People generally don’t like bugs. In fairness, this feeling isn’t without cause. Throughout history, we have consistently dealt with insects and their relatives that like to use us as a food source. Phrases like “sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” are rooted in a time when we had to worry about being bitten by insects even while we slept. As a result, our bodies and minds are wired to be on the lookout for pests that want to bite us. Sometimes, though, the cause of an itch isn’t a bug at all. Below, University of Kentucky entomologists Jonathan Larson and Zachary DeVries give us a sampling of pests and other conditions that cause itches.

Bed bugs