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

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

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.





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

© 1995-2015 KidsHealth® All rights reserved.
Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com





Bookmark and Share

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.
Related Articles
Camping and Woods Safety Ah, the great outdoors! Find out how to stay safe while you're exploring the woods.
First Aid: Spider Bites Most spider bites cause mild reactions, but some can cause serious illness or allergic reactions. Here's what to do if you think your child was bitten by a spider.
Hey! A Louse Bit Me! Lice need to suck blood to survive, and they sometimes live on people's heads and lay eggs in their hair. Get the lowdown on lice in this article.
How Can I Protect My Family From Ticks? Find out what the experts say.
Hey! A Fire Ant Stung Me! Fire ants think they're hot stuff. Learn how to handle them in this article for kids.
Hey! A Tarantula Bit Me! A tarantula is a black, hairy spider that is about two to three inches long. Learn all about spiders and tarantulas in this fun article for kids.
Hey! A Flea Bit Me! A flea is a small (no bigger than the head of a pin) brown bug with a hard shell. Learn more about fleas and how they affect you in this fun article just for kids.
Babysitting: Dealing With Bug Bites and Stings What should you do if a child you're babysitting is bitten or stung? Our tip sheet can help you be prepared.
Hey! A Scorpion Stung Me! Scorpions are about three inches long (about the length of a crayon), with eight legs and a small pair of claws that look like crabs' claws. Read all about them.
Hey! A Mosquito Bit Me! There are thousands of different kinds of mosquitoes in many different sizes and colors. Learn all about mosquitoes and how they bite you in this article.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Rocky Mountain spotted fever is an infection transmitted by ticks. Find out more about it - including how to prevent it.
Hey! A Bee Stung Me! Bee, or honeybee, is the word many people use to describe any flying insect that has wings and a stinger. Learn more about bees.
Lyme Disease Lyme disease can be treated if it's caught early. So read this to find out what causes it, how it's treated, and how to prevent it.
What's My Lyme Disease Risk? Is the thought of Lyme disease making you feel you'll be safer in the comfort of your room than the great outdoors? This article can help you assess your Lyme disease risk.
Evaluate Your Child's Lyme Disease Risk Does the threat of Lyme disease make you think your kids would be safer in your living room than in the great outdoors? Find out how to evaluate a child's Lyme disease risk.
Lice Aren't So Nice Lice are tiny insects that live in a person's hair. Find out more in this article for kids.
Hey! A Bedbug Bit Me! A bedbug is a small (about the size of a pencil eraser), flat, reddish-brown bug that can be found in homes all over the world. Learn more about bedbugs.
Are Insect Repellents With DEET Safe for Kids? Find out what the experts have to say.
Hey! A Black Widow Spider Bit Me! The black widow spider is one of six poisonous kinds of spiders in the United States. Learn more about them!
Hey! A Brown Recluse Spider Bit Me! The brown recluse spider is one of six poisonous kinds of spiders in the United States. Learn more about the brown recluse spider.
Bug Bites and Stings In most cases, bug bites and stings are just nuisances. But in some cases, they can cause infections and allergic reactions. It's important to know the signs, and when to get medical attention.
Bug Bites and Stings Generally, insect bites and stings are harmless. Find out how to keep pests from ruining your fun.
First Aid: Insect Stings and Bites Being stung by a bug is often just irritating and doesn't require medical treatment. But kids who are highly allergic to stings may need emergency medical care.
Woods and Camping Safety for the Whole Family A family camping trip can be an enjoyable experience with a little preparation.
Head Lice Lice aren't dangerous, but they do spread from person to person easily. They can also be hard to get rid of. Find out how to prevent lice -- and what to do if someone you know has them.
Bedbugs Bedbugs have people on high alert, checking mattresses and furniture for telltale signs of these irritating, hard-to-control pests. Here's what to look for and how to deal with them.
Bedbugs Bedbugs are in the news because of recent infestations. Learn the telltale signs of these irritating pests - and how to deal with a bite.
Lyme Disease Lyme disease can affect the skin, joints, nervous system, and other organ systems. If diagnosed quickly and treated with antibiotics, Lyme disease in kids is almost always treatable.
What's West Nile Virus? What exactly is the West Nile virus? And what do mosquitoes have to do with it? Find out in this article!
What to Do When You're Bugged by Bugs Ugh. Bugs. They're cool, but they also can ruin your day by stinging or biting you. Find out how to handle them in this article.
Hey! A Tick Bit Me! A tick attaches itself to the skin of a person or animal and sucks blood. If you have a dog, it may have picked up a tick before! Learn more about ticks in this article for kids.
Insect Sting Allergy Insect sting allergies can cause serious reactions. Find out how to keep kids safe.
Developments Developments
Sign up for enewsletter
Get involved Get involved
Discover ways to support Akron Children's
Join the conversation Join the conversation
See what our patient families are saying