General Question

Bellatrix's avatar

Are you, or is someone close to you, allergic to insect bites or stings?

Asked by Bellatrix (21146 points ) January 27th, 2012

I went to Tasmania a few years ago and found out about an ant called the Jack Jumper ant. Apparently, 2 to 3 percent of people have an allergic reaction to the sting of the Jack Jumper ant and half of those will suffer anaphylaxis.

I had never heard of this ant. I had heard of people being allergic to bee and wasp stings but I had never heard of this particular ant. It is common in South Australia and Tasmania. We have lots of poisonous insects/animals in Australia so I am not surprised by this, just curious about other insects that might cause similar reactions.

So, what insects are you (or a friend or family member) allergic to and to what level? What sort of insects do you have in your local region that can cause such reactions and what sort of reactions do they cause?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

22 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

I have suffered from black fly bites; they itched for weeks and remain red and raised. But I am not officially allergic, just sensitive.

trailsillustrated's avatar

Bees. Funnily enough, I was bitten by a brown snake as a kid, sunning myself next to the woodpile. The treatment team said I could have reactions to things later in life, and I did. Bees and peanuts.

gailcalled's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe: Hiking up Mt. Jo on a nice late June day; they are there in swarms.

The back of our camp bordered thousands of acres of forever-wild. The flies were fierce until late July.

Coloma's avatar

I was attacked by a bunch of angry red ants as a tiny kid, I was about 4 years old, and I was playing near the ant mound, I had dozens of bites/stings, and had to go to the ER but I was fine. I just remember looking down and being covered in big red ants and screaming and crying. lol
My daughters boyfriend has a bad reaction to mosquitos.

Bugs aren’t an issue for me, but I have been bitten by lots of things with big teeth & beaks.
Parrots, geese, rats, squirrels, dogs, cats, horses and once a rooster ninja kicked me in the forehead and left a knot that lasted for an entire year! His name was “Ugly Ernie” and he was this hideous little gray silky rooster that was evil incarnate, he could jump like 5 feet in the air and drop kick you in the head. haha

Ponderer983's avatar

I’m allergic to spider bites. I’ve never gone into anaphylaxis shock or anything, but they blow up real big and get hard and red. I used to get them as a kid when my family would go to this one camping place.

marinelife's avatar

I am allergic to bee stings. As that allergy has worsened through the years (each time I have been stung), i have also become allergic to mosquito bites.

KateTheGreat's avatar

I’m severely allergic to fire ant bites. One bite and I’m swollen for days.

Sunny2's avatar

Mosquitoes and spiders cause me red inflamed bites. I do what I can to avoid them, like wear long sleeved clothes in the evening and insect repellent when I know I’ll be around them. I also take a painkiller like aspirin or Tylenol, because itching is a low grade pain. It stops the itch a bit.

JaneraSolomon's avatar

I’ve had friends who had baseball-sized welts from black fly bites. I wasn’t really bothered by them at all, just a moment’s irritation.

augustlan's avatar

Mosquitoes cause huge red bumps/lumps to appear on one of my daughters, lasting for days. The poor girl is allergic to nearly everything (except foods), and is a magnet for mosquitoes.

downtide's avatar

My mother is allergic to wasp stings. I’ve not inherited the allergy, thank goodness.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Me.

Fire ants. A scourge in the southeastern US.

Stinley's avatar

I get severe local reactions (that’s the official terminology, what I’ve looked up on tinternet). They happen with wasp stings and mosquito bites. The area swells up, getting red with a white hard central patch around the sting site. Very painful and lasts for a couple of weeks.

I’m feeling a bit pedantic so will just say that the official medical definition of allergy include whole body involvement, systemic and not just a local area, even if it is half an arm like me!

augustlan's avatar

@Stinley Yeah, that’s what my daughter gets with bites. All her other allergies are actual allergies.

samantha360's avatar

I’m allergic to bees. I blow up like a balloon wherever I’m bit.

Bellatrix's avatar

Thank you everyone for your answers to this question. I have something of an allergy to mozzie bites. We now have fire ants here too @KateTheGreat and @elbanditoroso. We are trying to eradicate them and while I believe they are doing pretty well, they are still here.

I have heard reactions can get worse the more you are stung @marinelife. Do you carry an epi-pen with you? Thank you for the definition @Stinley and I have never heard of reactions to black flies. I wonder if these are like our March or Horse flies? Nasty things.

Anyway, thank you all for your answers.

gailcalled's avatar

Black flies…teeth with wings. I had to wear a netting suit for several weeks every summer when I owned a camp in Lake Placid.

They are, for the moment, indigenous to the Adirondack mountains in N. New York State.

The size of a pepper fleck, “the the tiny black fly obtains its blood meal by tearing through the skin with razor-sharp teeth, like a bulldozer opening a strip mine.

Then, with its spongelike mouth, the black fly drinks up a pool of blood. Its saliva, which acts as an anticoagulant, leaves a rivulet of blood flowing long after the bug has gorged and flown.

A cloud of black flies can leave a victim with oozing, poxlike welts that take weeks to subside.

“You can’t get from your car to the building without being surrounded by hundreds of them,” said Linda Russell, who works at the Elk Lake Lodge, an expensive mountain inn that closes for three weeks rather than subject its guests to the torture.”

“Source”: the tiny black fly obtains its blood meal by tearing through the skin with razor-sharp teeth, like a bulldozer opening a strip mine.

Then, with its spongelike mouth, the black fly drinks up a pool of blood. Its saliva, which acts as an anticoagulant, leaves a rivulet of blood flowing long after the bug has gorged and flown.

A cloud of black flies can leave a victim with oozing, poxlike welts that take weeks to subside.

“You can’t get from your car to the building without being surrounded by hundreds of them,” said Linda Russell, who works at the Elk Lake Lodge, an expensive mountain inn that closes for three weeks rather than subject its guests to the torture.

Source More gory details for those who are interested.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@gailcalled On the plus side (?) they are a sign of very clean water. They can’t handle any pollution. (miserable little bastards)

Bellatrix's avatar

@gailcalled…they sound like something from a Stephen King book. No, those things are not like our March or Horse flies. Ours sound tame in comparison.

gailcalled's avatar

@Bellatrix: One of the problems is that they are very small and very fast and travel in large herds. There is no swatting or smacking an individual one.

This is the only solution for those of us who seem to be black fly magnets. It is a charming and alluring look, when accompanied by eau de bug repellent.

Sorry for the repetition in my answer.

The worst experience is to find several black flies trapped inside the netting with you. They head for mouths, nostrils and ears and can hide in thick hair for several hours. So you go inside, remove the net jacket and hat and…wham. A fly emerges from somewhere and bites you.

KaiHallarn111's avatar

Not that I am aware of.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther