Insect Stings & Bites “How to help”

Insect Stings & Bites

Each region of the world has its own unique form of plants, animals and insects. For this portion lets focus on some basic insects that you can find in many regions of North America. “Remember” insects travel as weather changes in temperature, many new species of insects both toxic or otherwise may be in your region where they previously were not. Its always a good course of action to know what to look for.

Common insects types that may be harmful or fatal:

1) (Spider) Black Widow, Brown Recluse

2) Scorpions

3) Tick’s

4) Bee’s, Wasps, Yellow Jackets, Hornets

5) Caterpillars

What to watch for:

Many toxic species of insect come with a natural warning sign, bright colors, smells, or even posturing can be a significant sign from the insect to “STAY BACK“, its a good idea to keep yourself and your children up to date on local insects in case they do encounter them.


When you are in a wooded, grassy or abandoned area:

  • – Wear a long sleeved shirt and long pants
  • – Tuck your pant legs into your socks or boots and tuck your shirt into your pants. In areas with ticks, use a rubber band or tape the area where your pants meet your socks so that nothing can get underneath.
  • – wear light colored clothing to make it easier to see tiny insects or ticks.
  • – Avoid perfume as it may attract certain insects
  • – stay away from “underbrush” decomposed wood, wood piles or tall grass
  • – Check yourself carefully for insects or ticks after you get inside.
  • – If you have pets that go outdoors, spray them with repellent made for your type of pet. Check them for ticks and insects often because your pet can bring these into your home.
  • – If your allergic keep an “EpiPen” with you while outdoors.

If bitten What to look for:

– Pain, redness, or swelling at the site of the injury

– Insects at the site or nearby

– Intense burning, itching or color change of the skin with a puncture mark.

– The insect is lodged within your tissue “Tick / Leach

– Archery Target or “Bulls-eye” mark on your skin “Tick Bite

– The stinger is lodged within your tissue “Bee’s

– Allergic reaction

How to help with Insect Bites:

1) Check the area, once the area is safe, Check the person and ensure the persons ABC’s are present “Airway / Breathing / CirculationREMEMBERWear gloves if available to avoid bodily fluids or from being bitten.

2) Call 911 and get an AED if you are alone, you suspect a Head / Neck or Spine injury, there is a motor vehicle collision, the person is allergic or the injured persons life could be at risk. “911 will link you to the Animal Control Center if you do not have the number.

3) Care for the Insect Bite by:

Always follow recommendations by your Emergency Response professionals and 911 Dispatch personnel. “Never endanger yourself or the victim, you may “not” need to move or roll the injured person”

– If there are other life threatening injuries, treat those first as quickly as possible with as little movement to the injured person.


– Using a hard thin smooth object “Credit Card

– Holding the skin taught scrape towards the stinger using the card “light even pressure” until the stinger comes free.

– Watch for signs of allergic reaction

– Wash with soap and water and seek medical attention if the person feels ill, light headed, or the swelling begins to spread.


– If the tick hasn’t started to dig into the flesh, remove it by brushing it off the skin.

– If the tick has started to dig into the flesh, grasp the head of the tick with tweezers and pull it out gently not to crush the tick.

– If a rash or flu-like symptoms appear within a month after the tick bite, seek medical attention. “Lyme Disease” is a common disease for Tick’s to be infected with.

– Watch for signs of allergic reaction

– Wash with soap and water and seek medical attention if the person feels ill, light headed, or the swelling begins to spread.


– If you are bitten, attempt to photograph the spider using your cell phone, or “Don’t endanger yourself” place the specimen in a sealed container. Doctors may need to double check to see if its toxic.

– If the wound begins to burn, raise up and spread there may be a toxic exposure.

RECOVERY Position:

  • 1) Kneel Beside the victim and place the victims furthest arm from you above their head.
  • 2) Place the arm closest to you across the victims chest as a protector arm.
  • 3) The Key is in their Knee, bend the nearest leg up at the knee.
  • 4) Carefully slip your hand under the hollow of the victims neck to support the Head Neck & Spine, at the same time use your forearm by slipping it carefully under the shoulder for leverage.
  • 5) Place your free hand on the Key Knee and gently roll the victim away from you by applying steady pressure against the knee and shoulder at the same time. The victims head should rest on their raised arm.
  • 6) To secure the position pull the key knee further up and bring their protector arm out to use the elbow to stabilize the position.
  • 7) Check the Airway to make sure their still breathing.

We never know what can happen, its always good to be prepared and have the knowledge we need to help those who need it.

“This material is for information purposes only and is taken from The Canadian Red Cross / Alberta Heart & Stroke Foundation & Alberta Health Services. This information should not be used in place of medical, Technical advice, instructor, and/or treatment. If you have questions, speak to your local Physician or Safety Training Facility.”

Just Remember:

Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!

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