Poison Prevention: Bites and Stings

Bites and stings from animals that are common around New York may cause severe reactions. If you are ever bitten by a dog or cat, or by a wild animal, such as a rat or raccoon, call the NYC Poison Control Center — 212-POISONS (212-764-7667) — for treatment advice.

Check out more tips for avoiding or treating bites or stings:

  • Bees, Wasps, Hornets, Yellow Jackets and Ants. For stings from these insects, you should apply a cold compress at the site to stop discomfort. You should remove the stinger by scraping. If you try to remove a stinger by squeezing or pulling, you may release additional venom. If you experience an allergic reaction, go to a medical facility for treatment. If you know a child has an allergy, speak to your doctor about safety treatments that you can keep nearby.
  • Jellyfish. If you see a jellyfish in the ocean, avoid touching its tentacles. Stings range from mild to severe. They are often painful and may produce reactions. If you are stung, rinse with sea water and scrape off remaining tentacles.
  • Mosquitoes. To avoid mosquito bites, remove standing water outside your home, use insect repellent safely and wear protective clothing, especially during evening and dawn.
  • Snakes. Venomous snakes are found in the wild throughout New York State. Most bites occur between May and October. Call the NYC Poison Control Center for more information.
  • Spiders. If you get bit by a spider, call the NYC Poison Control Center for information.

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