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Insect Bite or Sting

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

Most insect bites and stings are not dangerous and go away without treatment. Your symptoms may be mild, or you may develop anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a sudden, life-threatening reaction that needs immediate treatment. Common examples of insects that bite or sting are bees, ticks, mosquitoes, spiders, and ants. Insect bites or stings can lead to diseases such as malaria, West Nile virus, Lyme disease, or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.


Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) for signs or symptoms of anaphylaxis,

such as trouble breathing, swelling in your mouth or throat, or wheezing. You may also have itching, a rash, hives, or feel like you are going to faint.

Seek care immediately if:

Call your doctor if:


You may need any of the following:

Steps to take for signs or symptoms of anaphylaxis:

Safety precautions to take if you are at risk for anaphylaxis:

If an insect bites or stings you:

Care for a bite or sting wound:

Prevent another insect bite or sting:

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.