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Insect Bites and Stings

Also called: Bug bites

Summary

Most insect bites are harmless, though they sometimes cause discomfort. Bee, wasp, and hornet stings and fire ant bites usually hurt. Mosquito and flea bites usually itch. Insects can also spread diseases. In the United States, some mosquitoes spread West Nile virus. Travelers outside the United States may be at risk for malaria and other infections.

To prevent insect bites and their complications

  • Don't bother insects
  • Use insect repellant
  • Wear protective clothing
  • Be careful when you eat outside because food attracts insects
  • If you know you have severe allergic reactions to insect bites and stings (such as anaphylaxis), carry an emergency epinephrine kit

Start Here

  • (Food and Drug Administration)
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (American Academy of Pediatrics) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health) Also in
  • (Environmental Protection Agency)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - PDF Also in
  • (Environmental Protection Agency)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - PDF Also in
  • (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) - PDF

Treatments and Therapies

  • (Nemours Foundation)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Related Issues

  • (National Jewish Health) - PDF
  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in
  • (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Specifics

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • Video (American Academy of Dermatology)
  • (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology) Also in
  • (American Osteopathic College of Dermatology)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (American Academy of Pediatrics) Also in

Images

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Videos and Tutorials

  • (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology)

Games

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Statistics and Research

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of General Medical Sciences)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

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  • From the National Institutes of Health

Children

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Teenagers

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Patient Handouts

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