Insect Bites

The most common flying insect are black flies, fire ants, and mosquitoes. We’ve covered bees and wasps in another lesson. Black flies and mosquitoes are definitely bothersome but their bites are not considered poisonous.

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For relief of the itching from black fly and mosquito bites, try Calamine any type of anti-itch lotion. Some people claim rubbing alcohol also helps lessen the itch.


Fire Ants are a different breed of biting insect. Initially, there is a sharp localized pain. Within about 24 hours a raised white pustule forms at the site, and this will persist for many days. Despite the appearance of this pustule, it is not infected. Stings can cause localized pain and/or itching for several days, and they can potentially become infected, especially if broken open by scratching or other causes. The potential for secondary problems is greater in people suffering from medical problems, such as diabetes or compromised immune systems.

A very small percent of people develop allergic reactions to fire ant venom. These vary in intensity, but in the most extreme cases even a few stings can result in the life-threatening condition known as anaphylaxis. Each year there are cases of human fatalities resulting from fire ant stings, either due to anaphylaxis or to massive numbers of stings occurring on people who are incapacitated. For more information, visit our Anaphylaxis web page.

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Flea bites are generally not poisonous. Some people never get bit by a flea. Other people are flea magnets and seem to attract every single flea within a 10-foot area. To avoid infection and possible skin damage, do not scratch flea bites. If the itching is unbearable, try an anti-itch lotion such as Calamine lotion.


We also offer a free certificate of completion. To receive the certificate you must pass a 50-question test with a score of 70 or higher. Check our Basic First Aid Certificate of Completion page for more information.

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