The warmer weather is a pleasure in more ways than one, from outdoor grilling to poolside parties. Naturally, nothing’s perfect, pests are part of the problem. Bug bites are annoying and sometimes alarming, but you can protect yourself and prevent these critters from ruining your fun. Of course, there’s always the chance you’ll get bitten, even if you do all the “musts” to ward off the little devils. Thankfully, most bites are relatively harmless, not to say they’re not a nuisance.
Brush up on your bug bite knowledge, learn how to repel nature’s “rebels,” and get the scoop on tending to any bites that start to itch and swell. Still, summer is spectacular, even if the bugs get the best of us.
It’s not uncommon to get bitten by a mischievous mosquito multiple times per season. The puffy pea-sized white and red bump appears nearly instantly and will last a few days, often getting redder, harder, and may swell up before simmering down.
Like any bug bite, try not to scratch or pick, as this will only make it worse. The bite mark should disappear on its own after a few days unless you have an allergic reaction which may include a spread of the swelling, hives, and even a fever and body aches. If you experience anything more than the “norm,” see a doctor to make sure you’re OK.
You may not even know you’ve been bitten by a tick, as they usually don’t leave any indication that they’ve bitten you. There’s lots of concern surrounding tick bites, particularly in terms of contracting Lyme Disease. Most of the time, this disease won’t be transmitted, as a tick needs to remain attached to the skin for an extended period to pass it on. That said, there’s the telltale “bull’s eye” appearance to such a tick bite.
Otherwise, if you notice a red and swollen area on your skin, it could be from a tick bite which caused an allergic reaction. Have you been in a tick-heavy area like a campground or the woods? If you see something strange, see a doctor, as you may have an infection, especially if the area feels tender and warm to the touch.
Wasp bites sound scary, but for most people, they may hurt, but they are otherwise harmless. The stinger contains venom which causes a welt on the skin followed by swelling. Some people may find that the swelling persists for days, getting worse until it subsides.
If the wasp’s stinger remains in the skin, it’s important to remove it cautiously. Tweezers aren’t recommended, as they can squirt the venom deeper into the skin. Use a clean backside of a knife to scrape it off and clean the area well afterward.
An allergy to this type of sting can result in nausea and vomiting, and for those allergic, the body can go into anaphylaxis. This generally occurs immediately following the sting and includes facial swelling, hives, dizziness, cramping, and even loss of consciousness.
Your pet isn’t the only member of the family to be concerned with in terms of fleas. Humans can get flea bites too, and they’re usually super itchy. The bites often look similar to mosquito bites—round and red, but a bit smaller, often in a cluster. Don’t scratch, as this can cause them to get inflamed and crusty, not to mention even itchier, although they’ll tend to scab over on their own during the healing process.
People tend to get these bites on their feet and lower legs. If the bites start to develop pus, this can be a sign of infection.
There are many types of spiders, but most aren’t especially dangerous if you happen to be bitten by one. You’ll usually notice a small red welt on the skin that may swell and get itchy.
Unfortunately, worse reactions can occur, including pain and cramping around the bite site, blistering, or a rash. Extreme reactions may involve difficulty breathing, headache, fever, chills, and sweating. If you suspect you’ve been bitten by a spider and exhibit any unusual symptoms, get seen by a doctor immediately to ensure your health and safety.
Avoid these bug bites as well as you can. Insect repellent is your best bet, warding off those pests before they pounce. Apply as directed, outdoors for ventilation if possible, but do it right away, as those bugs aren’t waiting for an invitation.
Be sure to apply to all exposed skin, clothing too. Avoid cuts and wounds as well as your eyes and mouth. To apply to the face, spray on your hands and dab onto your face rather than spraying directly. If you’re using sunscreen too, apply the sunscreen first, then the insect repellent on top.
If it’s not super-hot outside, go for long sleeves and long pants. This may not be possible, but the more coverage, the better. As mentioned above, you can spray your clothing with insect repellent, or buy clothing that’s pre-treated with permethrin, an odorless pesticide approved by the EPA. It even lasts on the fabric after multiple washings.
If you have a normal/mild reaction to your bug bite, you can alleviate the itching by applying ice or a cool compress or use an anti-itch cream or lotion such as hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion. An antihistamine can also help. Be sure to keep the area clean and let the air get to it. Covering it up can cause moisture to accumulate and irritate the bite.
If you have an allergic or uncommon reaction, visit your nearest vybe. This may include rash, hives, difficulty breathing, nausea, chills, increased heart rate, and extreme swelling.
Bugs are a bother, a real summer bummer. Don’t let their bites spoil the season.
vybe treats bites from bugs of all shapes and sizes. If you experience severe itchiness or a reaction that lasts more than a day, visit your nearest vybe urgent care location for fast, professional relief!