URL of this page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/insectbitesandstings.html

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, 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 and stings (such as anaphylaxis), carry an emergency epinephrine kit

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