Most insect bite and sting reactions are mild, causing redness, itching, stinging, minor swelling, and major annoyance. Rarely, insect bites and stings, such as from a bee, a wasp, a hornet, a fire ant, black widow spider, or a scorpion, can result in severe reactions. Call 911 or your local emergency number if the person who has been stung or bitten experiences:
· Difficulty breathing
· Swelling of the lips, eyelids or throat
· Dizziness, faintness or confusion
· Rapid heartbeat
· Nausea, cramps or vomiting
· A scorpion sting and is a child
Take these actions immediately while waiting for medical help:
· Ask the person if they carrying an epinephrine auto-injector to treat an allergic attack.
· If they need to use an auto-injector, ask if they need help to inject the medication.
· Loosen tight clothing and cover the person with a blanket. Don’t give him or her anything to drink.
· Turn the person on a side to prevent choking if he or she is vomiting or bleeding from the mouth.
· Begin CPR if the person shows no signs of circulation, such as breathing, coughing or movement.
The majority of reactions to insect bites and stings are mild, causing itching, stinging, redness, and minor swelling. To care for the basic mild, but annoying type of sting or insect bite:
· First try to get to a bug free area to avoid additional stings or bites.
· If needed, pull out the stinger.
· Wash the area with soap and water.
· Try applying a cool compress, a damp cloth or a cloth filled with ice can help to reduce swelling and pain. If the injury is on an arm or leg, elevate it.
· Use a cream, gel or lotion on the injured area. Products containing ingredients such as hydrocortisone, pramoxine or lidocaine can help control pain. For itchy skin, try creams such as calamine lotion or those containing colloidal oatmeal or baking soda.
· Over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) for pain relief, or an antihistamine (Benadryl, Chlor-Trimeton, others).
Usually, the signs and symptoms of a bite or sting disappear in a day or two. If you’re concerned — even if your reaction is minor — call your doctor.
Having problems with stinging, biting pests? Contact Earth Guard Pest Services at: