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Insect Sting Skin & Pet Allergy Test

This panel measures the level of antibodies your immune system produces in response to specific tree pollen, weed, grass, and common indoor allergens.

Collection method

Typically blood (venipuncture)

Test preparation



Ages 18+ only; Could vary by provider

Turnaround time

Typically 48-72 hours

Book a insect sting skin & pet allergy test near you

Animal and Insect Allergy Testing

Animals and insects are common sources of allergens that can lead to allergy symptoms including itching, sneezing, and asthma attacks. If you have allergies and aren’t entirely sure what’s causing your symptoms, an animal and insect allergy test may help you identify the source.

What are the symptoms of animal and insect allergy?

Animal and insect allergy symptoms vary from mild to severe and usually occur shortly after exposure, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Common symptoms of animal and insect-related allergies include:

  • Skin rash or hives
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Anaphylaxis—a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction that can cause shock and difficulty breathing

What does animal and insect allergy testing consist of?

Animal and insect allergy testing consists of an allergist assessing your medical history, in addition to allergy testing techniques such as:

  • Skin testing
  • Blood testing

Types of animal and insect allergy tests

Two main types of diagnostic tests for allergies are related to pet dander and insect bites: skin tests and blood tests, according to UC San Diego Health. They also add that skin tests are the most common allergy tests for animal and insect allergy testing.

Animal and insect allergy skin tests

An animal and insect allergy skin test determines whether you have immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to allergies such as animal dander and insect venom. IgE antibodies are produced by your immune system when it overreacts to a particular allergen. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), these antibodies are what trigger an allergic reaction.

Animal and insect allergy blood tests

There are two different blood tests for allergies, according to the NLM: a total IgE test and a specific IgE test. According to the NLM, a total IgE test measures the total amount of IgE antibodies in your blood, and a specific IgE test measures the amount of IgE your body makes in response to a single allergen, such as honeybee venom.

The NLM adds that a separate test is performed for each allergen your provider thinks may be causing your allergies. A blood allergy test is usually done when a skin test cannot be done, such as if you have a skin condition that prevents testing.

Who should get an animal and insect allergy test?

Animal and insect allergy tests are ideal for anyone who is suffering from allergies and isn’t sure what’s causing them. According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), common allergy symptoms include:

  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Hives

You should also consider having animal and insect allergy tests if you meet risk factors for allergies. Risk factors for allergies, according to the NLM, include:

  • Family history of allergies
  • Genetics
  • Race—Black people are generally at higher risk for allergies
  • Gender—Allergies are more common in males than in females
  • Age—Children tend to be highly sensitive to allergens
  • Exposure to pollution
  • Passive smoking
  • A previous infection, particularly a viral infection
  • Poor eating behaviors, such as eating right before bedtime
  • Poor nutrition

Your doctor can talk to you more about whether or not you need an animal and insect allergy test based on your family history and symptoms.

How to get an animal and insect allergy test

Your doctor may order an animal and insect allergy test if you have symptoms of allergies—or you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic conditions (known as an allergist), or to a healthcare facility that offers allergy testing services.

At-home allergy tests are an option if you want to know whether you are allergic to animals and insects without visiting a lab or doctor’s office. These tests can be purchased from pharmacies and online retailers and provide detailed instructions about how to perform the test safely and send it to a lab for evaluation. It is important to note that the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) recommends medical-grade testing if you are experiencing bothersome symptoms.

Another way to get an animal and insect allergy test is to use Solv to locate nearby testing providers. Solv features a directory of all top-rated testing providers—including those that do allergy testing. You can also book an appointment directly from the Solv website.

What to expect during animal and insect allergy testing

During a skin test, your provider will apply a small amount of pet dander or insect venom to your skin, then prick the area to see if you experience an allergic reaction to these substances. If a raised, reddish spot forms on your skin within 15 to 20 minutes, you may be diagnosed with an allergy, according to the AAAAI.

If the skin prick test is negative or inconclusive, your provider may perform an intradermal skin test. During an intradermal skin test, a small amount of the allergen, such as bee venom, is injected under your skin. Then, the injection site is watched closely for about 15 minutes for an allergic reaction. The AAAAI says the intradermal skin test is usually more accurate than other allergy tests at detecting the presence of IgE antibodies.

If both of the skin allergy tests are negative, your provider may recommend doing an allergy blood test. During a blood allergy test, your provider will draw a small sample of blood from a vein in your arm or hand like any other blood test, according to the NLM. Then, your blood sample is sent to the lab, where it is tested for the presence of IgE antibodies to animals and insect venom.

How to prepare for an animal and insect allergy test

For an animal and insect allergy skin test, the ACAAI suggests telling your provider about all prescription medications and over-the-counter medicines you are taking. The ACAAI also recommends against taking antihistamines for three to seven days before your allergy test, as these may also interfere with your test results.

