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Insect Bites

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Insect Bites

Insect Bites

Insect bites result in redness and swelling in affected areas of the skin. This sometimes leads to a life threatening allergic reaction in victims. Moreover, another infectious disease called tetanus may be caused by contamination of wounds from the bacteria clostridium tetani. Insects that dominate the current flora and fauna include the arthropods such as the spider which represent the largest percentage of known animal life. Such insects do not however, attack unless they are provoked.


Stings from insects are commonly due to defense after provocation. They sting to prevent their nests or hives by injecting venom to their aggressors. This venom contains proteins and other substances that have the potential of triggering an allergic reaction to the victim. Bites and stings from bees, wasps, yellow jackets and hornets may cause serious reactions in individuals who are allergic to them leading to redness and swelling at the site of the sting.


Death from bee stings is imminent than death from snake bites. A bee loses the entire injection apparatus and dies in the process when it stings, a wasp can inflict multiple stings since it does not lose its stinger after stinging. Relatively, fire ants inject venom through their mandibles and rotating their bodies.


Bites from mosquitoes do not convey significant diseases unless they contain vectors. Other types of insect bites and diseases include lice causing fever, sleeping sickness caused by protozoan trypanosomes, ticks transmitting Lyme disease among many others.



The symptoms and signs resulting from bites and stings vary depending on various factors. There is always pain, swelling and itching of the affected. Further, should the bite area become scratched, the skin of the victim may be broken and become infected which if left untreated; the local illness may develop into severe leading to cellulitis.


Anaphylaxis may arise in severe reactions beyond the immediate area of the sting if the victim is allergic to the bite or sting. Such symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath, unconsciousness, hives and even death of the victim in 30 minutes. In addition, when an insect stings the tongue, a throat swelling arises due to the obstruction to the airway whereas multiple bee stings have been occasionally reported to cause kidney failure and muscle breakdown. A pimple like sore may result that is very itchy and painful when a fire ant bites a person.



In case of redness and severe pain at the location of the bite, apply ice. Consequently, clean the affected area with soap and water to remove any particle left behind by insects such as mosquitoes to avoid further contamination of the wound. Do not scratch to avoid breaking down the skin that may lead to infection.

Individuals with a history of severe reactions to these bites and stings should visit a general practitioner who may prescribe an anaphylaxis kit necessary for self injection.

Prevention and home remedies

Minimize the exposure to insect bites by changing behavioral patterns. Steer clear of outdoor activities at dawn and dusk as some vector mosquitoes are usually most active during these periods. Moreover, wear long-sleeved shirts and then tuck in trousers. Also wear hats to reduce the body parts that are exposed to such venomous insects; use insect repellants to enhance protection.

Insect bites being a common phenomenon, ought to be minimized by taking precautions as allergic reactions due to the venom passed through stings may lead to other complications that may require the attention of a general practitioner. It is noted that in case of a bite or sting, victims should avoid scratching their skins as doing so leads to skin breakdown which thus necessitates infection.