Last Updated on Jun 21, 2011


  • Insect bites are, mostly, not severe 
  • Sometimes they cause a severe allergic reaction, anaphylaxis
  • Anaphylaxis is life-threatening if not treated on time
  • Sting of bees, wasps, hornets / bite of fire ants, painful 
  • Bites of insects, like mosquitoes, cause itching
  • The bite of a black widow spider can be fatal, if left untreated


Examples of biting insects

  • Mosquitoes
  • Fleas
  • Mites
  • Spiders
Examples of stinging insect
  • Bees
  • Wasps
  • Hornets

  • Localized Pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Numbness
  • Burning
  • Tingling sensation
  • Breathlessness
  • Weakness

  • Remove the stinger using a straight- edged object
  • Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water
  • Place ice wrapped in a cloth on the affected area
  • Repeat after every 10 minutes
  • Apply a gentle cream to prevent itching
  • Take anti histamines if necessary
  • Observe for signs of infection like pain, redness or swelling
In case of emergency-
  • Try to keep the person calm
  • Check the person's breathing
  • Remove constricting items, like rings, from finger/nose/ears
  • Do Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), if necessary
  • If the person is carrying an emergency kit, use it
  • If required, treat the person for signs of shock 
  • Seek medical help as soon as possible
Consult a Doctor
In case of the following, seek medical help
  • Wheezing
  • Swelling on the face
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Tight feeling in the throat 
  • Body turning blue

Steps to Avoid
  • Do not remove the stinger using a tweezer
  • Do not apply a tourniquet
  • Aspirin, pain medications, should not be given unless advised by a doctor
  • Avoid placing hand near the mouth of a seizure-affected person
  • Take caution to prevent your child from developing biting habit

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