Insect bites can cause:

Although in most cases the consequences are mild, sometimes serious problems develop.


Insect species

Bed bug bite
The bed bug (Cimex lectularius) is a small parasitic insect:

  • red-brown in colour,
  • in the size of a lens.

These insects live in the house in a warm environment, mainly in:

  • Mattresses
  • Bed linen and sofas.

They are not attracted by dirt, in fact they can also be found in clean living conditions.
The bedbug stings to suck blood and leaves on the skin stitch marks, which often appear in the form of:

  • straight lines,
  • Hives.

One to several days after the bedbug bite can develop:

  • Rashes
  • slightly swollen red spots that itch and burn.

If the dermatitis spreads further, it means that the bedbugs have bitten again.
The bitten area may be swollen for a few days until the swelling slowly subsides.
Not all people bitten by bedbugs have the same symptoms. In most cases, there are no more serious reactions. However, some individuals may develop:

  • Dermatitis
  • bubbles filled with fluid.

Bedbugs bite hard to suck blood, especially:

  • facial
  • on the neck,
  • on the hands,
  • on the arms.

These insects can be very annoying, but do not transmit diseases to humans.

Bite of the sandfly These insects (order of Diptera) fly and feed on blood, just like mosquitoes.

However, the sandflies differ from mosquitoes in the following ways:

  • They are smaller, only 3-4 mm.
  • They are almost invisible and sand-coloured.
  • They are silent.

They can be found in summer and they sting especially at sunset and at night.

The bite of a sandfly causes:

  • pain, itching and discomfort in the piercing area;
  • a larger blister than a mosquito bite.

In addition, sandflies can transmit serious diseases, such as:

  • cutaneous leishmaniasis; this disease is provoked by the parasite Leishmania; it occurs between 2 weeks and 2 months after the insect bite and causes ulcers and scars on the skin.
  • sandfly fever; this disease with flu-like symptoms is caused by the bite of a sandfly. The main symptom is high fever (40°C), which lasts about 3 days. The disease passes by itself.

Tick bite
Ticks are small parasitic arachnids that feed on warm-blooded plants and humans. They have a mouth with which they suck blood from the host organism.
Ticks vary in size, ranging from a few millimeters to 1 centimeter.
Ticks occur in the warm months and live outdoors in cool and humid environments, for example in a garden with meadow and tall plants.

tick bite does not provoke pain.
This animal can sit on the skin for several days without the affected person noticing.
The tick can transmit various diseases, including bacterial infections such as:

  • Lyme disease,
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Common symptoms that occur after a tick bite include:

  • circular rash, similar to an ox’s eye;
  • red and overheated skin in the stitch area, but no pain and itching;
  • fever,
  • headache,
  • Tiredness.

Flea bite
The flea is a small insect that stings people and animals to suck blood.


  • are flat,
  • have a reddish-brown or black colour,
  • are very small: 2-3 mm,
  • have no wings, but they jump.

A flea bite causes:

  • rash in the form of small itchy red blisters that can bleed;
  • multiple blisters: grape-shaped spots or lines are formed, because a flea bites several times.
  • itching and inflammation; these can persist for many weeks before receding.

Bee or wasp sting
Wasp and bee stings can provoke:

  • Non-allergic reactions: swelling, burning and pain in the area of the sting. The swelling can increase up to 24 hours after the sting.
  • Severe allergic reactions in people who have an allergy to the injected poison.

One may suspect a serious allergic reaction to a bee or wasp sting if symptoms appear, such as:

  1. very large red and itchy rash (urticaria),
  2. accelerated heartbeat,
  3. dizziness,
  4. mental confusion,
  5. swelling of the face or throat,
  6. Difficulty swallowing or breathing difficulties.

Red ant
This insect has a red abdomen.
To protect itself, it can inject poison (formic acid), which has an extremely irritating effect on humans.

  • Eczema provoked by the red ant can present itself as red pustules (similar to pimples) that can become inflamed and fill with pus. They usually have a white tip, like a boil.
  • The pustules may hurt and cause the sensation of skin burning and itching.
  • In addition, the pierced area may be swollen.

Lice bite
If severe itching occurs, it is likely that this problem is related to lice.
Lice are small gray-brown insects that feed on blood.
Its main features:

  • Size of 2-3 mm
  • They jump and they don’t fly; they migrate on nearby surfaces (for example, when two heads come into direct contact).

