When to worry (or not worry) about a bug bite

With summer come insects and with insects come bites. Not all insect bites are created in the same way; some require you to be more worried than others. Dr. Giacomo Maggiolino, a board-certified dermatologist from Forefront Dermatology, developed a guide to the common bug bites you can find and when to worry:

# Bees / Wasp Stings

Bee and wasp stings usually cause instant pain, redness and swelling at the site of the sting. Acute pain typically disappears in fifteen minutes or so. The pain is typical for a few days later. Eliminate the stinger and apply a cold compress to decrease swelling. If an allergic reaction occurs, look for direct attention. This includes dizziness, shortness of breath and hives.

# Biting Flies or Gnats

Black flies, horseflies, and deer build small cuts in the skin to feed on your blood. Several often bite the legs or body, while others point to the neck and head. The bites are painful and feel instantly. Itching, swelling, redness and mild bleeding are usual. Blackfly bites can cause swollen lymph nodes. These bites usually just require cleaning and a cold compress, if they are irritated. If an allergic reaction occurs, seek immediate attention. This includes dizziness, shortness of breath as well as hives.

# Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes bite to feed on blood, although bites are not always felt if they occur. For several, bulge-like bumps appear moments after being bitten then a dark mark develops, with itching and bruising. For others, a small red bump that itches about a day after being bitten can develop. Mosquito bites are best treated with a topical anti-itch cream or spray. Most mosquito bites disappear after a few days without intervention. If you have body aches, headaches, diarrhea, fever, nausea or other symptoms that appear within two weeks after the bites and appear to be related, contact your doctor or physician.

# Spiders

Most spider bites are misidentified and they really bite from unrelated skin irritation or other insects. Typical reactions to a true spider bite include swelling, redness, itching, and pain, although some are barely noticeable. If a spider bite makes it hard for you to breathe or swell your face and neck, seek immediate medical attention. A proper diagnosis is more probable if you can take a picture or capture the spider which bit you, even if it is no longer alive.

# Ticks

It is not usually painful, but it is noticeable when ticks bite. Ticks stay attached to the skin and try to crawl underneath. It’s usual for a small lump to develop where it bit you, but not a rash. Using tweezers, grab the tick as close as possible to your skin. Gently pull the tick out, making sure to remove all the insects.

Do not move or turn, and avoid crushing the body. It is known that some ticks transmit diseases, but not all tick bites require a visit to the doctor. Symptoms of Lyme disease generally appear 3 to 30 days after the tick bite. If any of the following occurs, contact your doctor:

  • You cannot entirely remove the brand that bit you.
  • The tick has been under your skin for more than a da
  • Develop flu-like symptoms, such as fever, joint pain or body aches.
  • You develop a rash and the rash is enlarged or shaped like a bull’s eye.
  • The bite seems infected.


Help prevent bug bites especially this season by applying the right insect repellent, wearing the right clothes and staying on roads and trails if you are outdoors. Check you and your pets to see if there are ticks after spending time outdoors and check your skin for unusual changes. For more details visit this site www.stingose.com.au