Single stings from a bee, wasp, or ant, while painful; seldom cause serious problems except for persons who have an allergy to the venom. Multiple insect stings can cause severe pain and widespread skin reaction. Stings around the face can cause serious envenomation and difficulty breathing even if the person is not known to be allergic.
It is important to remember that bee stings with the venom sac attached continue to inject venom into the skin, whilst a single wasp or ant may sting multiple times.
Ticks can inject a toxin that may cause local skin irritation or a mild allergic reaction, however most tick bites cause few or no symptoms.
In susceptible people tick bite or other bites/stings may cause a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis, which can be life threatening. This can also occur in victims with no previous exposure or apparent susceptibility.
Symptoms and signs may include:
Airway obstruction may result from swelling of the face and tongue due to anaphylaxis, or from insect stings in or around the mouth. This may occur immediately or over several hours and always requires urgent medical care.
Refer the victim to hospital if sting is to the face or tongue.