Insect Bites

Wasp Sting

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Wasp stings are common, especially during the warmer months when people are outside for longer periods of time. Wasp stings can be uncomfortable, but most people recover quickly and without complications.

A wasp’s stinger contains venom (a poisonous substance) that’s transmitted to humans during a sting. While a bee can only sting once because its stinger becomes stuck in the skin of its victim, a wasp can sting more than once during an attack. Wasp stingers remain intact.

However, even without a lodged stinger, wasp venom can cause significant pain and irritation.


The majority of people without sting allergies will show only minor symptoms during and after a wasp sting. The initial sensations can include sharp pain or burning at the sting site. Redness, swelling, and itching can occur as well.

Normal local reactions:
You’re likely to develop a raised welt around the sting site. A tiny white mark may be visible in the middle of the welt where the stinger punctured your skin. Usually, the pain and swelling recedes within several hours of being stung. Unless you’re allergic, most wasp stings can be treated at home.

Large local reactions:
“Large local reactions” is a term used to describe more pronounced symptoms associated with a wasp or bee sting. People who have large local reactions may be allergic to wasp stings, but don’t experience life-threatening symptoms, such as anaphylactic shock. Large local reactions to wasp stings include extreme redness and swelling that increases for two or three days after the sting. Nausea and vomiting can also occur. Find out what’s happening in your body during an allergic reaction.

Most of the time, large local reactions subside on their own over the course of a week or so. Let your doctor know if you have a large local reaction after a wasp sting. They may direct you to take an over-the-counter antihistamine medication (such as Benadryl) to reduce your discomfort.

Having a large local reaction after a wasp sting one time doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll react to future stings in the same way. You could have one strong reaction and never show the same symptoms again. On the other hand, a large local reaction could be the way your body routinely responds to wasp stings. Try to avoid being stung to prevent these uncomfortable symptoms.

The most severe allergic reactions to wasp stings are referred to as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis occurs when your body goes into shock in response to the wasp venom. Most people who go into shock after a wasp sting do so very quickly. It’s important to seek immediate emergency care to treat anaphylaxis.

Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction to wasp stings include:

*Severe swelling of the face, lips, or throat

*Hives or itching in areas of the body not affected by the sting

*Breathing difficulties, such as wheezing or gasping


*Sudden drop in blood pressure


*Loss of consciousness

*Nausea or vomiting


*Stomach cramps

*Weak or racing pulse

You may not experience all of these symptoms after a wasp sting, but you’re likely to experience at least some of them after a subsequent sting. People who have gone into anaphylactic shock after one sting are 30 to 60 percent more likely to show the same reaction in the future.

If you have a history of anaphylaxis, carry a kit in the event of a wasp sting. “Bee sting kits” contain epinephrine injections (EpiPens) that you can give yourself after a wasp sting. Epinephrine relaxes your muscles and blood vessels, helping your heart and respiration rates return to normal. Anaphylactic shock is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. Learn more about this dangerous condition, including what to do if someone you know is experiencing it.

Complications & Risk Factors:
In rare cases, wasp stings can contribute to complications involving the nervous system.

A report published in the Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health examined unusual cases in which a pediatric patient experienced muscle weakness, pupil dilation, and motor aphasia following a wasp sting. (Motor aphasia is the impairment of speech and writing abilities.)

The patient’s problems were precipitated by a blood clot that was caused by a severe reaction to a wasp sting. These particular complications are extreme and highly unlikely to occur.


For Mild to moderate reactions:

You can treat mild and moderate reactions to wasp stings at home. While treating your sting at home, you should:

*Wash the sting area with soap and water to remove as much of the venom as possible.

*Apply a cold pack to the wound site to reduce swelling and pain.

*Keep the wound clean and dry to prevent infection.

*Cover with a bandage if desired.

*Use hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion if itching or skin irritation becomes bothersome. Baking soda and colloidal oatmeal are soothing to the skin and can be used in the bath or through medicated skin creams.

Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can manage pain associated with wasp stings. Antihistamine drugs, including diphenhydramine and chlorpheniramine, can reduce itching as well. Take all medications as directed to avoid potential side effects, such as stomach irritation or drowsiness.

You should also consider getting a tetanus shot within several days of the sting if you haven’t had a booster shot in the last 10 years. First aid differs based on what type of creature has bitten or stung you.

Home Remedies for moderate reactions:
*Ice: Ice numbs the pain and slows blood flow, reducing swelling. For best results, apply to the wasp sting area for 20 minutes.

*Vinegar: The vinegar will neutralize the venom from the wasp sting. Soak the wound for at least 15 minutes. The acidity in the vinegar will also absorb through the skin to eliminate pain and discomfort.

*Honey: Ironically, applying raw or pure honey to the affected area lowers the risk of infection from a sting because of its antibacterial nature.

*Lavender essential oil: Its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties will help heal the affected area. Lavender oil is also known for its calming properties and will help relieve the shock of a wasp sting.

*Plantain: Although we’re all about eliminating weeds at Bug & Weed Mart, this broad leaf weed, which you’ll find sprouting around in most of the Valley’s neighborhoods is an effective wasp sting treatment. If you opt to use this for treating the sting, you will need to release the juices from the leaves. When the juice is released, press it against the sting and cover with a moist cloth for 30 minutes or so

For Severe reactions:

Severe allergic reactions to wasp stings require immediate medical attention. If you have an EpiPen, administer it as soon as symptoms begin. If you have a history of wasp allergies, administer the EpiPen as soon as you are stung. Shift the patient to hospital.

Treatment for severe allergic reactions to wasp stings can include:

*Additional epinephrine to calm your immune system

*Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if breathing has temporarily stopped

*Oxygen, steroids, or other medications to improve breathing.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.


Insect Bites

Mosquito Bites

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Mosquitos are members of the fly family. They’re big enough that most people can easily see them with the naked eye. Males have feathery antennae that help them sense the presence of female mosquitos. Females have less bushy antennae. Males usually live for about a week, while females can live for a few months

Mosquitos live in grass and bushes located close to areas where humans live. Their favorite breeding ground is standing water. They gather in neglected birdbaths, clogged rain gutters, storm drains, pools, ponds, and other bodies of water that aren’t flowing.

Male mosquitos don’t bite humans, but females do. While both of them feed on plant nectar and water, females also need blood in their diet to reproduce. When they bite you, it usually leaves an itchy welt behind. They can also spread diseases between animals and humans, as well as from one human to another.

Female mosquitos have long, tubular mouthparts that allow them to pierce your skin and feed on your blood. When they bite you, they inject saliva into your body while siphoning your blood. Their saliva contains proteins that most people are allergic to. Your immune system springs into action, causing the telltale red bump and accompanying itch of a mosquito bite to form.

Mosquitos choose their human victims based on the scent of carbon dioxide and other chemicals in your perspiration.

Mosquito bites are the itchy bumps that appear after mosquitoes use their mouthparts to puncture your skin and feed on your blood. The bump usually clears up on its own in a few days. Occasionally a mosquito bite causes a large area of swelling, soreness and redness. This type of reaction, most common in children, is sometimes referred to as skeeter syndrome.


Mosquitos may be small and have short lifespans, but they can wreak havoc on human lives. From their itchy bites to the diseases they can carry, mosquitos are often annoying and sometimes downright deadly.

Bites from mosquitoes carrying certain viruses or parasites can cause severe illness. Infected mosquitoes in many parts of the world transmit West Nile virus to humans. Other mosquito-borne infections include yellow fever, malaria dengue and some types of brain infection (encephalitis).


