How to Treat Stings and Bites At Home

could be a snake bite

First Aid Remedies for Bites and Stings

Because all bites and stings are not the same, there are varying first aid remedies for each bite and sting. One of the factors that are considered before first aid is administered to a bite or sting victim is the clear identification of the creature that bit or stung you.

Some bites are quite not too dangerous and may not require medical attention. They might only leave you with red bumps or even hives on your skin. However, on the other hand, there are some bites and stings that should not be overlooked as they are dangerous and could cost your life or cause damning damage to your body or even organs.

This article elaborates on how to identify and treat bites and sting symptoms from insects, snakes, and spiders.


Mosquitoes, flies, bees, ants, wasp, bug, and so on are classified as insects. At some point or the other, you must have been bitten by an insect. No matter how tiny you think an insect bite is, there is usually a reaction, especially on the skin like;

  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Redness

The seriousness of symptoms depends on various factors, which include; the type of insect that bit or stung you and your allergic tendencies from insect bites. Some people react terribly to certain insect bites. The most common insect bites that spur severe allergic reactions in people include bees and wasp. Some of the following are the symptoms of allergic reactions from insect bites;

  • Nausea
  • Hives
  • Swollen face
  • Shock
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abdominal cramps

If you ever discern any of these signs after an insect bite, try to identify what insect bit you and call for urgent medical intervention. Some allergic reactions are severe enough to threaten your life. Thus, it is important to seek medical attention if you notice any allergic reaction after an insect bite.

First Aid

If, after an insect bite, you notice an allergic reaction, before rushing to the hospital, some first aid treatments have been identified to help relieve symptoms and buy more time for you until you are able to get medical help. Also, if no allergic reaction occurs after an insect bite but mild physical symptoms occur, then follow the following first aid steps to help reduce the inflammation and pain associated with the bite.

  • If you notice that the insect’s stinger is still inside your skin, try scraping or scratching the surface or area of the bite or sting to get it out. Do not use tweezers to get the stinger out, as in the process, more venom may be released from the stinger into your skin and worsen your condition.
  • Then, proceed to wash the bite or sting area with running water and soap
  • For about 10 minutes, place a cold compress on the bite or sting area to reduce skin inflammation, as well as reduce swelling and pain. You can make a cold compress from an ice pack, wrapped in a clean cloth
  • Make a mixture of baking soda and water, and apply it to the area of the bite. Or better still, buy calamine lotion and apply it to the surface of the bite. This would help reduce the itching and swelling

When A Severe Allergic Reaction Occurs from Insect Bites…

When this occurs, do the following;

  • Call an ambulance if you can
  • If you have an epinephrine auto-injector, try to use it as directed on the label,
  • try to be calm and stay still, elevate your legs with your back on the ground. Turn to the side only when you feel like vomiting in order to prevent choking from the vomit. Do these until medical help arrives.
  • In addition, CPR should be administered if the victim is becoming unconscious. Continue with this until medical help comes.
  • While treating both the mild symptoms of insect bites and the severe allergic reactions of insect bites, try not to use a tourniquet, and do not swallow, eat or drink anything until everything is over.


Not all snakes are venomous. In other words, not all snake bites are harmful. Some snake bites are extremely deadly, as they are poisonous. Some poisonous snakes include;

  • Coral
  • Copperhead
  • Cottonmouth
  • Rattlesnake

The symptoms that appear from snake bites vary and depend largely on the kind of snake that bites you. Some of the most common symptoms of snake bites include;

  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Convulsion
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Poor muscle coordination
  • Diarrhea
  • Swollen bite site
  • Rapid pulse

Every poisonous snake bite requires urgent medical intervention, as they are all emergency cases. Snake bites should not be treated at home. Only first aid for bites can be done at home, and while first aid is ongoing, medical help is being reached out for. Early treatment of snake bites will definitely reduce or relieve symptoms and encourage a speedy recovery.

First Aid

first aid tipsIf you notice you or someone has been bitten by a snake, and you suspect the snake to be poisonous, the first step to take is to call for medical help and also try to take down or note some of the features of the snake, like its color, its size, its sound if there was any and so on, as this can help the doctor identify what kind of treatment or drug is suitable for treating them.

If you are able to successfully identify the snake as non-poisonous, just proceed to stop the bleeding and treat the area of the bite. The first aid treatment for snake bites include;

  • Apply pressure on the bite area until you notice that the bleeding has stopped
  • Wash the bite area thoroughly with running water and soap
  • Try to cover up the wound with a clean cloth or with a bandage in order to protect the wound from infections.
  • If by chance the bleeding is severe, get urgent medical help while adding pressure to the wound with layers and layers of cloth until medical help arrives.

Emergency Medical Intervention for Poisonous Snake Bites

If you or someone has been bitten by a snake that you have been able to identify as poisonous, do the following;

Try to calm the victim down and encourage them to stay still, as constant body movements could cause the venom to spread fast within the body.

Remove every tight clothing or jewelry from around the area of the bite

Try to keep the victim warm by giving them thick blankets, if you notice they are beginning to get dizzy, weak, develop shortness of breath, or rapid heart rate

Do Not Do These;

  • Risk your life by trying to catch the snake
  • Apply a cold compress to the area of the bite
  • Try to raise the area of the bite above the heart
  • Wash the area of the bit since residual venom can help Doctors identify the kind of snake that bit the person
  • Endeavor to suck out the venom with your mouth, as you might accidentally swallow the venom yourself
  • Cut the area of the bite
  • Give the person water or anything liquid, even if the person asks
  • Administer any pain killer


Some spider bites, just like some snake bites, are harmless. However, there are other species of spiders that are highly and extremely deadly. Some of the mild symptoms of non-venomous spiders include

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Pain
  • Swelling

Venomous spiders like black widow or brown recluse spider can cause more severe symptoms, as the former could tamper with your nervous system, while the latter could cause severe damages to your skin.

First Aid Remedy for Non-Venomous Spider

  • Wash the area of the bite with running water and soaphygiene
  • Place a cold compress on the area of the bite
  • Administer a blend of baking soda and water to the bite area. Or better still, use calamine lotion.

For Emergency Conditions of Black Widow and Brown Recluse Spider Bites

  • Reach out for urgent medical help, as it is an emergency case
  • Clean the bite area cautiously with soap and water
  • Encourage the victim to remain calm until medical help arrives
  • Apply cold compress
  • Try to identify the kind of spider that bit the victim. If possible, take pictures.
  • Do not make use of a tourniquet, and avoid giving the victim anything to eat or drink.

In conclusion, mild symptoms can result from bites and stings, so also severe allergic reactions. For both cases, administering basic first aid treatment for both cases is a good first step.