The 8 Worst Insect Stings and Bites Treatment

A variety of insects in North America can inflict a painful sting, such as centipedes and scorpions. Some insects are more dangerous than others, and some stings may even require emergency medical treatment. In this article, we will discuss the worst insect stings and bites treatment in North America.

1. WESTERN YELLOW JACKET

The Western Yellow Jacket(Vespula pensylvanica) is a species of wasp native to western North America. These wasps are black and yellow and can reach up to an inch in length. The Western Yellow Jacket is known for its aggressive behavior and will sting humans if it feels threatened.

Symptoms of a Western Yellow Jacket sting include pain, swelling, redness, and itching at the site of the sting. Sometimes, stings may also cause nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. If you are allergic to the venom of these wasps, you may experience more severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, rapid heartbeat, and swelling of the face or throat. Below is some information about insect stings and bites treatment.

Pain level: 2

Emergency treatment for a Western Yellow Jacket sting includes:

  • Removing the stinger from the skin.
  • Washing the area
  • Applying a cold compress to reduce swelling.

You can also apply an antihistamine to the infected area. Contact your doctor if you experience any severe symptoms.

2. FLORIDA HARVESTER ANT

The Florida harvester ant is found in the southeastern United States. They get their name from their habit of harvesting other insects to feed their young.

The Florida harvester ant is known for its painful and venomous sting. Symptoms include pain in the sting area, a red welt, sweating around the sting, erected hair, and nausea. In some cases, the venom of these ants can cause anaphylactic shock, a life-threatening reaction.

Pain level: 3

Emergency treatment:

Cool water and antihistamines can help reduce the pain. Remember to clean the injection sign and remove the stinger if it is still in the skin. If you are allergic to venom, you will need to go to the hospital immediately as you will be at risk for anaphylactic shock.

3. MARICOPA HARVESTER ANT

Maricopa Harvester Ants are found in the southwestern United States. These ants are red or black and can reach up to an inch in length. They get their name from their habit of harvesting other insects to feed their young.

The Maricopa Harvester Ant is known for its painful sting. Symptoms of a Maricopa Harvester Ant sting include pain, swelling, redness, and itching at the site of the sting. It may also cause anaphylactic shock in people allergic to venom.

Pain level: 3

Emergency treatment:

If you are stung by a Maricopa Harvester Ant, it is important to clean the injection site and remove the stinger if it is still in the skin. You should also apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and take an antihistamine for the pain. Seek medical help if you experience any severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or swallowing, rapid heartbeat, or swelling of the face or throat.

4. RED PAPER WASP

Red Paper Wasps get their name from their red and black bodies and nests made of chewed-up paper. They are found in the southeastern United States and can reach up to an inch in length.

A sting from this wasp can result in immediate pain, itching, and swelling. More severe allergic reactions may cause difficulty breathing, hives, and nausea.

Pain level: 3.5

Emergency treatment:

Emergency remedies include washing the area, applying a cold compress, and taking an antihistamine. If you experience any severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or swallowing, you should seek medical attention immediately.

5. WESTERN HONEY BEE

The Western honey bees do not generally attack people actively. However, they will sting if they feel threatened. They are hard-working plant pollinators.

A sting from a Western honey bee can result in pain, swelling, and redness at the site of the sting. In rare cases, it may also cause anaphylactic shock in people allergic to the venom.

Pain level: 3.5

Emergency treatment:

If you are stung by a Western honey bee, removing the stinger from the skin is important as soon as possible. You should also wash the area with soap and water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. Apply an antihistamine to the area and take anti-inflammatories if necessary. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or swallowing, rapid heartbeat, or swelling of the face or throat.

6. VELVET ANT

Velvet ants are a species of wasp, not ant. They get their name from their velvet-like bodies, which are covered in thick fur. They are found in the southwestern United States and can reach up to 1 inch in length.

Symptoms of a velvet ant sting include pain, swelling, redness, and itching at the site of the sting. Anaphylactic shock is also possible but rare.

Pain level: 3.5

Emergency treatment:

Treatment includes washing the area and applying a cold compress and antiseptic cream or ointment. It would help if you also took an antihistamine for the pain and swelling. Cover the area with a bandage and seek medical attention if you develop any severe symptoms.

7. BLACK WIDOW SPIDER

The black widow spider is found in the western and southern United States. These spiders are black with a red hourglass shape on their abdomens. They are one of the most venomous spiders in North America.

A black widow spider sting can be painful and may cause severe pain, redness, cramping, muscle aches, and nausea. Severe symptoms include difficulty breathing, sweating, and fever.

Pain level: 4

Emergency treatment:

If you are stung by a black widow spider, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Treatment includes the administration of antivenom, which may be necessary in severe cases. Wash the area with soap and apply an ice pack before heading to the doctor’s office.

8. TARANTULA HAWK

The tarantula hawk wasps are large, with a wingspan of up to 3 inches. They are black with orange or yellow markings on their bodies.

Symptoms of a Tarantula Hawk sting include intense pain, swelling, and redness at the site of the sting. The pain is so excruciating that it has been known to cause fainting.

Pain level: 4.3

Emergency treatment:

Treatment includes applying a cold compress to the area, taking pain relievers, and avoiding strenuous activity. You can also apply antihistamine cream to relieve the swelling.

Conclusion

A variety of insects in North America can cause pain and discomfort if they sting humans. The severity of the symptoms depends on the type of insect and the person’s reaction to the venom. Some stings may cause only minor irritation, while others can be life-threatening. It is important to be familiar with the types of insects in your area and to seek medical attention if you are stung by one. The insect stings and bites treatment described above can also help you in the field.

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