Mosquito bite signs  are as noted below:

*A puffy, white and reddish bump that appears a few minutes after the bite

*A hard, itchy, reddish-brown bump, or multiple bumps, appearing a day or so after the bite or bites

*Small blisters instead of hard bumps

*Dark spots that look like bruises

More-severe reactions may be experienced by children, adults not previously exposed to the type of mosquito that bit them, and people with immune system disorders. In these people, mosquito bites sometimes trigger:

*A large area of swelling and redness

*Low-grade fever


*Swollen lymph nodes

Children are more likely to develop a severe reaction than are adults, because many adults have had mosquito bites throughout their lives and become desensitized.


Mosquito bites are caused by female mosquitoes feeding on your blood. Female mosquitoes have a mouthpart made to pierce skin and siphon off blood. Males lack this blood-sucking ability because they don’t produce eggs and so have no need for protein in blood.

As a biting mosquito fills itself with blood, it injects saliva into your skin. Proteins in the saliva trigger a mild immune system reaction that results in the characteristic itching and bump.

Mosquitoes select their victims by evaluating scent, exhaled carbon dioxide and the chemicals in a person’s sweat.


Scratching bites can lead to infection.

Mosquitoes can carry certain diseases, such as West Nile virus, malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever. The mosquito obtains a virus or parasite by biting an infected person or animal. Then, when biting you, the mosquito can transfer that virus or parasite to you through its saliva. West Nile and encephalitis viruses are found in the United States. Dengue fever has been reported in several southern states and Hawaii. Other diseases, such as malaria and yellow fever are far more common in tropical areas of the world.

To treat mosquito bites, wash them with soap and warm water. You can also use over-the-counter pain relievers, antihistamines, or topical anti-itch medications to control pain and itching. Applying an ice pack to your skin can also provide relief from itching. If you have a child with itchy mosquito bites, make sure they keep their fingernails short and remind them not to scratch.

It’s rare for anyone to have a severe allergic reaction to a mosquito bite. If you develop body aches, headache, or fever after getting bitten, contact your doctor. These may be symptoms of a severe reaction or mosquito-borne disease.

You can’t prevent mosquito bites entirely, but you can lower your chances of getting bitten. Mosquitos breed in water, so try to avoid having standing water near your home. Empty anything that holds stagnant water. Change the water in your birdbaths once a week, and empty children’s wading pools when they’re not in use.

It’s also important to keep the grass and vegetation near your home well trimmed. Install screens in your windows to keep mosquitos out. And when you’re outside in wooded or grassy areas, wear long sleeves and pants and use insect repellent.

To help prevent mosquito-borne illness, make sure your vaccinations are up to date before you travel to foreign countries. Your doctor may also prescribe oral medications to help prevent malaria or other illnesses.


Insect Bites

Bee Sting

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A bee sting is a sting from a bee (honey bee, bumblebee, sweat bee, etc.). The stings of most of these species can be quite painful, and are therefore keenly avoided by many people.

Bee stings differ from insect bites, and the venom or toxin of stinging insects is quite different. Therefore, the body’s reaction to a bee sting may differ significantly from one species to another. In particular, bee stings are acidic, whereas wasp stings are alkaline, so the body’s reaction to a bee sting may be very different than to that of a wasp sting.

The most aggressive stinging insects are vespid wasps (including bald-faced hornets and other yellowjackets) and hornets (especially the Asian giant hornet). All of these insects aggressively defend their nests.

Although for most people a bee sting is painful but otherwise relatively harmless, in people with insect sting allergy, stings may trigger a dangerous anaphylactic reaction that is potentially deadly. Additionally, honey bee stings release pheromones that prompt other nearby bees to attack.


Bee Sting Interesting Facts :

* There are around 20,000 different species of bees in the world today.
Only female bees can sting thanks to the venom they store in a sac attached to their stinger, which is part of the female bee’s reproductive system.

* Some kinds of bees, like Africanized honeybees, are more likely than are other bees to swarm and sting in a group.

