Insect Allergies

It’s common to experience pain, redness, itching, and some swelling around the area of an insect bite.

However, if you notice these symptoms spreading to other parts of your body, find it difficult to breathe, experience swelling in your tongue or throat, feel abdominal pain, or have an anaphylactic reaction after being stung or bitten, you could be allergic to insect venom.

In such cases, it’s crucial to consult a medical professional and schedule an appointment with an allergist, as subsequent insect bites or stings can lead to severe reactions.

At Juniper Allergy in San Antonio, we specialize in providing individualized medical care to both adults and children suffering from allergies.

Symptoms of Insect Allergy

Angioedema can arise due to various triggers, such as allergies, pre-existing medical conditions, or medications. Commonly observed causes of Angioedema include:

A reaction to allergens

Individuals may experience varying severity when reacting to insect stings or bites. Mild symptoms of a normal reaction may include localised pain, swelling, redness, or itching limited to the sting or bite site. 

However, some may experience a more severe and potentially life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis. Those with an insect venom allergy may experience typical symptoms.

  • Inflammation at the sting site (primarily itching, hives, and swelling)
  • Chest tightness, wheezing, or coughing
  • Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • A sensation of tingling or itching in the mouth or lips
  • Symptoms of anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that poses a grave threat to life. It demands prompt and urgent medical attention, as the symptoms can emerge suddenly and worsen rapidly. 

The symptoms manifest in various ways and encompass:

  • Blood pressure drops dramatically
  • Heartbeat that is rapid and weak
  • Swelling of the throat and tongue
  • Breathing and swallowing difficulties
  • An unpleasant hoarseness
  • Swelling, hives, and/or itching
  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • Cardiac arrest 

It is crucial to seek prompt medical attention even after successfully administering an epinephrine injection and experiencing improvement in symptoms.

While the injection may provide temporary relief, it is essential to receive professional medical care to ensure proper management and monitoring of the allergic reaction. 

Delaying medical attention can increase the risk of a recurrence or potentially life-threatening complications. Therefore, individuals should seek medical assistance immediately, even if they feel better after the initial injection.


Allergies occur when the immune system responds excessively to foreign substances that are not necessarily harmful. When exposed to an allergen for the first time, the immune system generates immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies specific to that substance. 

Subsequent exposure to the allergen causes the IgE antibodies to produce various chemicals that provoke inflammation. 

While insect venom is intrinsically harmful to humans and can lead to local reactions around the site of a sting or bite, people with insect allergies may experience an excessive immune response that affects other body parts, including the skin, airways, and digestive system.

Insect sting allergies tend to cause more severe reactions than insect bite allergies, and certain species cause most stinging insect allergies.

  • Honeybees and bumblebees
  • Hornets
  • Wasps
  • Yellow-jackets
  • Mainly fire ants, but other ants as well

Among the most common biting insects that cause allergies are:

  • Mosquitos

Diagnosis and Treatment of an Insect Allergy

When seeking medical attention for possible insect allergies, you must provide your physician with a detailed history of any previous stings, including the number of stings in one episode, the onset and duration of symptoms, and whether emergency treatment was received.

While testing for insect allergies may not always be necessary, blood or skin testing can help identify the source of allergic symptoms when the cause is unknown.

For mild allergic reactions, over-the-counter treatments and home remedies may be sufficient. However, if you experience severe insect allergy symptoms, seeking immediate medical attention from an experienced allergy specialist is vital.

By taking appropriate precautions and working closely with your physician, you can manage insect allergies and reduce the risk of serious complications.

At Juniper Allergy, our expert possesses an in-depth understanding, training, and expertise in detecting and managing insect allergies.

In the event of detecting an insect venom allergy, our allergist will provide you with an emergency treatment plan and prescribe self-injectable epinephrine to be used in emergency situations following an insect bite/sting.

Our doctor will also propose medication plans and determine whether vespid immunotherapy suits you.

Similar to immunotherapy for environmental allergies, vespid immunotherapy entails delivering small doses of the allergen that triggers your allergic symptoms.

This process will help your immune system develop tolerance to the allergen over time.

Contact Us

Our medical professional is available to provide insightful answers to any concerns you may have regarding your individual requirements. To initiate a constructive discussion, please contact us by phone or email to arrange a consultation with our doctor.
Author: Dr. Amanda Trott, MD
NPI number: 1568653756
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