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South Texas Poison Center

Bug bites and stings


PoisonHelp 1-800-222-1222 If you are stung or bitten by an insect, bee or spider, follow these first aid tips..

If a severe life-threatening (difficulty breathing) reaction occurs, call 911.

In non-life-threatening situations, call the South Texas Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 or go to the nearest emergency department.


bee Bees, Wasps, Hornets, Yellow Jackets

If stung, gently remove the stinger, if present, by scraping it from the would with a credit card. Do not squeeze the area, as this releases more venom into the skin. Clean the wound with an antiseptic like alcohol. Mix a paste of meat tenderizer and water and spread onto the area of the sting. Ice packs can be used for local pain and swelling.

Yellowjacket If symptoms such as hives, rash, difficulty in breathing, dizziness, nausea, or vomiting occur, go to an emergency department immediately. People who are allergic to bee stings should carry a bee sting kit and seek medical attention upon being stung.


Fire Ant Fire Ants and Scorpions

Cleanse the wound and apply a meat tenderizer paste as described for bees.


Tick Ticks

To remove a tick, grasp it with a pair of tweezers at the head, as close to the skin as possible and gently pull it out. Do not use bare fingers, as disease can be transmitted through contact with an infected tick. Clean the area with antiseptic, such as alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.


Black Widow Spiders

Only two spiders pose a threat to man: the black widow and the brown recluse. The black widow has a red hour glass on its belly. The brown recluse is yellow-orange in color and has a violin-shaped marking on its head.

These bites are seldom fatal, but can have serious side effects. If bit, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms common to these bites include severe stomach pain, dizziness, chills, stiffness, and difficulty breathing.



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