I Feel Like Bugs Are Biting Me But I Don’t See Anything

“I feel like bugs are biting me, but I don’t see anything!” This phrase is surprisingly common, and the utterer might believe that they are going crazy. There are actually many reasons why you may feel like bugs are biting you, and none of them mean you are crazy.

Feeling, but not seeing

It is not uncommon for human beings and other animals to feel an odd itch here and there, or to feel as if something is crawling across their skin. When one starts to feel like something is biting them, though, things become a bit more serious.

While this sensation might be scary, there is always a reason behind it. Humans never feel something for no reason, so if you feel like bugs are biting you, chances are high that something really is happening, even if you can’t see what is causing it.

Here are some of the possible reasons why you could feel as if bugs were biting you or crawling across your skin, even if you can’t see them:

  • allergies
  • dry skin
  • shampoo, soap, or conditioner residue
  • a reaction to one of the above bath products
  • a reaction to the fibers in new clothing
  • static electricity
  • allergic reaction to a new or continued medication
  • airborne irritants
  • chicken pox
  • mites
  • fungi spread by mites

As you can see, this is a long list of possible explanations. These can be broken down into four main categories, which can help you to narrow down the cause of your own itching.

Skin irritants

A number of things in today’s world can cause a person to have a skin reaction. There are pollutants in the air outside, there are fibers, bits of metal, other flecks of wood and industrial materials flying around in the workplace, there are even things like pollen and dander that can sit on your skin and cause it to feel as if something is biting or crawling on you. Sometimes even just thinking about these things can start to make your skin crawl.

Before you jump right to the cause of the sensation on your skin being the result of an insect infestation, investigate some environmental causes first. Have you been outside on a day where the allergen level in the air is high? Is there a possibility that you could have a sunburn? Do you work in an environment where dust particles and other irritants are in the air on a regular basis?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have found your problem. Try taking a shower or bath and changing your clothing. Be sure to thoroughly wash your hair as well, and make sure to run your clothes through the washer before you wear them again. If a skin irritant was causing the itching, these simple steps should get rid of it. If not, you may need to look deeper for the cause of that biting feeling.

Allergic reaction

Whether or not one has been diagnosed with an allergy when they were a child, it is still possible for an adult to discover a new allergen later in life. Allergic reactions often involve skin reactions, meaning that the skin becomes itchy, inflamed, or prickly. This could easily cause one to say “I feel like bugs are biting me but I can’t see them!” because that is exactly what it feels like at times.

Allergic reactions can be caused by exposure to allergens present in food, pet hair, bath products like soaps, shampoos, and lotions, and even medications. If you suspect that your new medication (or an old one you have been taking for some time) is the culprit, check the label on the bottle or box. Read the possible side effects carefully, and you may find that skin rashes or related conditions are common. Even if this effect is not listed, you could contact your doctor or a health care professional to find out more.

This prickly, biting feeling could also easily be caused by the fibers in a new shirt or dress, or even be a skin reaction to a new type of laundry detergent. Check anything new you have worn or brought into your house recently, and see if you could be allergic to any of the materials or ingredients it is made with.


Illnesses like chickenpox can often cause one to feel as if something is biting them. This misconception is helped along by the fact that the chickenpox themselves look like mosquito bites, leading one to the conclusion that something really has bitten them. Contrary to what it might seem like, chickenpox is a viral infection that causes a skin reaction. It works from the inside out, so one’s skin is not being attacked from the outside at all. The rash that is caused by chickenpox is extremely itchy, and can often lead to the feeling of being bitten or crawled upon.

While most children these days are inoculated against chickenpox, adults that were not infected with chickenpox as a child can still get them now. In most cases, though, if you had chickenpox when you were a child, you are physically incapable of getting it again, due to the fact that your body develops an immunity to it.


If you have ruled out skin reactions, allergies, illness, and everyday things like dry skin, it is possible that the feeling of having invisible bugs biting your skin could actually mean that there are invisible bugs biting your skin.

Mites are microscopic entities that are normally invisible to the naked eye. They can be brought into your home by hitching a ride on other animals like birds, raccoons, rats, mice, or even the family dog or cat. These mites then leave the animal they rode in on and climb onto you instead, where they crawl across the skin and bite you. These mites become more active at night, so this is when most people detect their presence. In most cases, you will feel the bites and see a small red dot where you felt it, but you will not be able to see the mite itself.

Some of these mites can also carry spores, which they can leave behind to burrow into your skin. The spores then begin to grow a type of fungus, which can cause even more of the itching and biting sensations. If you suspect that any of these things could be the cause of your discomfort, consult a doctor. There are also some laboratories and research centers that allow you to send in a skin sample, which they can then test for the presence of mites or other things that could be causing the biting sensation.

If you do have mites in your house, you may have to consult with an exterminator to help you to rid your house of these pests. They are very pervasive, and can be difficult to eliminate due to the very fact that they are invisible.

In most cases, though, the feeling of bugs biting you and not being able to see them is caused by an allergen or something similar in the environment, which can be easily remedied with a shower or a change of scenery.