites such as dust mites or chiggers are known to come with serious health issues.

Chiggers can bite and create a large number of problems such as scrub typhus.

Tiny dust mites can be inhaled or multiply to the point they create respiratory allergies.

Mites are known to be problematic as they might not easily be seen. They to a maximum size between 0.01 and 0.03 inches.

You can prevent mites’ home infestations by frequently cleaning your house which includes dusting, vacuuming, and washing bed sheets.

16. Puss Caterpillars

Puss Caterpillars

Flannel moths aren’t the most popular moths. However, their larvae, puss caterpillars are very common in states such as Florida.

The larvae of the moths are covered in short poisonous hairs. 

A defensive purpose makes these hairs poisonous to predators trying to eat these caterpillars.

Their hairs are very irritating and painful for people who touch them as well.

Short poisonous hairs of puss caterpillars can cause extreme burning skin sensations that can last hours.

It’s best to avoid touching puss caterpillars with bare hands to avoid a painful issue that can lead to rashes that last days.

17. Scorpions

Scorpion

Scorpions are some of the most problematic and venomous black bugs that can bite.

There are more than 3.300 species of scorpions around the world and many are venomous.

Microtityus minimus, the world’s smallest scorpion measures just 0.4 inches. It feeds on insects and it uses venom to digest them before drinking their liquefied parts.

This small scorpion can bite.

Other black scorpions can also bite. Some bugs that look like scorpions such as Pseudoscorpions can also bite.

The potent scorpion venom needs medical attention.

One of the biggest problems in scorpion bites is prevention. You cannot prevent these bites all the time.

Campers and those living in areas with high scorpion populations need to be careful not to allow them into shoes, tents, or inside the house.

Immediate medical care is recommended for those bitten by scorpions.

18. Deer flies

Adult deer fly

Deer flies are a type of blood-sucking insect.

These flies have a mostly black body color and they are present in areas with plenty of cattle.

They can bite cattle, humans, and other animals.

As with other blood-sucking flies, it’s only the females that bite.

Female deer flies need a large blood meal before laying eggs. The more blood they suck the more eggs they can lay.

A female der fly that has a large blood meal can proceed to lay as many as 400 eggs at once.

Deer fly bites are very difficult to avoid. These flies lay eggs in moist environments such as marshes.

Many of these flies and their eggs cannot be controlled with bug-repelling chemicals.

Those living or passing through areas with a large number of cattle known to have deer flies may need to wear an extra layer of clothes to protect exposed areas of the skin.

19. Horseflies

Horseflies

Horseflies are also known to bite. Larger than other flies that bite, horseflies have a bright color upper body with vertical black lines and a black lower body.

Female horseflies are known to bite since they have adapted mouthparts resembling scissors. Male horseflies cannot bite.

You can expect female horsefly bites to be painful.

Raised red skin is common in the area of the bite.

It’s believed horseflies are attracted to dark colors and dressing in bright clothes can be one of the methods to keep these flies away.

Applying a spray that repels insects is recommended before hiking, camping, or going on a farm to prevent these bites.

Those camping in the backcountry can also install tents with mesh doors. 

These types of doors prevent horseflies from flying inside the tent.

Pitching the tent further out from animals such as cattle also helps stay clear of these flies.

Some campers prefer to use natural repellents such as spraying essential oils around the camp to keep these bugs out.

20. Black flies

Black fly

Black flies or Buffalo gnats grow to a maximum size of 15mm.

Some of these flies can be as small as 5mm which makes them difficult to spot at first.

They can bite using their sharp scissor-like mouthparts. They can cut through skin essentially drinking blood until full.

Some of these flies might not be easy to avoid given their reduced size.

People don’t notice these tiny black flies until they bite.

It’s best to wear long sleeve tops to avoid Black flies bites.

These flies are also deterred by bug sprays and by insect-repelling sprays.

21. Sandflies

Sandflies
Sandfly

Sandflies are small black flies that suck blood found in sandy areas. These flies are common in the US.

They can be smaller than 1 inch and they are known to suck the blood and bite multiple times when given the chance.

