Common Stinging or Biting Insects or Spiders

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Common Stinging or Biting Insects or Spiders

Topic Overview

Many insects cause mild reactions, such as:

Some insects are more likely than others to cause allergic or toxic reactions.

  • A bee leaves the stinger behind and then dies after stinging. Africanized honeybees, the so-called killer bees, are more aggressive than common honeybees and often attack together in great numbers.
  • Wasps, including hornets and yellow jackets, can sting over and over. Yellow jackets cause the greatest number of allergic reactions.
  • A fire ant attaches to a person by biting with its jaws, then, pivoting its head it stings from its abdomen in a circular pattern at multiple sites.

Bites and stings are more serious if you develop one or more of the following conditions after an insect or spider bite or sting:

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Martin J. Gabica, MD, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Sean P. Bush, MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine, Envenomation Specialist
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Revised February 26, 2010

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