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6 Insects That Bite and Sting Prevention and Treatments


Last updated  10/18/2021

Bugs, insects whatever you'd like to call them can be quite the pest. They are usually seen more with the warmer weather. Yeah, You know that buzzing in the ear at night (mosquitoes) 6 insects that bite and sting.

Also known as the little vampires that crave sucking your blood (blah, blah, blah). Subsequently I woke up that morning with several bites on one arm.

Once you begin scratching there’s no end. It’s a vicious cycle. And the scratching can lead to infection. So you want to treat them bumps.

I applied Aloe Vera to the bites when I noticed them as well as doing my best not to scratch. The bites are healing up quicker. Certainly you know from other post how much I love Aloe Vera!

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6 Insects That Bite and Sting What Happens?

While the insect bites or stings venom is released with its saliva and injected into your skin. A bite or sting tells your immune system to respond. This returns redness and swelling to the site. In addition the itching that aggravates you to scratch.

If you have the condition called anaphylactic shock, a bite or sting is quite serious. Always carry your Epinephrine, especially outdoors. Most importantly you need to seek medical attention right away.

Some insects that sting can ditch their stinger in your skin if it is barbed. While they are trying to flee the stinger is anchored and pulls out the abdomen of the insect with it. That is to say this is why the insect dies after stinging you.


Interesting to know, only the female will sting. Likewise she stings to protect the nest and the others.

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Insects That Sting


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Typically bees have yellow and black stripes. Bumble Bees are fuzzy and thick bodied. Similarly in markings though honey bees are tiny in size.

Bees are found in most warm areas of the world. Thus they may nest anywhere, some even underground near a patio or deck.

The bee feeds on pollen and nectar from the flowers it visits. In addition this visiting helps to cross-pollinate plants which are beneficial to humans and animals.

This striped insect may have barbed stingers. That means they are only capable of stinging once and abandon their stinger. In short it is best to just scram and not bother them.

A single bee sting can be self-treated, unless you are allergic to bee stings. Scraping your fingernail or a credit card will help release the stinger. The sting will cause swelling, redness and itching.

Africanized Killer Bees

Africanized Killer Bees (AKA Africanized Honey Bees) are very defensive. They will protect the nest and a swarm will attack you. To sum up vacate the area as quickly and quietly   as possible.

The bee dies after it stings. That being said each bee can only sting once. But this is many bee stings at one time so medical attention is required.


In comparison the wasp is thinner in body then bees, usually yellow and black stripes with long wings. Wasp can be solitary, live alone or social which means they live in colonies. Depending on the species, nest can be high in the tree on leaves or branches or under eaves on a building.

Yellow Jackets


Yellow Jackets are aggressive and may sting more than once. They have long dark wings. And can be quite a nuisance swarming around at back yard gatherings or when the winter is coming in WI.

This wasp does not leave a stinger nor does it die after the sting. After being stung by one a raised welt appears with a puncture hole in the center. I tell you the area is sore.

It is also possible to be allergic to a wasp sting. The best prevention while outdoors is to pay attention to your surroundings. Be on the watch for a swarm you could be near the nest.

You don’t want to swat at them it only creates more anger. Depart as quickly and safely as possible.

Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp will lay their eggs in the nest of bees or other wasp. They are parasitic.

Bald-Faced Hornet

Bald-Faced Hornet is actually a wasp (go figure). This wasp is black with white markings. Their nests are papery, resembling footballs that hang in trees and shrubs. Moreover this wasp is pretty nasty too.

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Hornets are actually a subset of the wasp. They are in the same vein but larger in size. Coloring is more of a bright orange-red.

Further the large wasp can build nest in attics, sheds, garages, trees or underground. And they eat aphids and bees.

Giant Asian Hornet

Giant Asian Hornet is the largest hornet that is known, in the world. You defiantly don’t desire to encounter one of these. They have a long stinger and powerful venom that can mess up human tissue. If you know you’ve been stung, seek medical attention right away.


Ants bite and sting to protect their nest, the colony and to consume other animals as their prey. Their stings can be minor with moderate to severe pain. These can cause redness and swelling.

Most ants are attracted to sweets. So clean up food debris and collect garbage when eating outdoors.

