Insect Bites

Insect Bites

If you have medical concerns related to insect bites, Mountain Lakes Medical Center is open 7 days a week in Mountain Lakes, NJ. No Appointment is ever needed. To learn more about insect bites, read on…

Insect and spider bites are a common nuisance. Ordinarily, a bite causes only minor discomfort – a little redness, and some pain or itching. Often, home treatment or a first aid kit is all that is needed to treat it. However, some people experience great allergic reaction to bites, which may be life threatening.


Certain insects such as the black widow spider, brown recluse spider, hobo spider, scorpion and puss caterpillar, as well as others, can cause a toxic reaction from a bite. The symptoms below are considered serious allergic reactions to bug and spider bites. Although they are not common, it is important to be aware of the possible effect once bitten, since an anaphylactic shock is possible from certain bites.

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of lips, tongue, ears, eyelids, hands and feet
  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Hives
  • Reddening of the area around the bite (only if it grows and expands over 2.5 inches/5 centimeters)

Who is at risk?

Anyone can be bitten by an insect and experience an allergic reaction even if none has been experienced before. People with other allergies are more likely to experience a reaction.

Treatment of Allergies

If symptoms are minimal, for example the area of the bite is red, itchy or slightly swollen, doctors recommend an antihistamine, like Benadryl or Claritin, and ice to cool the area. You also may try a baking soda past, or a topical steroid or other anti-itch cream such as Calamine lotion, and/or pain medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen

When should I see a doctor?

In most cases, a spider, insect or bug bite does not cause such a severe reaction. Sometimes, if the area is enlarging, it may be a sign of a significant infection requiring antibiotics. Other times, a person with no prior allergic incidents can still suffer from an allergic reaction. If you or a loved one experience the symptoms of anaphylactic shock it is important to call an emergency line for help.

To find out more about dangerous spiders, other insect bites and their effects please take a look at the websites we have provided for your further research.

For more information on insect bites, see the following websites:

Bad Bugs Slideshow from eMedicineHealth – provides pictures of possible biting culprits, with further information regarding symptoms, infection, and home treatment. – discusses poisonous and dangerous spiders and their effect on the body, with symptoms and treatment overview. – discusses effects of bites including severe allergic reaction and anaphylactic shock.

Disclaimer: The links above are to sites independent of The pages will open in a new browser window. The information provided is for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your doctor. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding your specific medical questions, treatments, therapies, and other needs.