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Looking out for nasties – How to identify the culprit after you’ve been bitten

13 Oct 2016

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Living in Australia, we’ve all been the victim of pesky insect bites at various times from mosquito bites to the more painful bee sting. Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at insect bites to help you identify the culprit when you’ve been bitten and the best treatments to follow.


Mosquito bites can occur quickly or can develop hours after being bitten. They are characterised by swollen, sore or itchy bumps which are made worse by scratching. If you’ve been bitten, wash the affected areas with soap and water and apply an antiseptic cream. An icepack can assist with itching. There are also countless home remedies which are said to help with the itch of mosquito bites including honey, oats, baking soda and basil.

Some mosquitoes carry disease and medical attention should be sought if you find yourself unwell in the days following mosquito bites or if it begins to look red or infected.


Ants can inject venom with their bite and do sting several times. Signs of an ant bite include pain and swelling at the location. The pain of an ant bite can generally be dealt with by way of over the counter painkillers and an additional antihistamine can help with swelling.

Bees and wasps

Bees and wasps deliver one of the more painful stings and the sufferer will experience severe pain and swelling. You’ll know if it’s a bee by the sting sensation, and they also can leave the stinger behind. If it’s a bee sting, don’t try to remove the sting with tweezers and this can release more venom. Instead, scrape it from the side with a finger nail. Wash the area thoroughly and apply ice to relieve the pain. If swelling persists, an antihistamine can offer relief.

Bee stings are one of the most common triggers of anaphylaxis so keep an eye out for symptoms and seek immediate medical attention if you suspect this.


Spider bites can result in pain and swelling at the site which, like other bites, can be treated with an ice compress. Although most Australian spiders are non-lethal, red back spider and funnel web spider bites require immediate attention. It’s good to check your surrounds after a bite to see if you can identify the spider. If possible, try to keep the offending spider to show your GP.

When to call a doctor

In most cases, the pain from insect bites generally lessens after an hour or so and can be treated at home. However, there are times when it’s necessary to seek medical assistance. Some people experience anaphylactic shock following an insect bite which is a severe allergic reaction and this requires immediate medical attention. Signs of anaphylaxis include:

  • Swelling of the mouth, throat or tongue
  • Difficulty talking, breathing or swallowing
  • Hives and itching
  • Stomach cramps or vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness

If there are any signs of infection or ongoing pain following a suspected insect bite, contact your GP.

To help avoid pesky insect bites altogether, Bug Busters are here to help. We are a Perth based company offering a one stop shop when it comes to pest control solutions for your home or business. Our technicians use safe and effective treatments for a range of pests.

For residential and commercial pest control services, contact Bug Busters today on 9493 1313 or fill in our online enquiry form.