Arthropod bites and stings

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Arthropod bites and stings
SpecialtyEmergency medicine

Many species of arthropods (insects, arachnids and others) regularly or occasionally bite or sting human beings. Insect saliva contains anticoagulants and enzymes that cause local irritation and allergic reactions.[1] Insect venoms can be delivered by their stingers, which often are modified ovipositors, or by their mouthparts. Insect, spider and scorpion venom can cause serious injury or death. Dipterans account for the majority of insect bites, while hymenopterans account for the majority of stings. Among arachnids spider bites and mite bites are the most common. Arthropods bite or sting humans for a number of reasons including feeding or defense. Arthropods are major vectors of human disease, with the pathogens typically transmitted by bites and rarely by stings or other contact. Another common negative effect is interference with military activity.[2]


Diptera (True flies)


Siphonaptera (Fleas)

Phthiraptera (Lice)

Other insects





  • All species sting



  1. ^ Atkins, Michael D. (1978). Insects in Perspective. Prentice Hall. p. 359. ISBN 978-0-02-304500-4.
  2. ^ Mehr, ZA; Rutledge, LC; Echano, NM; Gupta, RK (1997). "U.S. Army soldiers' perceptions of arthropod pests and their effects on military missions". Military Medicine. 162 (12): 804–7. ISSN 0026-4075. PMID 9433086.

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