Insect and Tick Bites
What are Insect and Tick Bites and Stings?
Participating in outdoor activities, whether you’re in your backyard, hiking or near a body of water, may expose you to the possibility of bites and stings. Most animals and insects will not harm you if you do not harm them but being aware, knowing your area and having a plan are all ways to help prevent bites and stings – and treat them if they happen.
Common Bites and Stings
- Bee, wasp and mosquito stings
- Tick bite
- Spider bite
- Flea bite
- Ant bite
- Fly bite
- Bed bug bite
Symptoms of Tick and Insect Bites and Stings
Bite and sting symptoms may vary depending on your body’s sensitivity to venom, existing conditions and other viruses and/or diseases an insect may carry.
Most people experience mild bite and sting symptoms. These symptoms include:
- Rashy or itchy skin
- Burning sensation
- Pain or swelling at the wound site
- Rashy or itchy skin
- Numbness or tingling
- Trouble breathing
- Some ticks carry diseases that can be transferred to you when they bite. Symptoms include:
- A fever or chills
- Body aches and pains
- Full body rash.
- Redness or rash near the affected area
- Nausea or vomiting
- Confusion or loss of consciousness
- Muscle spasms
- Rapid heartbeat
- Swelling of lips and throat or difficulty breathing
- A severe reaction – anaphylaxis – is a life-threatening medical emergency and can cause your body to go into shock, throat to tighten and make breathing difficult. If you think you are experiencing anaphylaxis, use your self-injectable epinephrine and call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
How to Prevent Bites and Stings
Prevention, awareness and being able to identify harmful animals and insects in your region is the best way to prevent bites and stings. It’s also important to be aware of the season, as summer months can increase the popularity and frequency of bites and stings.
Tick and Insect Bite Treatment
Based on the severity of your reaction and the type of bite or sting, several treatments can help you manage and treat your symptoms.
Types of treatment
- Observe the bite/sting area and remove stinger, if needed
- Wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water
- Compression to reduce pain and swelling
- Over-the-counter medication to reduce pain, swelling and itching
- Hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion and other topical treatments
If you are experiencing severe symptoms or symptoms that persist or worsen over 24 to 48 hours, call your doctor.
Help for Bites and Stings at Bronson
Minor insect and tick bites are common and can often times be managed with at home treatment and over-the-counter medication.
If you have a tick or insect bite or sting that you are concerned about or that is causing discomfort, you can rely upon your local care team at Bronson to provide the relief you need.
- Contact your Primary Care Provider
- Current patients can schedule in-person or video visit appointments by calling the office.
- Bronson MyChart Video Visit: Bronson primary care—and many specialty care appointments—can now be done online using the Bronson MyChart App.
- Find a Doctor: Looking for a Primary Care Provider? Find a doctor and schedule online or by calling (269) 341-7788.
- BronsonConnect Video Visit
- If you need help with bites or stings, whether you’re at home, at work or traveling, you can connect face-to-face with a Bronson doctor. Use BronsonConnect anywhere you have an internet connection and a smart phone, tablet or computer.