Lice do not produce diseases and more serious problems. However, a massive infestation with lice can provoke constant itching on the scalp. If the patient scratches himself continuously, this can lead to bacterial secondary infections.

Horsefly bite
The gadfly is an insect that resembles a large fly and causes a skin injury. The area of the puncture can therefore bleed.

Insect bites that cause swelling

Bed bug bite
Bedbugs are small nocturnal insects that are often found in bed and feed on human blood.
As a rule, the stitches cause local swelling, redness of the skin and severe itching.
The swelling can lead to blistering.

Stitch of the Tunga penetrans
Tunga penetrans is a flea and arthropod parasite found in tropical areas. The bites are characterized by small red-bordered lesions (pustules) on the skin that cause:

  • excessive itching,
  • mild pain.

Those who are allergic to the bites of these insects may develop swelling in the affected area.

Flea bite
In addition to the characteristic itchy rash, flea bites cause local swelling.
Depending on the sensitivity of each person, the symptoms can occur locally or generalized and persist for many days.

Tick bite
Tick bites cause:

  • redness,
  • intense pain,
  • Itching around the affected area.

They can also provoke the formation of eczema and blisters on the body. These stings usually appear in the form of red spots and can cause the transmission of various diseases.

Symptoms of insect bites

Usually, symptoms are limited to the bite area and include:

  1. Swelling
  2. Reddening
  3. overheating,
  4. Pain
  5. Itch.

Rarely, a hematoma is formed, in such a case, the insect has torn capillaries.
An infection may develop in the puncture area.

If the insect transmits viral or parasitic infections, the possible initial symptoms are:

Insect bites during sleep

While sleeping, some insects might bite.

How do they sting?
Insects that usually sting at night are:

  • Bedbugs
  • Gnats.

A bedbug penetrates the skin with its proboscis to suck blood and takes about 5-10 minutes to fill its body with fluid. The stitch area swells and causes severe itching for a few days.
People who have very sensitive skin may get a blister-shaped rash. Some people may feel pain due to the bites, while others may not feel anything.

Are insect bites dangerous?

As a rule, insect bites do not mean a serious problem for health.
However, if a rash is scratched excessively, infection can develop. You should therefore not scratch the stitch areas.

Caution is advised in tropical countries, where serious diseases can be transmitted by insect bites.

People with allergies should not underestimate an insect bite and consult a doctor for appropriate treatment.

Allergic reactions to insect bites

Allergic reactions to insect bites are rare.

Often bees, wasp and hornet stings provoke mild allergic reactions with:

  1. Reddening
  2. slight swelling,
  3. Ache
  4. skin burning,
  5. Itching in the area of the sting.

The doctor usually administers:

  • antihistamines and corticosteroids to reduce edema (swelling);
  • Sulmycin with Celestan V, which contains cortisone and antibiotics.

Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
If a person has an allergy to insects, they may develop an anaphylactic reaction, a rare occurrence that can be fatal.
If a severe allergic reaction is not treated, life can be threatened and the entire body can be affected in a short time with correspondingly serious damage to health.
Since it spreads in a few minutes, rapid medical help must be provided.

If emergency therapy is delayed, loss of consciousness and even cardiac arrest can occur. Symptoms of severe allergic reaction include:

  1. swelling in the neck or face (eyes and lips swollen),
  2. fear and restlessness,
  3. Swallowing
  4. rash that spreads beyond the bite area,
  5. tachycardia,
  6. Breathing problems.

A severe allergic reaction can dangerously reduce blood pressure.
This acute drop in arterial blood pressure can be dangerous to health if not treated in time.

Natural remedies for insect bites

These remedies can also be used during pregnancy.

  • Immediately place an envelope with ice on the affected area. This home remedy is best suited to relieve the burning sensation. The red raised spots gradually disappear.
  • Wash the swollen and itchy area with a disinfectant solution.
  • Soak a cotton ball with hydrogen peroxide or alcohol.
  • Gently rub the affected area with it.
  • After two minutes, wash off the hydrogen peroxide with cold water.
  • Then apply an over-the-counter antiseptic ointment.

One can apply some natural substances with anti-inflammatory effect to the blisters, such as:

  1. Gel of aloe vera
  2. Calamine
  3. Bergarnika

The applications should be repeated three times a day to experience improvement.
One should not scratch in the area.

One of the proven home remedies for insect bites that lead to hives (urticaria) is ammonia, but you have to be careful, because it can also make skin irritation worse.
Do not use ammonia in children and infants.

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