NIOSH logo and tagline

Insects and Scorpions


Stinging or biting insects or scorpions can be hazardous to outdoor workers. Stinging or biting insects include bees, wasps, hornets, and fire ants.

The health effects of stinging or biting insects or scorpions range from mild discomfort or pain to a lethal reaction for those workers allergic to the insect’s venom. Anaphylactic shock is the body’s severe allergic reaction to a bite or sting and requires immediate emergency care. Thousands of people are stung by insects each year, and as many as 90–100 people in the United States die as a result of allergic reactions. This number may be underreported as deaths may be mistakenly diagnosed as heart attacks or sunstrokes or may be attributed to other causes.

It is important for employers to train their workers about their risk of exposure to insects and scorpions, how they can prevent and protect themselves from stings and bites, and what they should do if they are stung or bitten.

Insect Banner

Protecting Yourself from Stinging Insects: Print or order this free card for easy access to important safety information.