Typically ants live in underground colonies. The ant mound may be visible from above. In addition you may see them clearing organic material from the ground.

Fire Ants

Fire Ants are aggressive. Their color can be red and black. The nest is a huge mound on top of the ground. They also  kill and eat other insects.

More importantly they are venomous. Their sting is painful. And since the stinger is not barbed they can sting more than once. Feeling a sensation of heat (fire) is a common symptom.

Above all the sting is swollen and red spots show that revolve into a blister on    top. The lesion can fill with pus (infection). In short this is considered a medical emergency.

Take note the fire ant has been known to sting pets also. A pet may hold its leg or paw up and not apply pressure. There may also be frequent licking of the wound.

The sting is usually a small bump on the ears or belly of the pet. If you have come across the nest there are bound to be more stings. Take your pet to your vet immediately.

Treatment for Insect Stings

    • If there is one, remove the stinger ASAP
    • Wash the area with soap and water (don’t rub)
    • Applying ice will help with the swelling
    • Benadryl or Zyrtec may be used orally for the discomfort

Insects That Bite

They don’t have a stinger but the bite can be just as unpleasant. As a result it may leave a bump or welt.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants may infest your home. They will bite but the carpenter ant eats wood. Compared to the common ant they are larger in size and black.


The females bite to collect blood for reproducing. Mosquitoes breed in standing water, bird baths, ponds and pools. Therefore these should be well maintained.

When they bite red bumps materialize. Thus the mosquito's saliva is injected into your skin through their mouthpart.

These bumps can really itch. As I said earlier I used Aloe Vera to treat. For instance it  is an antiseptic, great for inflammation and heals the bites quickly.

If you don’t have Aloe Vera there are other things you can apply. Tea tree oil, rubbing alcohol, peroxide (will turn skin white, last resort) or witch hazel will relieve symptoms. Above all make sure you treat the bite.

Grandma’s Mosquito Bite Remedy

As a child I spent a lot of family vacations during the summer in the Minnesota woods. We learned about ticks, deer flies and there were lots of mosquitoes. Now this may seem gross but it did work.

The key is not to start scratching with any bite (I know, but you can do it!). When we had a bite grandma told us to spit in our palm. She would pour some table salt (Morton, blue container with little girl and her umbrella).

We were instructed to mix it up (forming a paste) then apply to the bite. Now you could use water. But on the homestead we didn’t have a running facet available, just an old pump out back.

Your saliva contains mostly water but other things like white blood cells and enzymes. The saliva was like putting extra soldiers on the outside to attack the bite. And the salt held the spit (saliva) in place, when this dried the salt fell  off.

The salt can also be used as an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. I wouldn’t recommend this if you have more than a few. Likewise I don’t encourage you to go spiting at each other’s bites but maybe as an experiment you could give it a try.


Flies may bite animals as well as people for blood (Deer Fly/Horse Fly). These pest are everywhere and impossible   to avoid. Therefore they can be annoying around farm animals.

Treatment for Biting Insects

    • Wash the area with soap and water
    • Apply an antiseptic
    • Putting ice on it will help with the swelling
    • OTC Benadryl or Zyrtec may be used orally for the discomfort

6 Insects That Bite and Sting Prevention


    • Avoid any nesting area
    • Use an insect repellant
    • Have an anti-septic available, when outdoors as well
    • Wear protective clothing in the woods and inspect your skin later
Wrapping it up

There are many insects that bite and sting. The type depends on your location. More importantly some can cause serious harm.

When outdoors be alert and know when to avoid an area where a nest may be located. This will aid in preventing any bite or sting from insects.


Mary is the founder of All About Our Skin. Former esthetician and CPC. Enjoys researching skincare and has been studying our skin for the past fifteen years.

Researching content:    accessed 07/02/2020                accessed 07/02/2020  (giant Asian hornet WA) accessed 07/05/2020 (Bombardier and Blister Beetles) accessed 07/10/2020

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2 thoughts on “6 Insects that Bite and Sting Treatments and Prevention”

  1. Question was:
    Can a mosquito leave a stinger in you?
    No, I believe this is their mouth part and they need it for survival. A mosquitoes stinger serves a different purpose. They suck your blood through these thus feed. So they don’t want to loose it.

    If you see a stinger it is likely from a wasp, hornet or bee.


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