Other things to avoid before your skin test, according to UMMC Health Care, include the following:

  • Tricyclic antidepressant medication, for one week before your appointment
  • Beta-blocker medication
  • Cologne, hairspray, and scented body lotion, on the day of your appointment
  • Any products that contain antihistamines, such as antacid and antihistamine combination medicines

Understanding your animal and insect allergy test results

Results from skin allergy tests are usually available within 15 to 20 minutes, reports the ACAAI. Your provider can discuss your results during your appointment. Results from blood allergy tests are usually available after several days, as it requires your provider to send your sample to the lab for evaluation.

Finding an animal or insect allergy test

You can get most allergy testing from a healthcare provider at a walk-in clinic or an urgent care center, but you should call in advance to assess their capabilities. Your primary care provider may refer you to an allergist, a doctor specializing in allergic disorders, when you do not respond well to treatment or if a more accurate diagnosis is necessary for management.

Solv can help you get an appointment with an allergist.

Can I get an at-home allergy test?

There are some at-home allergy testing kits available for purchase, however, many of these at-home tests may not test for specific animals and insects. It is best to see a medical provider if you suspect an animal or insect allergy, according to the ACAAI.

Cost of animal and insect allergy testing

The cost of animal and insect allergy testing in the USA can vary widely depending on the type of test, the location, the provider, and insurance coverage. According to the Healthcare Bluebook, a website that provides estimates of fair prices for healthcare services, the price range for animal and insect allergy testing ranges from a couple of hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.

Which animals and insects commonly cause an allergic reaction?

Cats, dogs, guinea pigs, horses, and birds are the animals most likely to cause allergies, reports the NLM. Insects that are known to cause allergies include bees, hornets, wasps, mosquitoes, fleas, cockroaches, and dust mites, adds the AAAAI. Fire ants, kissing bugs, and the lone star tick may also trigger allergies.

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Animal & Insect Allergy Testing FAQs

Find answers to the most commonly asked questions about lab tests.

Skin prick allergy testing and blood testing for allergies have the highest degree of accuracy, with a sensitivity and specificity of around 90-95%, according to the ACAAI.
Animal and insect allergy testing is primarily intended for people who are experiencing allergy symptoms such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, and coughing according to the ACAAI. They also note that you should also get this test if your symptoms are reducing your quality of life or interfering with your daily activities.
All allergens, including those produced by animals and insects, produce the same set of symptoms. If you are allergic to an animal or insect venom, you may experience shortness of breath, itching, and vomiting, according to the AAAAI.
There are very few risks associated with having an allergy blood test, according to the NLM. They add that you may have slight pain or bruising at the site where skin prick or skin scratching occurs during the test. The most common side effects of a skin test are itching and swelling, reports the ACAAI. It is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of animal and insect allergy testing with a healthcare provider and follow their guidance to minimize the risk of complications.
Skin testing can give you the fastest results—usually on the same day as testing, according to the AAAAI. Blood tests may take days to weeks for results.
If your test shows that you have allergies, your doctor will work with you to create a plan that helps you manage your allergies, says the AAAAI. This may involve reducing your exposure to the allergen or taking medication that reduces your symptoms. This may also include carrying an epinephrine auto-injector with you at all times if you are severely allergic to something.
Your allergist will likely recommend that you avoid contact with any animals and insects that you test positive for, according to the AAAAI. It may also be suggested to carry an epinephrine auto-injector with you at all times if you are severely allergic to something.
The best way to find an allergy testing center close to you is to use Solv, which helps you identify the most suitable providers in your area and schedule a same-day appointment.
Many insurance providers cover allergy testing of all kinds. However, you should talk to your insurance provider about the specifics of your coverage. Your insurance provider can also provide details about coverage for special services, education, medications, and allergy tests.
Yes, it is possible to develop an animal or insect allergy later in life, even if you have not had previous reactions. Allergies can develop at any age, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Yes, allergy shots (also known as allergen immunotherapy) can help with animal and insect allergies. Allergy shots work by introducing small amounts of the allergen into the body over a period of time, gradually desensitizing the immune system and reducing the severity of allergic reactions—according to the AAAAI. Animal and insect allergies are among the many types of allergies that can be treated with allergy shots. The effectiveness of allergy shots for these types of allergies depends on the individual and the severity of their allergic reactions, reports the AAAAI. In some cases, the AAAI indicates that allergy shots can greatly reduce or even eliminate the symptoms of animal and insect allergies.

This publication is not intended to solicit the purchase of laboratory testing from any individual consumer.

Dr. Rob Rohatsch, MD

Updated on Jan 25, 2023

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Rob Rohatsch, MD

Dr. Rob Rohatsch currently serves as Chief Medical Officer for Solv Health. Dr. Rohatsch brings his extensive background in multi-site ambulatory medicine operations, on-demand healthcare, and consumerism to Solv, where he helps drive strategic initiatives in a cross functional executive role. He brings comprehensive healthcare expertise ranging from medical group operations to revenue cycle management and clinical expertise.

Dr. Rohatsch completed his military service in the US Air Force and earned his MD from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Rohatsch served on the Yale School of Medicine faculty teaching at the medical school and is currently on faculty at the Haslam School of Business at the University of Tennessee teaching in the Executive MBA Program. He also serves on several boards and chairs The TJ Lobraico Foundation.

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