Insect Allergy

Insect allergy is caused due to the stinging of insects on the skin. It is basically the venom from the sting that causes the allergy. Mild allergic reactions will be cured within a day or two but if its severe then immediate medical help is must as it is life threatening.

Insect allergy occurs when the immune system treats the sting as an outsider and releases antibodies called histamine. The release of histamine causes the body to react in such a manner that the body starts showing allergy symptoms.

Below are the list of few insects whose stinging involves high risk of allergic reactions. Be careful with these insects as it may lead to severe problem like anaphylaxis.

  • Honey bees: they can be found in honeycombs in trees, when attacked it can be very dangerous.
  • Hornets: their sting can give severe allergic reactions.
  • Fire ants: they cause severe burning and pain and are mostly found in warm places.
  • Yellow jack: they usually reside under ground and some times in the cracks of a building.
  • Paper wasps: these are usually found in shrubs and in wood piles.

Insect Allergy Symptoms

Insect Allergy

The following are the symptoms caused due to the sting of insects. However it may differ from person to person. For some people it can be mild while for some other stings of the same insect can turn out to be severe and life threatening.

  • Flushing
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Redness and rashes all over the body
  • Nausea
  • Swelling of skin
  • Burning of skin
  • Abdominal cramp
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Chest tightness and pain


As mentioned earlier the severity of sting varies from person to person. If it is a normal reaction then the reaction will lead to pain, redness and rash only on the sting area. This can be treated by apply ice in the infected area and washing the area with water immediately. Make sure you remove the sting if it is left on the skin.


Apart from normal  reaction one can also be suffered by large local reaction which means having allergic reaction beyond the sting area. For instance if a person is attacked by a bee sting on his foot then the pain and redness can extend to the entire leg area. This calls for taking medical help immediately as it may take 2-3 days to be treated.


How To Avoid Insect Stings?

If you are allergic to insects then you must know the ways and means to avoid from being affected from the stings of yellow jack, fire ants, honey bees, paper wasps, hornets etc. These insects are active mostly during summer, late spring and early fall.

  • Avoid walking bare foot. Wearing sandals or slippers means insects can attack your foot. Make sure you fully cover the foot when outdoor.
  • Do not swat a flying insect. If it is irritating you then it is better to leave the place or be patient till it goes away.
  • When you are eating in an open area always cover your food.
  • Always keep the dustbins closed. Houseflies and insects gets attracted to the waste and can cause allergic reaction.
  • While driving keep the windows closed
  • Insects gets attracted with bright colors, avoid wearing such clothes when outdoor.
  • Avoid wearing sweet smelling perfumes and deodorants as these attract insects.
  • Always carry the medications when you are going out.

It is always advisable to visit the allergist as soon as you are stung by an insect. Immediate medical help will help you from falling sick.