Open Accessibility Menu

Bug Bite Signs that Signal ER Treatment

  • Category: General
  • Posted On:
Bug Bite Signs that Signal ER Treatment

Bug bites and insect stings can be quite annoying, especially if you're trying to experience fun activities outdoors. While most individuals who unfortunately come across an insect that isn't too friendly don't have significant symptoms, a few severe reactions are essential not to dismiss. 

Infected Insect Bites  

Infected bug bites are often not a cause for concern, but they can result in infection in some instances. Infected bites prominently develop swelling, pus and long red lines extending out from the bite. Sometimes, bites and stings can result in fever or chills. 

Over-the-counter treatment is usually one of the best options to quickly address an infected bite or sting and doesn't generally result in needing an emergency room visit. However, it's recommended to see a doctor if you need antibiotics to help support the healing process. 

If you wait too long, the infection could worsen, and your doctor may decide you need emergency treatment for your illness.  

Allergic Reactions to Bug Bites 

Some people have allergic reactions to certain kinds of insect bites or stings. One of the most common stings that induce a reaction is from a bee. A typical reaction to a bee sting is a red, itchy welt about half an inch in size. These symptoms should resolve within a couple of hours. 

But what happens when the reaction gets worse? In this case, it's essential to seek medical attention, primarily if debilitating pain or swelling spreads to the entire arm or leg. Fortunately, these reactions spread slowly and go away within a few hours to a few days. Typically, they do not require a trip to the emergency room.  

However, a small number of people will have a life-threatening reaction to a common bug sting or insect bite. This is called anaphylaxis, and it is an allergic reaction that spreads through the whole body. Itching and swelling can occur across the body, not just in the area of the bite or sting. One of the most harmful symptoms of anaphylaxis is the possible closure of the lung's airway from the swelling. 

If you feel itchy all over your body or have difficulty breathing after a bug bite, it is essential to seek emergency medical help right away.  

Threatening Bug Bites  

While not all insects cause severe reactions within the body, a few exist that are more than troublesome. This mainly includes insects that can bite or have a stinger. When outdoors, especially during the summer, it's recommended to cover up or wear bug spray to prevent being bit or stung. 

But sometimes bites and stings are not preventable, and they happen regardless. So here are a few to consider watching out for as the symptoms may result in needing more than first aid treatment: 

  • Spider bites — are usually not poisonous and only cause subtle symptoms like swelling, red skin, and pain at the bite's site. Nevertheless, some poisonous spider bites can send you to the emergency room. The black widow's bite leaves two puncture marks that may not be painful at first but can eventually lead to muscle pain, swelling, nausea, rigidity and vomiting. The brown recluse is considered even more dangerous, with symptoms leading to seizures, kidney failure or a coma. 

  • Mosquito bites — are one of the more annoying insect bites, but they can carry fatal diseases. In the United States, the West Nile virus is the most common virus spread by mosquitoes. So, if you do get a mosquito bite and start feeling headaches, fevers, nausea and vomiting, you should visit a healthcare facility for emergent treatment. 

If you feel your condition is a true emergency, call 911.  

If you're experiencing extreme pain or West Nile virus, seek medical attention immediately and visit Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care. 

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care's emergency room is open 24/7, and urgent care is available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. Appointments are unnecessary - walk in, and our healthcare professionals are ready to help at both of our locations.

Navarre - 8888 Navarre Pkwy., Navarre, FL 32566. Call the center at 850-750-5698.

Nine Mile - 9400 University Parkway Suite 101A Pensacola, FL 32514. Call the center at 448-227-4600.

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care is comprised of board-certified ER-trained physicians and professionally trained ER nurses who deliver quality medical care. Our urgent care and emergency room can effectively treat various medical conditions. From fever to fractures, allergies to abdominal pain, and colds to concussions, we have you covered with on-site labs, CT, X-rays, and ultrasound.