Spending times outdoors this season is such a pleasure, but being bitten by insects can put a damper outside activities.
This is what you need to know now to protect yourself from reactions to insects.
What are signs and symptoms of an insect bite?
· Pain, swelling and redness confined to the sting site
· Intense itching at the site.
· In severe cases, insect bites can cause severe allergic reactions that can result in death.
When Should You Be Worried about An Insect Sting?
· There are 3 types of reactions an insect can cause: a local reaction, a large, local reaction and a systemic allergic reaction.
· If you’re worried at all, seek immediate medical advice.
What’s Most Likely to Bite Us?
· Mosquitos, fleas, chiggers, and bed bugs- most likely will cause a local allergic reaction.
· Wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, and bees are the cause of the majority of insect stings- sting insects that can cause a local and/or total body allergic reaction. About 3 out of 100 adults have severe allergy to flying insects resulting in potentially deadly reaction.
· Fire Ants (red or black) - extend from the southern US up into NY. Bites from these insects typically cause a blistering reaction.
How Can you Prevent Insect Stings/Bites?
- Always wear shoes when walking in the grass. Many bees burrow in the ground and you can unsuspectingly step into their nest.
- Wear bug sprays like Off or Deet. Wary of harsh chemicals? Geraniums and citronella are natural mosquito propellants.
- Don’t drink from open soft drink cans; stinging insects are attracted to them and may crawl inside.
- Cover food when eating outside.
- Don’t use sweet-smelling perfume, hairspray or deodorant.
- Avoid wearing brightly colored clothing with flowery patterns.
- Protect your legs, arms and body with long pants/long-sleeved shirts when working outside.
- Use caution near bushes, attics and picnic areas.
How can you Treat Insect Bites?
Local and large local reactions can most likely be treated with OTC anti-histamines and topical steroids. Some large local reactions will need medical care.
Systemic allergic reactions ALWAYS require medical attention. Lifesaving epinephrine may be administered. If you have a reaction, seek treatment from an allergist. They have treatment that can potentially you of your insect sting.
Need more help or have questions? Schedule anappointment here.