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The 12 Most Dangerous Bugs to Watch Out for This Summer and How to Protect Yourself

Learn to recognize these dangerous insects—and how to protect yourself.

Horsefly perched on a stick on light brown backgroundPaco Moreno/Shutterstock

Horseflies

Horseflies have black or gray bodies with large eyes that have green or purple horizontal stripes. You don't have to worry about male horseflies, but the females do bite. Female bites are especially painful because horseflies tear and lap at the skin. Some species spread disease, but that usually only involves livestock, according to Campbell.

How to protect yourself: During outside activity, Campbell recommends wearing light-colored clothing and insect repellent to prevent horsefly bites.

A red and black kissing bug from Missouri.Rusty Dodson/Shutterstock

Kissing Bugs

Kissing bugs have a head in the shape of a cone. They are usually light brown to black in color, although some species have red, yellow, or tan markings on their stomach, Campbell says. Kissing bugs occasionally bite humans in their sleep, and people with sensitive skin could have an allergic reaction. Even worse, kissing bugs also carry a parasite that causes Chagas disease. Nearly 300,000 people in the United States are infected with the parasite, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

How to protect yourself: Again preventing this bug bite starts with keeping kissing bugs out of your home. Homeowners should seal cracks with caulk, install door sweeps, and remove debris piles from the yard, according to Campbell. Anyone who hates bugs will love these essential products that can ward off dangerous summer bugs for good.

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