Bug Bite Irritations During Your Summer Adventures
Summer brings some of the best parts of the year. Warm weather, sunshine, more time outdoors. Perhaps you enjoy activities such as camping, hiking, or fishing.
Unfortunately, all of that outside fun comes at a price: Exposure to harmful biting insects. A myriad of bugs, from mosquitos to ticks, have the potential to ruin your summer break. Not only are their bites itchy and annoying, but they have the potential to cause serious infection or allergic reactions.
Here’s what you need to know before you head out into the woods:
Every year it seems like there are new insect-borne illnesses making their way into the news. Zika virus, West Nile, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: No matter where you head, there is likely to be an outbreak of something.
That doesn’t mean you’re helpless, though. There are dozens of ways you can help protect yourself from harmful bugs. These are just a few:
- Cover up when appropriate. For instance, wear a lightweight long-sleeved shirt and pants when you head outdoors to help avoid mosquito bites.
- If you go out for a hike, always wear long pants and tuck them into your socks to keep ticks off your legs. It also helps to wear light colors, so you can spot them more easily when they decide to hitch a ride.
- Avoid areas of standing water. Certain insects, like mosquitos and biting flies, flock to these pools.
- Use an insect repellent. There are plenty of all-natural varieties available on the market today, or you can use essential oils to make your own.
Recognize Those Bites
If you do get a bite, it’s important to know where it came from. Different insect bites cause different reactions/complications and knowing the culprit can aid in getting the appropriate treatment.
- Mosquitos: This bite creates a puffy and itchy bump on the skin, typically pink in color. In rare cases, mosquito bites can cause a severe allergic reaction.
- Spiders: Spider bites usually have two clear puncture wounds in the center and there is usually only one welt (spiders rarely bite more than once). They can cause minor symptoms like red skin, swelling, and pain. However, depending on the species, the reaction can be more severe.
- Ants: An itchy, white blister surrounded by a red blotch on the skin, typically in a cluster. Fire ant bites can cause significant pain and require immediate medical treatment.
- Bees/wasps: Both leave an angry red welt with a clear puncture wound in the center. The difference is that bees will also leave behind a stinger, while wasps do not. As a result, wasps can sting repeatedly.
- Ticks: Most people won’t even notice a tick bite unless they actually see the tick attached. You may see a tiny red bump with some redness surrounding it. The exception is a deer tick bite, which leaves a signature bullseye rash.
How to Treat a Bite
The first thing to do if you get a bite is to remove yourself from the immediate area so you don’t get bit again. From there, you can take measures to reduce pain and swelling, such as applying ice and elevating the affected area, if necessary.
If you have a serious reaction, seek medical treatment as soon as possible (especially if you are traveling in an area with known insect-borne diseases).
If you find that you often experience allergic reactions to even the most common insect bites, like mosquitos, don’t let it ruin your summer! Through allergy clearing work, we can work with your body’s energetic signals to determine what it is currently seeing as an enemy and enable it to recognize that same substance as a friend – making it possible for you to get back outside and stop having those horrible reactions.
If nothing seems to work for you and you are tired of not feeling your best, schedule your free consultation today and take that first step toward living well and reaching your healing potential.