Identifying insect bites & treating them naturally at home - UCT

An insect bite invariably leaves a mark of welt on the skin with irritation and scratching sensations. But most of the common insects are harmless and their stings only bother you for a day or two, except for a few poisonous ones such as, fire ants, wasps, hornets, and bees whose bites may cause intense pains and even allergic reactions. Similarly, spider bites also cause poisonous reactions to our body and should be subjected to immediate medical care.

What form an insect bite will take depends upon what type of bug was that. Symptoms of most bug bites are common such as red bumps with pain, itching, or burning but there are some bug bites that cause blisters or welts. The symptoms and the locations where the insect bit can provide clues to the insect type, the probable severity of the bite and treatments.

Insect bite identification:

A quick look at the following symptoms will give an insight into bug bite identifications.

  • Bites of bed bugs turn the bitten area red with small mounds and itchiness and can cause serious allergic reaction.
  • Bee stings are identified by red skin bump with white around it.
  • Flea bites cause itchy welt on the skin, usually in the ankle and leg areas.
  • Mosquito bites cause small itchy skin bumps which in some special cases may result in severe allergic reaction.
  • Spider bites, severity depends upon the species, generally cause red skin, swelling and pain from the bitten area but may require emergency medical attention in some more poisonous spider bite cases.
  • Ticks bites cause lyme disease that leaves a extended red spot on the skin with full body rash and other symptoms such as headache, nausea, weakness, neck stiffness, joint or muscle pain, and fever.

Insect bite or spider bite treatments at home:

The treatments for Insect bites depends upon type of reaction to the bite or string and can be carried out at home. Whether it is for spider bites or other insect bites, some of the effective home cares include -

  • Application of ice on the bite spots help remove redness and pain. It also helps to reduce swelling.
  • The bite spot is better be cleaned with soap and water to remove contaminated particles left behind by the insects such as, mosquitoes. These particles, if not removed,may further contaminate the wound.
  • Resist the urge to scratch the bite or sting prevent further infection from nail scratch. Instead you may use some over-the counter medicines (topical, pills, or lotions) to ease itching sensation.

Some people may have a history of severe allergic reactions to certain insect or spider bites. It may be useful for them to have an emergency treatment kit (such as anaphylaxis kit or n- kit that contains an epinephrine injector, tourniquet, antihistamine, etc.) at home. But this should necessarily be based on doctor’s advices after an evaluation of the insect bite after-effects and severity of the reaction.


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