Insect Bites | Symptoms And Treatment
Recently Updated On: March 15th, 2018
Bites caused by mosquitoes, fleas, and mites are more likely to cause itching than pain. Insect bites and stings can cause an immediate skin reaction.
The bite from red ants and the sting from bees and Indian Hornets are most often painful. Spider and Insect bites cause more deaths than bites by snakes.
Most Indian spider bites are harmless. But, Certain spider bites, such as a black widow or the brown recluse, can cause serious illness or death. But, it’s not found in India.
SYMPTOMS OF INSECT BITES:
Symptoms depend upon the type of insect bites or sting. Some common symptoms are:
In most cases, insect bites and stings can be easily treated at home.
If possible, Try to remove the sting by a straight edge object across the stinger.
Do not use tweezer as tweezers may increase the amount of venom released.
- Clean the wound with soap and water
- Apply something cold to skin e.g.-ice
- If the bite is on arm or leg-elevate it
- Take ibuprofen(Ibugesic Plus Susp / Tab) for pain & swelling relief and Antihistamine (e.g.- levocetirizine 2.5mg Susp / 5mg Tab) as Anti-Allergic [ keep this medicine in your First Aid Kit, if you prepared ]
- Observe the bite for signs of infection
- Can apply the antiseptic cream(Soframycin Cream) to reduce itching & Infection
WHAT NOT TO DO:
Do not give to the patient the stimulants, aspirin, or any other pain medicine unless prescribed by the doctor.
WHEN TO CALL A DOCTOR:
Some people have a bad reaction to bee stings or insect bites.
This is called anaphylactic shock. This condition may be life-threatening and should be treated as an emergency.
The patient should be admitted to the emergency room. Call the Doctor if symptoms show:
- Chest pain
- Face or mouth swelling (even bites is apart from face)
- Trouble in swallowing
- Trouble in breathing
- Nausea or Vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Turning Blue
- If the symptoms don’t improve after 2-3 days
INSECT BITES AND THEIR REACTIONS:
Some common insects, found in Indian Climate and their bite reaction images are given here. Through images, you can somehow identify the insect behind your wound.
HONEY BEES: Sting of the honey bee is very painful. There are four species of honey Bees in India. A Rock bee of India is the largest honey bee species in the world.
HORNETS(Verr): Though these insects do not sting humans unless provoked. Indian Hornets(In regional language its called Verr) make their nest near humans. They defend their nest aggressively if they feel it is threatened.
WASP(Tataiya): Wasp stings (or yellow jacket stings) are a cause of concern for many people, especially during the summer months. Also, the composition of venom is slightly different between wasps, bees & hornets. So the reaction to a stinging incident can be different, even though Wasp sting First Aid is similar to that for Bee sting.
MOSQUITOES: Mosquito bites can be more than just annoying and itchy. They make you really sick. Protect yourself and your family while traveling. Using mosquito repellent is the best way to prevent diseases like dengue, Zika & Chikungunya fever that spreads by mosquitoes.
SPIDER: Spider bites are usually harmless. In fact, many bites attributed to spiders turn out to have been inflicted by other bugs. Skin infections also have been mistaken for spider bites. Only a few types of spiders have fangs long enough to penetrate human skin and venom strong enough to severely affect a human being.
SNAKES: There are 270 species of snakes in India, out of which about 60 are highly venomous. The big dangerous four snakes of India include Indian Cobra. Every year 20,000 people die due to venomous snakes bite in India.
SCORPION: Only about 25 of the 1500 known species of scorpions can deliver stings that are fatal to humans. Most of these potentially lethal scorpions can’t kill healthy adults, although their neurotoxins can cause such troubling symptoms as convulsions and shortness of breath.
FIRE ANT: Fire or Red ants often attack small animals and can kill them.
Unlike many other ants, which bite and then spray acid on the wound, fire ants bite only to get a grip and then sting( from the abdomen) and inject a toxic alkaloid venom called Solenopsin, a compound from the class of piperidines.
For humans, this is a painful sting, a sensation similar to what one feels when burned by fire(hence the name).