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Insect Bites and Stings

Also called: Bug bites 
 
 

Most insect bites are harmless, though they sometimes cause discomfort. Bee, wasp, and hornet stings and fire ant bites usually hurt. Mosquito, flea, and mite 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, carry an emergency epinephrine kit
 

 

 
 
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Illustration of a bee with stinger in the skin

National Institutes of Health

 

  • MedlinePlus links to health information from the National Institutes of Health and other federal government agencies. MedlinePlus also links to health information from non-government Web sites. See our disclaimer about external links and our quality guidelines.

 

 

 

MedlinePlus links to health information from the National Institutes of Health and other federal government agencies. MedlinePlus also links to health information from non-government Web sites. See our disclaimer about external links and our quality guidelines.