Most bug bites are nothing to worry about, causing annoying temporary itching, redness or irritation – but sometimes they can lead to dangerous (or potentially fatal) complications. It is important to know the difference so you can act accordingly.
Know the Signs of Allergic Reactions
Allergic reactions can occur in response to insect bites or stings (most notably bee and wasp stings). When a reaction happens because of a bite or sting, it can be localized to the site of sting or may trigger a systemic, anaphylactic reaction involving the whole body. A local reaction will cause swelling, redness and burning or pain at the site of the bite, often this type of reaction can be treated with antihistamines and topical treatment. If it worsens, the person should seek medical treatment. In the case of a systemic reaction, an EpiPen auto injector should be administered immediately and emergency treatment should be sought. Anaphylactic reactions that go untreated can be fatal. Symptoms
of an anaphylactic reaction include:
- Shortness of breath or wheezing
- Short, shallow breaths
- Swelling of the lips, tongue, face or anywhere else on the body
- Nausea or vomiting
- Weakness, faintness or dizziness
- Syncope (fainting or near fainting)
Dangerous spider bites are uncommon as most spiders don’t make a practice of biting humans. When they do bite, however, most spider bites are relatively harmless. In rare cases people can contract venom from certain spiders such as the black widow or brown recluse
. If you believe you have been bitten by a spider, first look for small, red fang marks, then note your symptoms. If you are experiencing chills, fever, nausea or muscle cramping, you should seek medical attention asap and let the medical professional know you believe you were bitten by a venomous spider as the hospital may administer an anti-venom shot or other treatment.
Most mosquito bites are nothing but a nuisance, causing itchy bumps that may cause discomfort for a week or so. However, certain mosquitoes are also infamous disease carriers. While it is rare to become afflicted with such diseases as Dengue or yellow fever, West Nile virus or Zika, it is still possible to become seriously ill or even die from such diseases if you do not recognize the signs and the illness goes untreated. Visit the American Mosquito Control Association
(AMCA) to read more about the different diseases that can be spread via mosquitoes as well as the symptoms to watch out for by type.
Prevention Against Other Insect Bites and Stings
There are a few precautions
you can take against being stung or bitten by bothersome bugs during the summer months. Some of these include:
- Wear insecticide
- Wear protective clothing
- Avoid being outside during times of the day when the insects are busy
- Avoid wearing strong scents
- Avoid proximity to swamps and ponds when camping
- Be careful around insect nests or hives, disturbing them will encourage insects to attack
- Use caution walking in the forest, you don’t want to go ankle deep into an ant hive!
- Cover food and eating areas and keep doors and screen-less windows closed.
Thanks for visiting EMC! If you are having issues from a bite or sting, feel free to visit us – our highly qualified physicians are more than equipped to handle the complications of bites and stings!