The majority of stinging insects in the United States are from bees, yellow jackets, hornets, wasps, and fire ants. Severity of reactions to stings varies greatly. Avoidance and prompt treatment are essential. In selected cases, allergy injection therapy is highly effective. Read more: Insect Sting Allergies Article
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Bad Bugs: Identify Insects and Bug Bites
What do bug bites look like? How do you treat bug bites? Why do bug bites burn? See spider bite pictures and learn how to...
Spider Bites: Black Widow vs. Brown Recluse First Aid
Know your spiders and stay safe. Learn to ID a black widow spider and a brown recluse spider though this photo guide. See medical...
Common Allergies: Symptoms and Signs
What are allergies? Pollen, food, perfumes, and many more things can provoke allergy symptoms. Allergies are an overreaction of...
Picture of Urticaria
Urticaria, also known as hives, is a skin rash with red, raised itchy bumps. They may also burn or sting. The whelts often last...
Summer Skin Risks: Sunburn, Bug Bites & Poison Ivy
When it comes to summer, there plenty of hazards under the sun! Take the Summer Skin Hazards Quiz and clue in on the dangers to...
Picture of Bee, Wasp, Hornet, Yellow Jacket Stings
Although many different types of insects in the United States are able to inflict a poisonous bite or sting (meaning they are...
Picture of Fire Ant Stings
Erythematous macules with central pustule formation 24 hours after bites in the same child. See a picture of Fire Ant Stings and...
Picture of Fire Ant Bites
The fire ant sting typically causes red hive-like lesions that burn and itch. See a picture of Fire Ant Bites and learn more...
Picture of Flea Bites
Some people are very sensitive to flea bites -- but scratching can cause a wound or infection. See a picture of Flea Bites and...
Summer Skin Dangers: Burns, Bites, Stings, and More
Summer can be hazardous to your skin if you come in contact with jellyfish, stingrays, henna tattoos, poison ivy, oak, sumac,...
Nasal Irrigation: Natural Relief for Cold & Allergy Symptoms
Clogged sinuses and congestion bothering you? Nasal irrigation can relieve sinus symptoms associated with colds and allergies....
Pictures of Allergy Relief Tips at Home: AC Filters, Electronic Air Cleaners, and More
Learn how a combination of medication, preventing allergens, and allergy relief products can reduce allergy symptoms and help you...
IMAGESSee pictures of bug, insect and animal bites and stings that can cause allergic reactions and medical emergencies See Images
Related Disease Conditions
What Do Chiggers Bites Look Like?
Chiggers are a mite belonging to the Trombiculidae family. Chiggers are most commonly found in grassy fields, gardens, parks, forests, and moist areas around lakes or rivers. Contrary to popular belief, chiggers do not burrow into the skin. Chiggers insert a feeding structure into the skin and inject enzymes that destroy host tissue. The chiggers then feed on this dead tissue. The most common symptom of a chigger bite is itching. Treatment generally includes antihistamines and calamine lotion.
Bee and Wasp Sting
Bees, wasps, and fire ants are related insects that belong to the Hymenoptera order. There are thousands of species of wasps found throughout the world. Common wasps are yellow jackets and hornets. Types of bees include honey bees, the Africanized honey bee (killer bee), and the bumble bee. There are four types of reactions to a bee or wasp sting; local reaction, systemic allergic reaction, toxic reaction, and delayed reaction. Individuals who have a systemic or toxic reaction generally require immediate medical treatment to prevent anaphylactic reaction, and possibly death.
What is shock? A life-threatening condition with symptoms like low blood pressure, weakness, shallow breathing, clammy skin, fainting, anxiety, confusion, and chest pain. Learn about causes, types, and treatment.
Itch (Itching or Pruritus)
Itching can be a common problem. Itches can be localized or generalized. There are many causes of itching including infection (jock itch, vaginal itch), disease (hyperthyroidism, liver or kidney), reactions to drugs, and skin infestations (pubic or body lice). Treatment for itching varies depending on the cause of the itch.
Hives, also called urticaria, is a raised, itchy area of skin. Most often the cause of hives is unknown. Sometimes it is a sign of an allergic reaction to food or medications, but the cause of the allergy (the allergen) is unknown. Dermatographism and swelling (angioedema) may accompany hives. Treatment to get rid of hives and alleviate symptoms typically includes antihistamines.
What Are the 4 Types of Allergic Reactions?
Allergists recognize four types of allergic reactions: Type I or anaphylactic reactions, type II or cytotoxic reactions, type III or immunocomplex reactions and type IV or cell-mediated reactions.
Dizziness is a symptom that often applies to a variety of sensations including lightheadedness and vertigo. Causes of dizziness include low blood pressure, heart problems, anemia, dehydration, and other medical conditions. Treatment of dizziness depends on the cause.
How Long Does an Allergic Reaction Last?
Allergic reactions may last for varying lengths of time. They may take a few hours to a few days to disappear. If the exposure to the allergen continues, such as during a spring pollen season, allergic reactions may last for longer periods such as a few weeks to months.
An allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. When these allergens come in contact with the body, it causes the immune system to develop an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to it. It is estimated that 50 million North Americans are affected by allergic conditions. The parts of the body that are prone to react to allergies include the eyes, nose, lungs, skin, and stomach. Common allergic disorders include hay fever, asthma, allergic eyes, allergic eczema, hives, and allergic shock.
Fainting, also referred to as blacking out, syncope, or temporary loss of consciousness has many causes. Often a person will have signs or symptoms prior to the fainting episode. Diagnosis and treatment depends upon the cause of the fainting or syncope episode.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are symptoms of many conditions including motion sickness, pregnancy, emotional stress, gallbladder disease, and other illnesses. Learn about causes, treatment, and when to be concerned.
Lymphedema is a condition in which one or more extremities become swollen as the result of an impaired flow of the lymphatic system. There are two types of lymphedema: primary and secondary. Filariasis is the most common cause of lymphedema worldwide. In the U.S., breast cancer surgery is the most common cause. Symptoms include swelling of one or more limbs, cracked and thickening skin, and secondary bacterial or fungal infections of the skin. There is no cure for lymphedema.
Spider Bites (Black Widow and Brown Recluse)
Most spiders in the United States are harmless; however, black widow and brown recluse spider bites may need medical treatment. Symptoms of a harmless spider bite generally include pain, redness, and irritation. Signs and symptoms of black widow spider bite include pain immediately, redness, burning, and swelling at the site of the bite. Sometimes the person will feel a pinprick or double fang marks. Brown recluse spider bite symptoms and signs are a mild sting, followed by severe pain and local redness. These symptoms usually develop within eight hours or more after the bite. Black widow and brown recluse spider bites have similar symptoms, for example, nausea, vomiting, fever, headache, and abdominal or joint pain. Generally, brown recluse and black widow spider bites need immediate medical treatment. If you think that you or someone you know has been bitten by a brown recluse or black widow spider, go to your nearest Urgent Care or Emergency Department for medical treatment.
Foreign Objects or Insects in the Ear
Objects or insects in the ear can be placed in the ear by patients themselves or an insect crawling in the ear. Earwax can also cause ear problems if Q-tips are overused to clean the ears. Symptoms of an object in the ear are inflammation and sensitivity, redness, or discharge of pus or blood. When to seek medical care for an object or insect in the ear is included in the article information.
The most common cause of a black eye is a trauma injury to the face or head. Most black eyes are minor and heal on their own; however, some may lead to significant injury. In addition to trauma to the face, cosmetic surgery can cause a black eye(s) as a side effect. Learn when to seek immediate medical care for a black eye.
What Is the Best Treatment for Yellow Jacket Stings?
Wasp or yellow jacket stings can cause severe pain, and sometimes serious allergic reactions. Normally, yellow jackets do not leave a stinger. You can use home remedies like vinegar, honey, baking soda, charcoal, meat tenderizer, salt and other remedies to treat the area that was stung.
When Should You Go To the Doctor for a Spider Bite?
Learn what medical treatments can help with your spider bite symptoms and speed up your spider bite recovery.
How Do You Know If You Are Allergic to Mosquito Bites?
Mosquito bite allergies can cause issues if untreated. Learn the signs of a mosquito bite allergy, what causes it, and what you can do to treat it.
Is a Banana Spider Bite Poisonous?
The banana spider is also known as the calico spider, golden silk spider, giant wood spider, Brazilian wandering spider or armed spider. Banana spiders do bite humans and they are poisonous.
Hoarseness (abnormal deep, harsh, raspy voice) is caused by a variety of conditions in which the larynx (voice box and vocal cords) are irritated or injured. Causes can include vocal strain or other inflammation of the vocal cords by infection or toxins. Treatment of hoarseness depends on the cause.
Swallowing Problems (Dysphagia)
Dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing, swallowing problems. Dysphagia is due to problems in nerve or muscle control. It is common, for example, after a stroke. Dysphagia compromises nutrition and hydration and may lead to aspiration pneumonia and dehydration.
Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that affects a number of different areas of the body at one time, and can be fatal. Causes of anaphylaxis can be food allergy, latex allergy, allergy to insect or but stings/bites, asthma, or other materials or conditions. Symptoms include flushing, itching, hives, anxiety, rapid or irregular pulse. Severe symptoms may be throat and tongue swelling, swallowing, and difficulty breathing. Some disorders appear similar to anaphylaxis such as fainting, panic attacks, blood clots in the lungs, heart attacks, and septic shock. If you think that you may be having an anaphylactic reaction, seek emergency care or call 911 immediately.
Children's health is focused on the well-being of children from conception through adolescence. There are many aspects of children's health, including growth and development, illnesses, injuries, behavior, mental illness, family health, and community health.
What Causes House Gnats, and What Is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of Them?