* You are more likely to get a bee sting if your work or hobbies involve spending time outdoors or if you live somewhere that bees are especially active or with beehives nearby.

* Approximately 3 percent of people stung by bees and wasps experience an allergic reaction. Up to 0.8 percent of bee sting victims experience the severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

* Some kinds of bees actually die after stinging because their stingers (attached to their abdomen) have little hooks on them and when they go to fly away after stinging someone, part of their abdomens are torn away.

The stinger consists of three parts: a stylus and two barbed slides (or lancets), one on either side of the stylus. The bee does not push the stinger in but it is drawn in by the barbed slides. The slides move alternately up and down the stylus so when the barb of one slide has caught and retracts, it pulls the stylus and the other barbed slide into the wound. When the other barb has caught, it also retracts up the stylus pulling the sting further in. This process is repeated until the sting is fully in and even continues after the sting and its mechanism is detached from the bee’s abdomen.

When a honey bee stings a person, it cannot pull the barbed stinger back out. It leaves behind not only the stinger, but also part of its abdomen and digestive tract, plus muscles and nerves. This massive abdominal rupture kills the honey bee. Honey bees are the only bees to die after stinging.

The first step in treatment following a bee sting is removal of the stinger itself. The stinger should be removed as quickly as possible without regard to method: studies have shown the amount of venom delivered does not differ whether the sting is pinched or scraped off and even a delay of a few seconds leads to more venom being injected.[13] Once the stinger is removed, pain and swelling should be reduced with a cold compress.[14] A topical anesthetic containing benzocaine will kill pain quickly and menthol is an effective anti-itch treatment. Itching can also be relieved by antihistamine or by a steroid cream.

Many traditional remedies have been suggested for bee stings including damp pastes of tobacco, salt, baking soda, papain, toothpaste, clay, garlic, urine, onions, aspirin or even application of copper coins.[17][18] As with jellyfish stings, ammonia and ammonia-containing liquids, such as window cleaner, are often suggested as a way to immediately cleanse the skin and remove excess venom, and sweat itself (which also contains small amounts of ammonia) may provide some small relief.

Bee venom is acidic, and these interventions are often recommended to neutralize the venom; however, neutralizing a sting is unlikely to be effective as the venom is injected under the skin and deep into the tissues, where a topically applied alkali is unable to reach, so neutralization is unlikely to occur. In any case, the amount of venom injected is typically very small (between 5 and 50 micrograms of fluid) and placing large amounts of alkali near the sting site is unlikely to produce a perfectly neutral pH to stop the pain. Many people do claim benefit from these home remedies but it is doubtful they have any real physical effect on how much a sting hurts or continues hurting. The effect is probably related to rubbing the area or the mind perceiving benefit. Furthermore, none of these interventions have been proven to be effective in scientific studies and a randomized trial of aspirin paste and topical ice packs showed that aspirin was not effective in reducing the duration of swelling or pain in bee and wasp stings, and significantly increased the duration of redness. The study concluded that ice alone is better treatment for bee and wasp stings than aspirin.

The sting may be painful for a few hours. Swelling and itching may persist for a week. The area should not be scratched as it will only increase the itching and swelling. If swelling persists for over a week or covers an area greater than 7–10 centimetres (3–4 in), medical attention should be sought. Doctors often recommend a tetanus immunization. For about 2 percent of people, a hypersensitivity can develop after being stung, creating a more severe reaction when stung again later. This sensitisation may happen after a single sting, or after a series of stings where they reacted normally. A highly allergic person may suffer anaphylactic shock from certain proteins in the venom, which can be life-threatening and requires emergency treatment.[19] People known to be highly allergic may carry around epinephrine (adrenaline) in the form of a self-injectable EpiPen for the treatment of an anaphylactic shock.

For patients who experience severe or life-threatening reactions to insect stings, allergy injections composed of increasing concentrations of naturally occurring venom may provide protections against future insect stings.


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.