Aphids are infamous for munching on plants and destroying them in the process. Aphids only suck on plants and never other insects or humans. But can aphids cause skin irritation if you come into contact with them?
Yes, it may come as a surprise to some people, but aphids can bite you and cause skin irritation and rashes.
Aphids have quite a reputation for feeding on plants and growing in numbers. However, there are instances when people have reported being bitten by aphids.
One reason that aphids may bite people is that they may mistake them for plants. If an aphid has bitten you, the skin irritation can last for a few days.
Aphids are unlikely to actively seek you out to bite you – as a mosquito would – but this doesn’t mean they are completely harmless and won’t bite you, either if they feel threatened or by accident.
Can You Get a Rash from Aphids?
An aphid bite is not precisely a bite since they do not have proper mouths. Instead, aphids have mouthparts that look like needles. Aphids will spear through your skin with their needle-like mouth and cause a rash.
An aphid bite will look like a red rash, and you will see some swollen skin. Also, the spot where the aphid bites can also become itchy. You can also get a rash if multiple aphids bite you. This is often the case if you brush through a bush with a large infestation.
Can People be Allergic to Aphids?
When gardening or passing an infested plant or tree, you may get a rash or feel allergic. As aphids can fly, they can sometimes come into contact with human skin.
As a result, many people have experienced allergic reactions to aphids. Aphids can cause allergic reactions because they may pass some substances irritating to human skin.
There is no reason to worry, as the allergy will not last for a long time except for a day or two.
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How to Treat a Skin Irritation from Aphids
If you have a rash or skin irritation caused by aphids or any other pest you may brush against in the garden, you only need to apply a little aloe vera gel to soothe the itching.
It’s unlikely that the rash will need any medical treatment as aphids cannot harm humans. However, the itching can be annoying, so aloe vera or another topical cream can help to reduce the symptoms.
Even an ice pack can be a great way to quickly soothe the rash. SImply wrap an ice pack in a towel and press it against the rash.
Why Do Aphids Bite Humans?
Aphids are small insects, and it is not easy to detect them. Therefore, if aphids encounter your skin, you may not realize it until you feel a sting.
Aphids do not bite since they do not have a mouth. Instead, aphids have needle-like mouthparts that can sting people.
Many people who get bitten by aphids do so while they work in their gardens. However, aphids can also fly, and therefore, they can attach to you and your clothes and enter your home.
Aphids can sting humans if they confuse them with a plant. For instance, if you are working in your garden, you may smell like plants, and an aphid may sting to be sure. Moreover, aphids may also bite humans if they feel threatened.
Do All Aphids Bite?
There are different kinds of aphids that you can find in your garden. However, people who complain about aphid bites fall victim to pea aphids. These aphids are green (like peas, hence the name), although some can confusingly be a light pink colour.
Pea aphids are found during the summer months and breed, so they have a huge colony that constantly spreads.
You can recognize pea aphids as you will always find them in big groups, especially under leaves. The aphids have long legs and a long needle-like mouthpart.
If you have further questions about skin rashes that aphids can cause, check out these FAQs:
Yes, if you were to brush through a plant with a large aphid infestation, then contact with multiple aphids can cause you to itch, which can lead to skin irritations. This doesn’t mean they are harmful, however.
Aphids do not actually bite. They do not have teeth or mouths, so cannot bite. However, you may get a slight red rash from contact with aphids.
Ryan is a keen gardener from the UK who’s spent years dealing with countless, common pests over the years so knows the ins and outs of how to deal with pests in the garden