Insect bites and stings are common and usually not a matter of concern. Bites often result in redness as well as swelling in the affected region. In some cases sting of insects may lead to life-threatening allergies. Arthropods are amongst the most commonly found species of insects. These insects have 6 legs and are primarily found on land. Considerable number of recorded cases of insect sting or bite is due to these insects. You become prone to insect bites when you stay in area wherein insects are more such as woods, green vegetation, etc. Arthropods also live in old untouched places in the house such as attics, storeroom, basement etc. Even if you visit such place frequently you do not get bitten but an insect only bites when it feels threatened.
Types of Insect bites
The types of insect bite depend on the insect which bit you. There are several kinds of bugs and their respective bite causes different symptoms. Some of the types of bites that you may become exposed to include
- Midges bite
- Mosquito bites
- Gnat bites
- Flea bites
- Horsefly bites
- Bedbug bites
- Blandford bites
Some common insect stings include
- Wasps sting
- Hornet sting
- Bee sting
Symptoms of an insect bite
The symptoms of insect bite would greatly depend on the type of bite. However, most kinds of bites cause pain as well as swelling which are general symptoms. Redness and itchiness of the affected spot may also be recorded in many cases. After being bitten if you scratch the affected area, you may unintentionally break the skin. If the condition is not treated timely and appropriately, the resulted local infection may turn into a severe one and lead to conditions such as cellulitis. In case you are allergic to stings or bites, you may experience serious reactions slightly further than the affected spot of sting. This condition is referred to as anaphylaxis. In severe cases of reactions symptoms may include wheezing, hives, fainting and even death in around 30 minutes or more.
If any insect bites or stings you on the tongue then you may suffer from issue such as swollen throat and even death in some cases as the airway becomes obstructed. In rare cases breakdown of muscles, kidney failure etc, are recorded due to bigger hornet stings or stings from the numerous bees. Fire ant bite can lead to pustules which are sores that appear like pimple but are highly itchy in nature. Horseflies generally don’t bite but when they do it proves to be painful and may have other symptoms such as angio-oedema, weakness, drowsiness, urticarial etc. Bite from Blandford fly can lead to signs such as swelling, blisters, increased body temperature and pain in joint.
Some other serious symptoms include
- Breathing difficulties
- Increased heart rate
- Queasiness and vomiting
- Swelling of face
- Anxiousness and confusion
Some of these aforementioned symptoms may appear to be mild but in case of insect bite these should be considered serious. You should seek immediate medical attention if you suffer from any of these above listed symptoms.
Most often a bite or sting may not cause serious symptoms. However in some cases you are likely to develop allergic reaction due to insect sting. These reactions are classified in three categories. The first category is Minor Localized Reaction wherein the affected region is often painful but is normal and does not need any allergic testing. Large localized reaction is the second category wherein additional symptoms are recorded such as itchiness, rashes and swelling. The third category is Systemic Reaction which may often need immediate medical aid as this kind of reaction can be potentially fatal.
Insect Bite Identification
Unless insects are provoked they do not often bite. In most cases stings or bites by insects are due to defensive reason. Usually insects bite due to fear, to protect their nest or defend beehives. Stings may cause allergic reaction in the victim as it usually releases minute amount of venom which are often composed of protein and other substances. Insects from hymenoptera family which includes fire ants, wasps, bees, etc may often cause serious reaction in people with allergy to insects. These insects have different ways of inflicting injury. During the process of stinging a bee loses its injection apparatus and dies while leaving its sting. A wasp does not lose its apparatus which is why it can sting multiple times. Fire ant as well injects its venom several times. Its way of biting is different as it uses its mandible to bite the surface and then rotates its body.
Mosquito bites usually do not cause any irritating or considerable illness, unless they pass vectors. Vectors are microorganism that lives in these mosquitos. These vectors may lead to serious issues for example one of the most common health conditions caused due to these vectors include malaria. Lice bite can result in relapsing fever. Sand fly carries ‘Leishmania’, a protozoa that causes Leishmaniasis. Epidemic of sleeping sickness which was recorded in humans and cattle in Africa was caused due to protozoa from Tsetse flies. Intestinal infection has various causes; unsanitary housefly can also lead to such infections. Apart from these there are various mosquitoes which can cause viral diseases like encephalitis, dengue, etc. Tick bites can cause Lyme disease. In case if you are a victim of chigger bite or mite bite then you may experience localized protrusion and itchiness. Spiders are not considered as insect but when certain kind of spider bites it can lead to serious problems even deterioration of the affected area increasingly. Two commonly feared spider types include Black Widow and Brown Recluse.
Treatment and self care for insect bite
You should immediately consult your doctor if you experience even mildest symptom caused due to insect bite. The treatment would greatly depend on the type of bite and the symptoms experienced. Your doctor may suggest you antihistamine drugs to deal with itchiness. In case if certain infection is recorded after examination the doctor may also recommend taking antibiotics. But certainly insect bite can be handled easily with doctor’s advice and proper self care.
Insect Bite Pictures