A to Z: Insect Bites/Stings, Non-Venomous

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A to Z: Insect Bites/Stings, Non-Venomous

Bites from non-venomous insects are the result of an insect attempting to feed on a person's blood. Non-venomous means the insect doesn't inject poisons into the person's body through its bite.

More to Know

Non-venomous insect bites include those from mosquitoes, fleas, mites, lice, and bedbugs. The bite causes a raised red spot at the site that itches and may blister. If scratched, it can become an open sore with a risk for infection. Allergic reactions also can result from non-venomous insect bites; but, severe reactions are rare.

The bigger concern with non-venomous insects is when they carry diseases, such as mosquitoes that transmit malaria in Africa or ticks that infect people with Lyme disease in parts of the United States.

Non-venomous insect bites can be treated at home with topical ointments (applied to the skin, like calamine lotion), antihistamines, anesthetics, and moderate steroids to reduce itching.

Keep in Mind

Non-venomous bug bites are much milder than venomous bites from insects that inject poisons, like bees, wasps, hornets, or scorpions. Non-venomous bites can be a nuisance, but usually don't cause any serious or lasting health problems.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.



Related Resources

OrganizationNational Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) conducts and supports basic and applied research to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases.
OrganizationCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The CDC (the national public health institute of the United States) promotes health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability.
OrganizationAmerican Lyme Disease Foundation This organization is dedicated to advancing the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and control of Lyme disease.
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.
OrganizationNational Park Service This site contains information on America's national parks and the many ways you can enjoy the great outdoors.


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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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