Any bite or sting of an insect can trigger a local irritation. The site of a sting may be painful, swollen, red, sore, and itchy for a day or two. Flea and mosquito bites develop into itchy red bumps, while a tick leaves a swollen, red, beadlike lump on skin. Ticks can spread disease so they must be removed quickly and carefully. Although most bites and stings are quite harmless, but some may create a severe allergic reactions, or may create sting-bite nephritis, and breathlessness, and a person can choke which needs emergency treatment.
Insect Bites & Sting Symptoms
- Sharp needling pain or stinging sensation.
- Red, itchy skin.
- Localized tenderness and swelling.
- A delayed reaction may cause fever, hives, and painful joints.
- Occasionally, swelling inside the mouth, which leads to breathing difficulties.
Home Remedies for Insect Bites & Stings
- Remove the sting: If there is a tick, remove it with tweezers.
- Wash the area: Wash the sting area with soap and water.
- Cold compress: Soak a washcloth in cool water and then lay it on the site of the sting to ease soreness and itching.
- Banana: Try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. This reduces the swelling and irritation.
- Cilantro: Take 2-3 teaspoons of cilantro juice as soon as possible and apply the pulp locally on the affected area. To make juice, blend a handful of cilantro leaves with 1/3 cup water and strain it.
- Baking soda: Apply a paste of baking soda and water to the site of the sting.
- Neem: Apply neem oil diluted in sesame oil or neem paste at the site of bite for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse it off. To make a paste, take a little neem powder and mix it with little water.
- Sandalwood and turmeric: Apply a paste of 1/2 teaspoon sandalwood and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder to the site of bite for soothing and healing.
- Basil: Take a teaspoon of Basil leaves juice 5-6 times a day. Fresh juice must also be applied to the affected parts.
Do’s for Insect Bites & Stings
- If the stung is on arm or leg, lower the limb at the time of the sting to slow the spread of venom. Hours later, if swelling is present, elevate the limb to help reduce swelling.
- Elevate the area of the bite or sting to decrease swelling.
- Be calm and quiet. Movement increases the spread of venom in the bloodstream.
Don’ts for Insect Bites & Stings
- Don’t scratch a bite or sting as it will increase the risk of infection.
- Avoid squeezing around the fuzzy part of the stinger.
- Do not break any blisters if develop.
- Redness and swelling increases.
- Having red streaks or the bite is oozing.
See doctor immediately if:
- Signs of anaphylactic shock.
- Suspect sting is inside the mouth or throat.