Campers and hikers are among the most exposed groups when it comes to bites from sandflies.

Applying bug-repelling or insect-repelling spray before going out is recommended.

Research shows eucalyptus essential oils are a top natural repellent for sandflies.

22. Blister Beetles

Blister beetles

Also known as the Spanish fly, Blister beetles are very common on alfalfa crops.

Blister beetles are identified by their elongated striped black and orange bodies.

These black beetles are known for being a trigger for dermatitis. 

They cause bags of fluid accumulation in the skin.

Staying away from Blister beetle bites requires paying attention when being outdoors.

It’s not wise to crush these beetles when they land on the skin as they might bite. It’s best to gradually push them away from the body.

Wearing an extra layer of clothes can also prevent direct skin contact.

23. Stag Beetles

Stag beetles

Stag beetles have an all-black color and they grow to a maximum size of 1.1 inches.

These beetles rarely bite although they can bite if roughly handled.

Potent jaws are seen on male stag beetles. Yet these bugs don’t use them to bite but to attract females.

It’s best not to handle black Stag beetles by hand as this can cause them to bite in a defensive mechanism.

24. Black House Spiders

Black House Spiders

Black House spiders are some of the smallest arachnids that can bite. They can grow up to a size of ¾ inches and they are found around the house.

These spiders eat all types of insects they find inside the house.

Black House spiders are a venomous species. Their venom isn’t truly dangerous to people.

Localized pain and swelling are common symptoms of a Black House spider bite.

These symptoms might be more severe in very rare cases.

Skin lesions and nausea are among the extreme reactions to Black House spider bites.

Further Reading:

What Do You Need to Do When You Are Bitten

Being bitten by a tiny black bug is normally not a life-threatening experience. Complications such as infections or catching bacteria can still happen, on the other hand.

Here’s what you need to know whenever facing the bites of tiny black bugs.

Some bites are minor while others are more serious. As seen with the species listed above, these bites require different types of reactions.

Wash the area with soap and water

One of the first actions to consider regardless of the type of tiny black bug that bites you is to wash the bitten area.

You should refrain from scratching as these can rub in bug feces and infect the bitten skin.

Soap and water are best for cleaning the area.

Apply ice

Rashes and skin irritation can succumb when applying ice. Some severe symptoms such as swollen skin can also benefit from applying ice on the bitten area.

When should you see a doctor?

Seeing a doctor is needed for the bites of various tiny black bugs such as Black Widow spiders, ticks, or fleas.

Doctors can prescribe antihistamines, muscle relaxants, and even antivenin. Medical treatment following tiny black bug bites depends on the species itself.

Here are the most common symptoms your tiny black bug bite might be serious and require medical attention.

Nausea

Nausea isn’t a common symptom of a typical black bug bite such as a bed bug bite or a mosquito bite.

It might be a symptom of an allergic reaction or a reaction to the venom of certain species such as the venom of the Black Widow spider.

Vomiting

Vomiting is a serious symptom that falls under a wider spectrum of digestive issues and complications following a bug bite.

Vomiting is an extreme reaction you should immediately take into account to visit a doctor if you believe you’ve been bitten by a black bug, even by a tiny one.

Fever

Fever has been tied to infections following black bug bites. Some studies show fever is also a symptom of the immune system fighting back the venom some bugs inject when biting.

The fever should go away within a few hours. Any fever that doesn’t go away quickly should be followed by a visit to the hospital.

Infection

Infections are common following black bug bites. All types of infections are seen due to reasons such as the bugs carrying bacteria or leaving feces on the bite itself.

People can also trigger infections by rubbing the area of the bite, especially if it has feces on it. The feces of small bugs might not be easily seen with the naked eye.

Rubbed into the bitten area, it gets in contact with blood and it may trigger certain infections.

Skin irritation that doesn’t go away

Skin irritation following tiny black bugs is very common in almost all bite cases.

If you see that your skin irritation doesn’t go away after a day, in the case of non-venomous bug bites, you should seek out medical help.

Skin irritation can manifest itself in red skin, swollen skin in the area of the bite, and even swollen skin on the body, far from the bite itself.

