Bites That Cause Swelling & Numbness

By Cindi Pearce

When bitten by certain insects and spiders, you are going to experience pain, numbness and swelling whereas a bite from other insects, including fleas, mosquitoes and mites, producing itching rather than pain.

Aedes species, South Africa

When bitten by certain insects and spiders, you are going to experience pain, numbness and swelling whereas a bite from other insects, including fleas, mosquitoes and mites, producing itching rather than pain.

The Worst Offenders

Bee in flower

Those insects that cause the worst reactions in humans are wasps, fire ants, bees and hornets. If a brown recluse or black widow spider bites you, this is serious business--even life-threatening. Seek medical treatment immediately. However, spider bites, for the most part, aren’t going to do any terrible damage although you will know you have been bitten.

Reactions, Including Numbness

Little kid scratching his skin

It is not unusual, and probably even to be expected, that a spider bite is going to result in itching, pain, redness, numbness and minor swelling, as do bites from insects. This reaction may last several hours or for a few days, points out Firstaid.webmd.com. The bite of a hatchback spider can cause you to go numb, but it is a painful kind of numbness, points out Unsolvedmysteries.com. A bite by a black widow spider will also cause numbness, pain and tingling and you will have discoloration around the bite that looks like a bull’s eye.

Serious Trouble

Man coughing

Some people have such severe reactions to insect bites that they can go into anaphylaxis,a life-threatening type of allergic reaction. Signs of anaphylaxis include going into shock, which occurs when there is not enough blood getting to the person’s organs; coughing, difficulty breathing, wheezing; a feeling of fullness in the throat or mouth; swelling of the eyelids, tongues, lips, ears, palms of the hand, soles of the feet and of the mucous membranes. The bitten person may get stomach cramps, nausea, and diarrhea and feel confused and lightheaded. Hives can break out on the person’s skin. Toxic reactions such as these can occur when been bitten by a scorpion, puss caterpillar, which is a woolly slug, black recluse spider or black widow spider.

Bees, Wasps, Hornets, Yellow Jackets and Fire Ant Bites

ants

When a bee stings, you he leaves his stinger in your skin and then he dies. Wasps, hornets and yellow jackets don’t die after stinging you. They can sting you over and over again. A fire ant attaches to humans by biting into your skin with its jaw. It then turns its head and stings you from its abdomen in multiple sites and in a circle pattern. You can expect to swell at the site of the sting, feel pain and see redness.

Bites Versus Stings

Bees

The difference between a bite and a sting amounts to a bite injecting venom through the insect’s mouth into your skin. Ants and spiders bite. A sting comes from the insect’s stinger. Those insects that have venomous stings include wasps, scorpions, bees and hornets. Both methods hurt and can result in swelling and/or numbness as well as pain. Venomous insects inject their painful toxins through their stingers into your body and they do this as a defense mechanism to keep you away from them. On the other hand, a non-venomous bite from an insect consists of the insect injecting anti-coagulant saliva into your body so they can have a meal on your blood. Chiggers, lice, ticks, mosquitoes, scabies and bed bugs are non-venomous. Venomous stings hurt more because the venom continues to come in through the stinger that is in your body until the sack that contains the venom empties or until you pull the stinger out, according Free-health-care.com.

Reactions to Treatment

Sick woman

If you experience serum sickness, this means that you have a bad reaction to any medicine or anti-serum given to you to treat the sting of bite. When an individual suffers from serum sickness, he can experience flu-like symptoms anywhere from three days to three weeks after taking the serum. Serum sickness often results in hives.

References

About the Author

Cindi Pearce is a graduate of Ohio University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. She completed both the undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the Institute of Children’s Literature. Pearce has been writing professionally for over 30 years.

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