Most insects do not usually attack humans unless they are provoked. Many bites and stings are defensive. Insects sting to protect their hives or nests or when incidentally touched or disturbed (so hives and nests should not be disturbed or approached).
A sting or bite injects venom composed of proteins and other substances that may trigger an allergic reaction in the victim. The sting also causes redness and swelling at the site of the sting.
Bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, and fire ants are members of the Hymenoptera family. Bites or stings from these species may cause serious reactions in people who are allergic to them. Death from bee stings is 3 to 4 times more common than death from snake bites. Bees, wasps, and fire ants differ in how they inflict injury.
When a bee stings, it loses the entire injection apparatus (stinger) and actually dies in the process.
A wasp can inflict multiple stings because it does not lose its injection apparatus after it stings.
Fire ants inject their venom by using their mandibles (the biting parts of their jaw) and rotating their bodies. They may inject venom many times.
Puss caterpillars (Megalopyge opercularis or asp) have hollow "hairs" or spines (setae) that break when touched and the toxin is injected into the skin.
In contrast, bites from mosquitoes are not defensive; mosquitoes are looking to get blood for a meal.
Typically, most mosquitoes do not cause significant illnesses or allergic reactions unless they convey "vectors," or pathogenic microorganisms that actually live within the mosquitoes.
malaria is caused by an organism that spends part of its life cycle in a particular species of mosquitoes.
West Nile virus is another disease spread by a mosquito.
Various mosquitoes spread other viral diseases such as
Zika virus (suspected of causing microcephaly);
yellow fever to humans and other animals.
The best protection you can offer your family is a high-quality bug spray to avoid getting bitten altogether. Follow me on Pinterest to learn more about the great outdoors and how to keep your family safe while having fun!