Though they cause discomfort, most are harmless. Bee, wasp, and hornet stings and fire ant bites usually hurt. Mosquito and flea bites usually itch. Insects can also spread diseases. In the United States, some mosquitoes spread West Nile virus. Travelers outside the United States may be at risk for malaria and other infections.

To prevent insect bites and their complications:

Use insect repellent

Wear protective clothing

If you know you have severe allergic reactions to insect bites and stings (such as anaphylaxis), carry an emergency epinephrine kit

Most bites can be easily treated with topical medication found over the counter.

Insect bites may also trigger an anaphylaxis reaction or a localized skin infection (cellulitis). If you are concerned about any insect bite, please contact us for further medical advice.