Mosquitos, chigger and ticks, oh my! It’s summer and the bugs are in full force. We are spending more time outdoors and might experience bites from all types of insects. There are ways to protect yourself and loved ones from getting bitten as well as ways to treat bites once they happen. There are also certain signs and symptoms that can indicate a more serious reaction we should all be aware of. Read on to be in the know about summer bugs and bites.
Summer Bugs that Bite
Mosquitos are a much-dreaded summer bug that thrives in warm, moist environments and can spread diseases like West Nile Virus. They can swarm any outdoor gathering and bite all over your body, leaving raised red bumps that are incredibly itchy. Ticks are small, sneaky bugs that are often located in tall brush or wooded areas. They climb onto your skin and often move to your scalp. Ticks bite by attaching to skin painlessly and will stay there until discovered and removed or knocked off. Ticks can potentially spread Lyme Disease. Chiggers are tiny orange colored bugs that live in tall grass near bodies of water. They like to bite where clothing is tight against the skin. And spiders lurk almost everywhere and often find their way inside. Some rare spider bites can be dangerous, even fatal.
Prevent and Treat Bug Bites
Avoiding bug bites this summer is your first line of defense, and there are several ways to do just that. When going outdoors, especially in a grassy or wooded area, it’s smart to wear clothing that covers most of your skin. Long pants and long sleeve shirts help protect your arms and legs. Permethrin is an insecticide spray that can be used on clothing that will kill insects on contact. Also, a bug spray for your skin can keep the pests at bay. There are many options available when it comes to bug sprays, but ones containing at least 25% DEET are highly effective. Just be sure to apply sunscreen first before bug spray.
If summer bugs have already bitten you, an over-the-counter lotion like Cortizone-10 or Caladryl can minimize the itch and reduce the size of bumps. If you experience hives from bug bites, an allergy pill like Allegra or Zyrtec may help. Additional allergic symptoms such as severe swelling at the bit location or of the tongue or lips could indicate a serious reaction and should be treated immediately in an emergency room. An insect-borne disease could also cause headache, fever, or vomiting. Talk with your doctor should these symptoms arise.
Say Goodbye to Bugs this Summer
Avoiding situations where bug bites are common is an excellent way to save your skin this summer. Take precautions if necessary and always be prepared with bug spray. Swatting away mosquitos has been proven to help too. Bring out an oscillating fan or a citronella candle if spending time outdoors. And remember to be vigilant if additional symptoms arise that cause concern. Stay safe this summer and avoid the itch from bugs. Your skin will thank you!