House gnats are those tiny grayish-black flies usually found around house plants. They are attracted to plants and decaying organic matter and the fastest way to get rid of them is by using traps and diluted bleach.
Bug Bites and Stings
Bug bites and stings have been known to transmit insect-borne illnesses such as West Nile virus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Lyme disease. Though most reactions to insect bites and stings are mild, some reactions may be life-threatening. Preventing bug bites and stings with insect repellant, wearing the proper protective attire, and not wearing heavily scented perfumes when in grassy, wooded, and brushy areas is key.
What Is Allergic Cascade?
The allergic cascade refers to allergic reactions that happen in the body in response to allergens. A variety of immune cells and chemical messengers participate in the allergic cascade. Symptoms of the allergic cascade range from mild swelling and itching to full-blown anaphylactic shock. Allergen avoidance and medications are used to prevent or treat allergies.
Are Earwigs Harmful to Humans?
Earwigs are small, winged insects that infest gardens. They are flat brownish pests with scary pincers on their abdomen. They do not feed on human flesh or blood, so they are not dangerous.
How Do You Stop Mosquito Bites From Itching?
Mosquito bites can be irritating. Learn what causes the itch and how to stop it.
First Aid: Why You Need a First Aid Kit and CPR
First aid is providing medical assistance to someone a sick or injured person. The type of first aid depends on their condition. Preparedness is key to first aid, like having basic medical emergency kits in your home, car, boat, or RV. Many minor injuries may require first aid, including cuts, puncture wounds, sprains, strains, and nosebleeds. Examples of more critical first aid emergencies include heart attacks, strokes, seizures, and heatstroke.
The 23 Best Health Benefits and Household Uses of Baking Soda
Baking soda is also commonly known as sodium bicarbonate and occurs naturally on Earth. Health benefits of baking soda include that it eliminates bacteria and fungi, manages UTI, treats insect bites, and other benefits.
Do Mosquito Magnets Work?
Mosquitos are known for transmitting many types of diseases to humans. Mosquito magnets worked in trapping up to 60+ a night, including mosquitoes that carried malaria.
What to Know About Spider Bites: Identification and Symptoms
There are many species of spiders around the world such as the jumping spider, wolf spider, brown recluse, black widow, hobo spider, tarantulas, false black widow, camel spider, etc. Most spiders don’t bite unless they are threatened. If you are bitten, take a photo of the spider or take the spider (even dead) to the doctor to help identify it and correlate it with your symptoms.
Local ResourcesFind a local Asthma & Allergy Specialist in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
- prednisone (Prednisone Intensol, Rayos) Corticosteroid
- Calamine Lotion (calamine and zinc oxide)
- diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- promethazine, Phenergan, Phenadoz, Promethegan
- Side Effects of Allegra (fexofenadine)
- Side Effects of Vistaril (hydroxyzine)
- prednisolone (Orapred, Pediapred)
- hydrocortisone valerate
- Side Effects of Periactin (cyproheptadine)
- Side Effects of Flonase (fluticasone)
- pramoxine (Itch-X, PrameGel, Orax, Sarna Sensitive, and Others)
- EpiPen (epinephrine auto-injector)
- Does Immunotherapy Work for Allergies?
- Beconase AQ (beclomethasone) Side Effects, Warnings, and Drug Interactions
- bitolterol mesylate
- beclomethasone dipropionate nasal inhaler-spray
- epinephrine injection (Auvi-Q)
- Side Effects of Veramyst (fluticasone)
- Polmon (dexchlorpheniramine maleate)
- Adrenaclick (epinephrine)
- Symjepi (epinephrine)
Prevention & Wellness
- Fall in the Southeast Means Guarding Against Fire Ant Stings
- Insect Stings Are Just a Buzzkill for Most Folks
- Health Tip: Insect Sting First Aid
- Health Tip: Insect Repellent Precautions
- How to Avoid Skin Problems When You Garden
- Animal, Bug Bites a Billion-Dollar Burden
- Health Tip: Identify Bug Bites
- Be Smart When It Comes to Spring Allergies and Asthma
- Take the Ouch Out of Bee Stings
- Arm Yourself Against Insect Sting Allergies
- Health Tip: Avoiding Insect Stings
- Average U.S. Home Harbors About 100 Types of Insects, Other Critters
- Health Tip: Caring for Bug Bites
- Genes May Determine Whether You're Mosquito Bait
- Stay Out of Stinging Insects' Way This Summer
- Health Tip: Follow Instructions on Insect Repellent
- Health Tip: Avoid Bug Bites
- Many Allergic to Fire Ant's Sting Don't Get Preventive Shots
- Health Tip: Defend Against Insect Bites While Traveling Abroad
- Mosquitoes Can Become Desensitized to DEET
- Deadly Black Widow Spider Edged Aside in California
- Over-the-Counter Bug Bite Remedies Don't Work: Report
- Insect Stings Hold Deadly Risk for Some
- Bedbugs Biting All Over U.S.