The most common causes of severe bite and sting allergy in Australia are:
Bee sting (honey bee and native Australian bees)
Wasp sting (paper wasp and European wasp)
Ant sting (jack jumper, green-head, bulldog ants)
Other insects such as ticks, caterpillars, March flies and even bedbugs can trigger anaphylaxis but are less common.
Individuals can have a range of allergic reactions to stings bites but not all are serious.
Those at greatest risk of serious allergic reactions to insect stings are those who have experienced symptoms involving the heart and blood vessels and/or symptoms involving breathing difficulty following a sting previously. Adults are at greater risk of anaphylactic reactions from insect stings than children. Any child or adult who has experienced a reaction away from the actual site of the sting e.g. hives all over the body should be referred to an allergy specialist for investigation.
For more information including information on management, click on the links below:
Insect allergy (bites and stings)
Content updated January 2017