Most insect bites cause only minor irritation, with symptoms like swelling at the site of the bite or itching or burning. You might also feel numbness or tingling.
If you’ve been bitten by a venomous spider, you may notice any of the following:
- Intense pain at the site of the wound
- Stiffness or joint pain
- Muscle spasms
- Abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting
- Fever or chills
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- A wound that spreads or turns into a sore (tissue around the wound might also die)
- Difficulty speaking
Insect stings and bites can cause severe allergic reactions. Doctors call this “anaphylaxis.” Rarely, a spider bite can cause an allergic reaction that doctors call “anaphylactic shock.” It can be fatal.
Call 911 if you have any of these symptoms:
- Rapid swelling of the lips, tongue, throat, or around the eyes
- Difficulty breathing
- Wheezing or hoarseness
- Severe itching, cramping, or numbness
- A reddish rash or hives
- Stomach cramps
- Loss of consciousness
If you experience any of these things and have epinephrine on hand, don’t hesitate to use it --even if you’re not sure your symptoms are caused by allergies. Using an auto-injector pen as a precaution won’t harm you.