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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.

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