Common Stinging or Biting Insects or Spiders
Many insects cause mild reactions, such as:
- Kissing bugs.
- Nonpoisonous spiders.
- Lice. For more information on lice, see the topic Lice.
Some insects are more likely than others to cause allergic or toxic reactions.
- A bee leaves the stinger behind and then dies after stinging. Africanized honeybees, the so-called killer bees, are more aggressive than common honeybees and often attack together in great numbers.
- Wasps, including hornets and yellow jackets, can sting over and over. Yellow jackets cause the greatest number of allergic reactions.
- A fire ant attaches to a person by biting with its jaws, then, pivoting its head it stings from its abdomen in a circular pattern at multiple sites.
Bites and stings are more serious if you develop one or more of the following conditions after an insect or spider bite or sting:
- A severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
- A toxic reaction
- A large skin reaction
- Signs of a skin infection
- Serum sickness
|Primary Medical Reviewer||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine|
|Last Revised||October 25, 2012|
|By:||Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: October 25, 2012|
|Medical Review:||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine|
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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