Bug Bites and Stings: What Should You Do?

08/05/21 By Megan Malke

You’re outside, you’re swatting, but your body heat and the carbon dioxide in your breath lures mosquitoes, gnats, and other biting critters toward you.

An insect lands and starts probing for a thin-skinned area, ideally one close to a blood vessel, then it happens. You may or may not feel it right away, but you’ve been bitten. Your body starts to react to the bug’s saliva by rushing lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, to the site to kill it off. The process causes itching and swelling. What do you do next?

Do not scratch the itch.

When an insect stings or bites a human, it injects venom or other substances that can cause pain, swelling, itching, rashes, and a host of other unpleasant symptoms.

Scratching mosquito bites may make the itching worse. Rather than relieving the itching, scratching an already inflamed area increases inflammation, causing the area to itch more. 

Moreover, scratching may increase the risk of infection if it breaks the skin, allowing bacteria from the surface of your skin and under your fingernails to get into your body. That can lead to a bacterial infection.

If you can’t resist the urge, try to get temporary relief using various OTC products.

Itch Relief Spray

Safetec’s Itch Relief Spray provides temporary relief from pain and itching associated with minor skin irritations due to poison ivy, poison oak, and insect bites. Safetec’s Itch Relief Spray is formulated using diphenhydramine, an antihistamine. It works by blocking the action of histamine, a substance in the body that causes allergic symptoms, i.e., itching. Safetec’s Itch Relief Spray is available in our “no-touch” 2 oz. spray bottle, convenient for first aid kits, schools, bags, backpacks, camping, hiking, and more. 

Hydrocortisone Cream

Hydrocortisone Cream (1%) temporarily relieves itching associated with minor skin irritations, inflammation, or rashes due to eczema, poison ivy, dermatitis, and, yes, insect bites. Hydrocortisone is a steroid (corticosteroid) medicine. It works by calming down your body’s immune response to reduce pain, itching, and swelling (inflammation).  

Safetec Hydrocortisone Cream (1%) is available in a 1oz multi-use tube or single-use 0.9-gram pouches (144 ct box or bulk). 

Sting Relief 

Sting Relief is used for temporary relief from pain and itching caused by insect stings and bites. Safetec’s Sting Relief Spray contains Lidocaine for fast-acting pain relief. Lidocaine is a local anesthetic, which numbs the area where you’ve used it. It works by stopping nerves from sending pain signals to your brain. Choose from individually wrapped towelettes or the “no-touch” spray applicator. If you can stop the urge to itch, you can reduce your chance of a secondary infection.


Having a quick remedy on hand when you, your employees, or students suddenly realize there’s been a bite or sting is no small thing. And, whether your preference is an itch relief spray, sting relief spray or towelette, and/or cream like hydrocortisone to relieve the itchiness and swelling, it’s good to know you have options that work.

Safetec of America, Inc.

Located in Buffalo, NY, Safetec of America is a U.S. infection control, first aid & OTC manufacturer dedicated to delivering high-quality products manufactured in our FDA-regulated facilities. 

With over 20 years of experience as a full-service, private label manufacturer, Safetec has developed a team of highly qualified in-house experts to work directly with our customers, ensuring the best products for their brands. All of Safetec’s first aid products are available to private label and are designed to ensure you are in complete compliance with OTC monograph requirements. Learn more about Safetec’s Private Label capabilities.