Insect, Spider, Tick & Snake Bites


Most people who are stung or bitten by an insect, snake or fish will have redness, itching, swelling, and some pain around the site. Some people are allergic to stings and bites and may experience hives, rash, itching palms and feet, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing. If you are stung and have any of these reactions, go to the nearest hospital or doctor right away.

Following is a list of the most common insects, spiders, snakes and fish that can cause poisoning:

  1. Insects
    1. Bees
    2. Fire Ants
    3. Hornets
    4. Saddleback Caterpillars
    5. Scorpions
    6. Ticks
    7. Wasps
    8. Yellow Jackets
  2. Spiders
    1. Black Widows
    2. Brown Recluses
  3. Snakes
    1. Copperhead
    2. Coral Snake
    3. Cottonmouth/Water Moccasin
    4. Eastern Diamond Back Rattle
    5. Pygmy Rattle Snake
    6. Timber Rattle Snake
  4. Fish
    1. Catfish
    2. Jellyfish/Portuguese Man-of-War
    3. Stingrays

Tips to Prevent Poisoning from Stings and Bites of Insects, Spiders, Snakes and Fish

  • When camping, picnicking or engaging in other outdoor activities, wear long pants, long sleeves, gloves, and shoes; avoid walking in tall brush and shrubs.
  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET to your clothing and sparingly to your skin; always read the label before using.
  • Before dressing, shake out clothing, shoes, and hats that have not been worn for a while.
  • Get rid of clutter in basements, closets, attics, and garages.
  • Dust and vacuum around windows, corners of rooms, under furniture, and in storage areas regularly.
  • Wear light-colored clothing outdoors to help spot ticks; wear long sleeves and pants tucked into your socks or boots.
  • After being outdoors, check your body and hair for ticks.
  • Protect pets by using flea or tick sprays and collars.
  • Wear shoes and heavy pants when walking and hiking in areas where snakes are likely to be found.
  • Do not reach into rocky cracks, under logs, or large rocks.
  • Do not touch a snake, even if a snake looks dead. A snake can still bite up to one hour after its death.
  • Do not tease a snake.
  • Avoid jellyfish at all times, even if they are washed ashore.
  • When swimming in the ocean, splash around when you first go into the water; this will scare stingrays away.