Googling Bug Bites

I spent about half and hour pottering about in the garden yesterday. It had been raining, so everything was wet, which provided a wonderful environment for insects of all kinds.

When it started to rain again, I went back in the house and soon realized I had a couple of mosquito bites; one on my back and one on my thigh.  They didn’t bother me much. I am used to mosquito bites. They itch a little and create a small swelling, but otherwise I don’t have a bad reaction to them.

After about an hour, though, I saw that my right hand was starting to swell up and it was itching like crazy.  And I do mean crazy. I simply could not stop scratching. So, I applied generous quantities of hydrocortisone cream, and that soothed the itch temporarily.

Last night, the itching on my hand kept me awake. I must have woken up every hour, and I only got about five hours of this broken sleep.

That had me wondering what bit me. I had been wearing gardening gloves, so whatever it was, it must have been inside the glove when I put it on. That really creeps me out. From now until eternity I’m going to be turning my gloves inside out before I wear them.

Ixodes scapularis
Tick via Western Upper Peninsula Health Department

I checked out the Healthline bites and stings website to see if I could figure out what had bitten me. Based on the images of bug bites they provide, I thought it might have been either a tick or a brown recluse spider. The description of the spider’s behaviour seemed to be right on:

  • It likes to hide in quiet, dark places like closets and bookshelves
  • Nonaggressive, it will only bite humans if it’s being crushed between skin and a hard surface.

So, presumably, being squashed inside a glove would cause it to bite.

brown recluse spider
Brown Recluse Spider via Eureka Alert

I knew that ticks live in Alberta but I didn’t know about brown recluse spiders.  It turns out they don’t live in Alberta. (Thank you, UC Riverside.) Phew!

It seems, then, I have been bitten by a tick, or something else not described in the Healthline website. Either way, I am not experiencing any of the serious additional symptoms so I think it’s just a matter of waiting for the swelling to go down and the itching to cease.

If you like gardening, don’t forget to turn the gardening gloves inside out!  Just sayin’.



  1. Could it have been a wasp? That looks like a reaction that Lee has with wasp bites. No matter though, whatever it was, here’s hoping for a speedy recovery!

  2. I keep a pair of crocs outside during the summer and it occurred to me a few years ago to always shake them out before putting them on as you never know what could be lurking inside.

  3. I do not like bugs just saying Anne the pics creep me out lol. I am glad though that it isn’t serious I thought wasp stings hurt not itch. I was told by a MD if stung put meat tenderizer on the area immediately it breaks down the enzymes from the bite..I haven’t had the opportunity to try this thank goodness. Happy belated Canada day as we try to celebrate our 4th of July today.

    1. A lot of people are creeped out by bugs. I saw a couple of spiders in the house yesterday and decided to leave them alone. All the possible remedies were beyond my ability to carry them out.

      I hope you enjoy your 4th of July holiday and that you and the children are able to enjoy some of the festivities.

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