‘Little House on the Prairie’ star Melissa Gilbert spends night in ER after nasty bug bite

Melissa Gilbert revealed that a scary bug bite sent her to the ER.

The actress, who famously starred as Laura Ingalls Wilder on “Little House on the Prairie,” took to Instagram to share that she had been rushed to a hospital in New York after a bug had bitten her, causing her arm to completely swell.

Gilbert, 59, revealed the bite was not from a “bee or wasp” but another “flying insect.” Gilbert’s doctor and her husband, Timothy Busfield, urged her to “hightail” it to the emergency room after her arm continued to swell.


“A Public Service Announcement: Well that was a fun night in the ER (she said with dripping sarcasm),” Gilbert captioned the post of her hand in an IV and a close-up shot of her swollen arm. “Two days ago a flying insect (not bee or wasp) bit my arm. By last night my arm was incredibly swollen, red and hot.”


She continued, “Called my [doctor and] he suggested we hightail it to the ER. I was gonna wait but [Timothy] said, ‘Absolutely not. We are going!’ After many tests I was diagnosed with an abscess and cellulitis.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, cellulitis is “a common, potentially serious bacterial skin infection. The affected skin is swollen and inflamed and is typically painful and warm to the touch.”

Melissa Gilbert revealed that she was rushed to the emergency room after a bug bite. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth)

Gilbert’s doctors began treating her with an “IV of clindamycin, Benedryl and acetaminophen,” which she said “immediately” made the infected area feel better.

“Still kept me up all night. Starting antibiotics, Benedryl and ibuprofen orally today,” she clarified. 

Gilbert urged her social media followers to use her case as a lesson to take bug bites seriously.

Timothy Busfield and wife Melissa Gilbert

Timothy Busfield and wife Melissa Gilbert in 2018. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas)

Melissa Gilbert with husband Timothy Busfield

Timothy Busfield urged wife Melissa Gilbert to go to the emergency room after her arm began to swell. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas)

“The lesson-take bug bites seriously! If it swells up like crazy (my whole upper arm was swollen!), don’t wait to get treated, thinking ‘it’s just a little bite. How bad can it get?’ Go to your dr or urgent care or the ER. I’m serious!” she continued.

“Back in the days of #lauraingallswilder, this would’ve meant death or amputation. There’s treatment available. So now I’m going to take my meds and rest like the good bunny I am. Stupid bug bite,” Gilbert concluded, before thanking the staff at Bon Secours hospital in Port Jervis, NY. 

In May 2022, Gilbert shared with Fox News Digital that she and her husband had moved to upstate New York and proudly embraced their country home where they grow their own food and raise chickens. 

Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert moved to upstate New York in 2018. (Photo by Roy Rochlin)

“We bought this place in the winter of 2018. We began cleaning it and making it livable shortly thereafter,” Gilbert told Fox News Digital last year. 

“We were taking it apart and wiping it down. I think at that time I knew it could be a home once we got it together. It had no heat, and the plumbing was kind of wonky. We had to empty all the stuff that was in the house, because it was fully furnished, I mean, to the point where there was cereal in the cabinets and soap in the shower. It was like the people had just wrapped up out of the house, and it sat there for decades like that,” she said.

As part of living a more natural lifestyle, Gilbert has ditched plastic surgery — along with the societal expectations of Hollywood — and feels free in her skin. She’s shared her journey in her book titled “Back to the Prairie: A Home Remade, A Life Rediscovered.”