Skin irritation can be visible as red skin or discolored skin in the area of the bite.

How to Get Rid of Tiny Black Bugs That Bite

Eliminating tiny black bugs that bite from the house is a thorough process involving cleaning and sealing all access points.

Clean the home thoroughly

The first step to consider is cleaning the entire house. Vacuuming helps eliminate tiny black bugs such as bed bugs.

Dusting helps eliminate tiny black bugs such as dust mites.

Using an air filter can also help eliminate bugs such as other mites.

Cleaning a house thoroughly is recommended when it comes to eliminating all types of bugs.

Use bug spray

Bug spray can kill these bugs on the spot.

You need to spray bugs directly with a good spray to kill them in seconds. This solution is best applied to homes with just a few bugs.

Any serious tiny black bug invasion should be followed by thorough cleaning.

Use UV bug lamps

UV bug lamps can quickly help eliminate flying tiny black bugs. These lamps kill bugs on the spot and they can be a good investment in or around the house.

UV bug lamps are particularly useful when you have pets and animals living close to the house. All types of bugs are attracted to light and can make their way to the house from these animals.

Installing UV bug lamps between the house and animals helps reduce their numbers.

Tips to Avoid Biting from Tiny Black Bugs

Avoiding black bug bites is preferred whenever possible. Some of these bites are accidental and cannot be prevented. Others can be prevented by following these measures.

Dress in long-sleeved clothes

Doctors recommend wearing long-sleeve clothes when camping, hiking, or simply when heading out to nature.

Many black bugs are attracted to body heat and can easily bite exposed areas of the skin.

Reducing exposed areas as much as possible is one of the simplest and most efficient steps to keeping these bites away.

Even adding an extra layer of clothing helps. While this is not always possible, it can stop some bites completely.

Avoid getting off the trail when hiking

Tall grass and dense vegetation are home to various tiny black bugs such as ticks.

The deeper people wander into dense vegetation the higher the chances of a bite get.

You can avoid or diminish the risk of bites whenever you stay on hiking trails or in designated camping areas while away from home.

Trails are usually busy with hikers and many bugs such as ants tend to stay away from them.

Camp away from animals and birds

Many tiny black bug bites occur while camping. A simple task such as choosing the right place to set up a camp can help eliminate the risk of getting bitten by one of these bugs.

It’s ideal to camp further away from water sources. These can be lakes, rivers, ponds, and marshes. These areas are breeding grounds for many bugs and insects.

Camping away from bird nests and other animals helps as well.

Some bugs easily transition from animals to humans attracted to carbon dioxide and body heat as well as by hunger as they might need blood to reproduce.

Apply insect and bug spray

Bug spray or a multipurpose anti-insect spray can help keep tiny black bugs away.

These types of sprays are sometimes applied directly on skin and clothes.

They come with chemicals or natural ingredients known to repel these bugs.

Plant eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is a natural bug repellent.

It doesn’t work against all tiny black bugs but it works against species such as sandflies.

If you live in an area that’s at a high risk of a bug invasion you can consider planting eucalyptus next to the house to create a natural barrier against buts.

Alternatively, you can consider spraying eucalyptus essential oil around the house to deter all types of bugs.

It can be mixed with other essential oils to deter a larger amount of tiny black flies.

Eucalyptus essential oils can be mixed with cloves essential oil or lavender essential oil to keep a larger number of black bugs away.

Summary

Tiny black bugs can bite looking for blood. 

They do this in different methods. Some bite through elongated mouthparts drinking blood while others rip skin open and eat blood.

Various species of black bugs that are small come from animals and plants.

They only come in contact with humans when people are in the proximity of animals or plants. On occasion, these bugs can also enter homes.

Carbone dioxide from human breath attracts many types of bugs such as Kissing bugs.

Others are attracted to body heat.

A good port of small black bugs is attracted to bright or dark colors, making their way onto people depending on the colors they wear.

Keeping away from these bites is the best method to avoid a painful or itchy situation.

It’s also the best way to avoid diseases as many bug bites come with disease-causing bacteria.

Medical treatment is always needed whenever the symptoms of a bite don’t go away.