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 upon a person’s blood. Non-venomous means the insect does not 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 will produce a raised red spot at the site that itches intensely 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; however, severe reactions are rare.

The bigger concern with non-venomous insects is when they are carriers of 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 (such as 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, such as bees, wasps, hornets, or scorpions. Non-venomous bites can be a nuisance, but usually don’t produce any serious or lasting health problems.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.