Insect and Spider Bites

Most insect and spider bites heal without complications. In most cases the employee may apply first aid and does not need to be further evaluated.


May include localized pain, itching, and/or swelling. Signs of an allergic reaction include generalized itching of the skin, hives, chest tightness, shortness of breath, wheezing, difficulty swallowing, and in anaphylactic reactions shock and respiratory/cardiac arrest. Signs of an infected bite include drainage, an abscess, increased swelling, redness, heat and red streaks at the site, fevers, chills, and enlarged (swollen) lymph nodes.


Although uncomfortable, most bites and stings are benign and heal without complications. For bee stings remove the stinger and make a paste out of baking soda and water; apply the paste immediately to the area. For bites apply ice to the area. If the employee has no allergies or medical problems associated with taking Advil or Tylenol, he/she may take one of these over the counter agents as directed. Employees who have an allergic reaction to the bite, develop an infection at the bite area, or have systemic symptoms such as abdominal pain need to be evaluated. If the employee is bitten at work and needs treatment, he/she will be treated at Employee Health Services or if after hours, Urgent Care. If the employee is not bitten at work, he/she needs to contact his/her personal physician. Employees with severe reactions such as shortness of breath need to be seen in the Emergency Department. (If the employee is not bitten or stung at work, he/she needs to contact his/her personal health care plan regarding getting authorization to go to an Emergency Department).

Work status

In most cases the employee may work without restrictions. If the bite or sting did not occur at work, the employee's personal physician is responsible for determining what restrictions, if any, the employee needs. If occupational, the treater in employee health services or Urgent Care Mercy Medical Group will make this determination. Developed by Employee Health Services.