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Allergy to insect stings


Insect allergy is a combination of allergic reactions and symptoms caused by insect bites or their products of functioning – saliva, poison, mucus.

Allergy to insects is most manifested in the spring and summer seasons, during periods of garden work, forest walks, picnics. The most common insect habitats are landfills, compost and waste pits, as well as swampy areas.

Some insects nest in trees, in holes in house cladding, in gazebos, on balconies, and the like.

Insect allergy is an independent disease, or, like each type of allergy, it can cause more serious diseases, such as bronchial asthma, allergic dermatosis, etc. [3]

Causes Insect allergy can be such factors:

• genetic predisposition;

• contact with bumblebees, bees, gadflies, wasps, ants and other Hymenoptera;

• contact with non-stinging insects, among which there are three groups:

– bloodsucking insects (mosquitoes, midges, fleas);

– biting insects (cockroaches, beetles);

– non-biting insects (moths, butterflies, locusts, grasshoppers).


Allergens can be poison, mucus or saliva, hairs and scales.

Allergen ingestion :

• at stings of insects with poison and saliva;

• in the inhalation way – inhalation of body particles, hairs or scales;

• with mucus in contact with insects;

• by ingestion of body parts of insects or by ingestion of contaminated products. [one]

Another causative agent of insect allergies can be small bugs, which quite often live in our homes in cereals and flour.

In addition to the fact that these insects spoil food supplies, when they enter the human body with food, they trigger serious allergic symptoms, since their chitinous cover is similar to tick allergens.

Another type of poisonous insects, which often cause very serious poisoning, are small bugs that live on the banks of water bodies and enter the body with dried fish.


Manifestations of an allergy to insects may differ depending on the amount of the allergen that has entered the body, on the duration of contact with the pathogen, on the type of insect and on individual sensitivity to the allergen.

Symptoms of insect allergy are conventionally divided into two types – an early reaction and a late one. An early reaction appears immediately after the bite, or within 1-2 hours and can take place in several stages. [6]

  • At the first stage, there is a rash, swelling, itching of the skin, as well as minor manifestations of a general nature: dizziness, chills, weakness, fever. There are cases of swelling of the mucous membranes, in particular, the oral cavity, tongue. This is a rather dangerous manifestation of an allergic reaction, which can lead to suffocation.
  • The second stage of the body’s response to insect allergy is a dry cough, abdominal cramps, loose stools, vomiting, and shortness of breath. At the same time, quite often the external manifestations of allergies (rash, urticaria, swelling) are less than in the first stage. Also at this stage, the characteristic symptoms are a sharp weakness, a decrease in blood pressure, and sometimes a sudden loss of consciousness. [2]

stage III reaction is anaphylactic shock, sometimes fatal. A short-term throbbing headache is replaced by a loss of consciousness for a long time, may be accompanied by convulsions. The affected person has a bluish pallor, cold sweat, weak frequent pulse. Blood pressure drops to 80/40 mm Hg. Art. or difficult to determine. [4]

As for the late reactions of the body with allergies to insects , they can affect the nervous system and other side effects.


Limit your stay in places where insects are concentrated, for example, near apiaries.

• Do not use creams, lotions, perfumes that have a strong smell and may attract insects.

• Use insect repellant indoors, install mosquito nets, do not leave doors/windows open when lights are on to avoid attracting insects.

• Do not walk barefoot on the grass to avoid accidentally stepping on an insect, such as a wasp or a bumblebee.

• In the car, check for insects before driving.

• When walking in the forest, carrying out field work, protect exposed areas of the body.


In the event of an allergic reaction, first follow these guidelines:

  • apply a tight bandage above the bite site;
  • remove the sting;
  • attach a cold object, if possible – ice wrapped in a bag;
  • take an antihistamine to reduce the effect of the poison on the body;
  • lubricate the bite site with special ointments or cream. [1,4]

If necessary, depending on the intensity of the allergic reaction, consult a doctor. A qualified allergist will help diagnose the degree of insect allergy by examining the place of contact with the insect or by conducting (if necessary) a series of laboratory tests and examinations.

Do not prescribe treatment yourself, so as not to cause even more harm!

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