Summer is the ideal season for spending time outdoors. Hitting the beach and going to a barbecue, block party, baseball game, or outdoor music festival are all popular summertime activities. But there’s one item you always need to have on hand at these events: bug repellent.
Pests like bees, ticks, and mosquitos are out enjoying the warm weather too, and it’s important that they don’t ruin your otherwise sunny summer day. This blog will go over prevention tips to help avoid getting some nasty bites in the coming months. We’ll also cover some common summer bug bites to help you better identify the source of that itchy red bump on your ankle.
Aside from bringing bug spray everywhere you go this summer, there are a few things you can do to avoid falling victim to a hungry (or angry) bug. Wearing long sleeves and long pants — especially at night when mosquitos are ready to feast — can help prevent some particularly itchy bites.
If you go for a walk in the park or spend a lot of time in any woodsy areas, take off your clothes and toss them into the dryer for a quick spin as soon as you get home. This can kill any ticks or nymphs you may have picked up while outside, so they won’t be able to bite you later on. As far as bees and wasps go, the calmer you remain around them the better! They likely have no desire to sting you unless you make a scene and agitate them.
Taking these precautions and preventative measures, as well as investing in a bit of DEET or picardin bug spray, can certainly make a major difference in the amount of bug bites you suffer this summer. Give it a try!
Knowing What’s What
If it looks and feels like: Swollen, itchy, red, ranging in size from a pencil eraser to a quarter or larger, has small blisters on it
It’s probably: Mosquito bite. Bites can be treated with over-the-counter 1 percent hydrocortisone cream or left untreated and will go away on their own. While they can feel extremely uncomfortable, mosquito bites are usually not a major health risk in the United States. But they can also sometimes (rarely) bring illnesses like West Nile and Zika virus in some US territories.
If it looks and feels like: Raised red lesion like the mosquito bit, generally not very itchy
It’s probably: Tick bite. If the tick is still attached to your skin, remove it with tweezers as close to your body as you can and put the tick in a bag to be analyzed by your doctor. Ticks can carry a number of diseases including Lyme Disease, which presents as a bull’s-eye at the site of a tick bite. If you experience a tick bite, visit your nearest vybe center for evaluation and further guidance.
If it looks and feels like: Sharp pain, red, swollen, itchy, stinger may be present
It’s probably: Bee sting. While this isn’t a bug bite, bee and wasp stings are just as common (and unpleasant) as any other summer bug bite. Some bees release a pheromone when they sting you, which attracts other bees to attack you as well, so be sure to move away from the spot of the sting. While bee stings are usually fairly harmless, some people may suffer severe allergic reactions. If you experience tongue swelling or difficulty breathing after being stung, seek immediate medical attention.
If bitten or stung and concerned that it may be harmful to your well-being, visit one of our four Philadelphia-area vybe locations (Port Richmond, Center City, South Philly or Roxborough) for immediate assistance or call us at 215-999-6060. Our centers are open 7 days a week from 8:00am to 8:00pm Monday to Friday and 8:00am to 5:00pm Saturday and Sunday.
Get out there and have fun this summer! (Don’t forget the bug spray.)