Insecticide Allergy – Relevant Information on Bees, Wasps & Co.

Especially in the warm summer months insects fly, crawl and crawl around almost everywhere. This can be a real danger for allergy sufferers.

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What is an insecticide allergy?

Insect venoms are injection allergens. This means that the allergens enter our body via the bloodstream after the animals have been bitten. Mere contact with the animals can be unpleasant, but does not usually trigger physical reactions. Even if you are not allergic to an insect venom, insect bites cause reddened and swollen skin, usually about two centimetres in diameter. These symptoms are caused by the poison, not by the allergens in the poison.

If you have an allergic reaction to the poison, the symptoms appear immediately, i.e. about 5-10 minutes after the bite. This is therefore called an immediate type allergy.

Common symptoms

Typical symptoms of an insect venom allergy can be distinguished from a "normal" sting reaction by the following physical signs, depending on their severity:

  • Itching
  • Spreading Redness
  • Swelling of the neck and/or face
  • Drowsiness, dizziness and weakness
  • Speech difficulties (heavy tongue)
  • (Swelling-related) swallowing difficulties
  • Vomiting, abdominal cramps
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tachycardia
  • Unconsciousness
  • Shock conditions

If such or similar complaints occur in you or a person in your environment, call an (emergency) doctor immediately!

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Tip: To better observe whether the skin irritation at the injection site calms down or increases atypically, the redness can be framed with a waterproof pen.

Which insects are dangerous and how can a bite be prevented?

Bee and wasp stings pose the greatest risk, as they are very common. Although the venom of bumblebees and hornets can cause allergic reactions in equal measure, we have relatively little contact with them. Basically bees, bumblebees & hornets are benign and sometimes useful animals that only sting when they feel threatened in some way. However, wasps can become extremely aggressive and are therefore the most common cause of allergic reactions among insects.

8 basic tips to prevent insect bites:

  • Use of insect spray
  • No sudden movements
  • Dispose of fruit residues (seeds, etc.) in the rubbish, not in the meadow
  • Wearing (closed) shoes in meadows
  • Pack sweet, sugary foods well when having an outdoor picnic
  • Never leave beverage cans (or other containers that cannot be seen) open (risk of stinging in the mouth)

Diagnosis and therapy

Because of the often severe allergic reactions after an insect bite, many people who are allergic to insect venom cannot remember the insect in question afterwards. Therefore, the medical history is often not meaningful. With the help of modern diagnostic procedures, however, a clear assignment (whether a bee or wasp venom allergy is present) can be made at the hospital or allergy outpatient clinic.

If there is an allergy to insect venom, an emergency kit (e.g. an adrenalin auto-injector, painkillers or antihistamine drops) should always be carried along. Your prescribing doctor will inform you about the contents and administration. Furthermore, it is also possible to have specific immunotherapy carried out against bee or wasp venom. The chances of success are very good if the triggering poison has been identified beforehand.

Note: Please note that igevia does not determine test results for insect venoms. Therefore, please consult an appropriate outpatient clinic or hospital or a specialist to clarify any insect venom allergy.


This article has been reviewed by unserem Medical-Team for accuracy of content.

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