Insect bites and stings result in when certain category of insects react or defend themselves in the form of bites or stings, which are their natural defense mechanism , when agitated by some physical disturbances by the affected individual or when the insects try to feed upon the person.

The act of stinging or biting usually involves injection of some chemicals in the body of the target, which may cause temporary or long term irritation caused due to reaction on the skin .Bites from bees, hornets or fire ants are usually very painful. On the other hand bites of insects like small ants and mosquitoes usually cause lesser agony.

Types of Insect Bites and Stings

The insect bites can be classified as:

Venomous Insects and Venomous Bites, Stings
  • The insects that fall under the venomous category usually bite or sting as a defense measure injecting the poison into the attackers body. Examples are wasps, hornets, Yellow Jackets, all bees and fire ants.
Non venomous Insects
  • Non venomous insects usually bite for feeding upon the bitten person. The pain or itching caused due to such bites are usually very less than the venomous insects. Examples are chiggers, fleas ,lice ,scabies , mosquitoes sand bed bugs.

Symptoms of Insect Bites and Stings

The symptoms that are not very severe may depends on the type of insect and the individual. Most common are the following ones:

  • Pain in the area affected by the bite of sting.
  • Localized swelling.
  • Itching
  • Redness of the area.
  • Burning sensation
  • Numbness or tingling.
  • In some cases , the person might develop some fever like symptoms too if not given adequate first aid.

How to Prevent Insect Bites

Prevention of insect bites is not possible in a fool proof way, as it is not possible to monitor your entire body all the time for a potential attack by insects due to any reason. Being casual and not be conscious of insects in normal times, like when a person is at home or office, is perfectly all right as the risk of any fatal attack is less. But, considering the amount of pain and discomfort a sting or bite of certain insects like bee or wasp etc might cause, we would definitely be careful of them and it is good to follow the below mentioned points.

  • Do not provoke insects and worms unnecessarily just for fun.
  • Be calm and avoid rapid and jerky movements around hives of insects like bees.
  • Do not wear perfumes or printed dresses that can attract insects.
  • Be cautious while eating out and make practice of having food outside only in clean and hygienic places and not near some garbage dumps which attracts lots of insects and bees.
  • Use safe insect and pest repell ants at home. This is essential for the safety of both the children and the adults of home.
  • Use protective clothing or boots whenever you are venturing into an area where visibility is limited.
  • Some people have serious form of allergies to insect bites and sting. Such persons are recommend to always keep a emergency epinephrine kit handy and friends and family should be made aware of how to administer the drug in case of unwanted incident.
  • In the event of a person being bitten by harmful insect do not administer the person with pain killer medicines like aspirin or other stimulants unless told to do so by a medical practitioner. This is so because there may be unwanted reactions resulting in which may deteriorate the condition of the patient.

Treatment for Insect Bites and Stings

You should have access to a first aid box to encounter an insect or sting bite so as to provide temporary relief to the person and preventing the situation to grow worse, before the patient is shown to a healthcare professional. In case of an event like this, keep the following points in mind.

  • Remove the insect sting if present in the person’s body carefully taking precaution not to squeeze the area further which may inject more venom in the body.
  • Wash the affected area with cold water and place ice around it for 10 minutes. Repeat this process within some interval.
  • If necessary, and if previous experience with ointments like antihistamine or other ones, is there, apply the same to reduce the discomfort and itching.
  • Monitor the situation over the next few hours or days for symptoms of infection and consider seeking help of a doctor if the situation doesn’t return to normal within a week’s time maybe.

Insect Bites Fist-Aid

  • Check if the person’s breathing is normal and administer CPR if needed.
  • Remove any obstructive items from near the affected area of the person’s body like rings etc as the area may swell resulting in further discomfort.
  • Try to calm the person and make sure he doesn’t get very anxious.
  • Rush him /her to a nearest medical help center.