As we head deep into summer, more and more critters will attempt to hinder our ability to play and enjoy the summer safely. Here is what you need to know on how to treat and prevent summer bug bites.
Use Insect Repellent
The best insect prevention step you can take is with the use of insect repellent. Insect repellent keeps the vast majority of insects away so that you can enjoy each summer day. When choosing a repellent, the ones with DEET as an ingredient are the most effective. You must read the instructions because it can have harmful side effects if misused and should not be used on small children.
Wear Protective Clothing
Summer means spending time out in nature, which can put you in contact with unwanted bugs. When wandering through tall grasses and wooded areas, you are putting yourself at risk for tick bites. To avoid getting bitten, wear long sleeves and pants. It would be best if you also tucked your pant legs into your socks to make sure nothing can climb up your leg. Before going back inside, do a thorough examination of yourself, children, and pets.
Stay Inside at Dawn and Dusk
Dawn and dusk are the prime feeding time for mosquitos. The best way to avoid them is to remain indoors during this time. However, if you must stay outside, use the two tips above.
Use Mosquito Nets
If you are spending the night outdoors or are exposed to insects while you sleep, use a mosquito net. They are easy to hang above beds and will keep most insects away from you as you rest. For the best effect, tuck the ends of the netting underneath the mattress or sleeping bag.
Watch for Outbreaks
As we have recently seen, there are times when a disease or virus can have an outbreak. Some diseases can be spread through insect bites. Be aware of outbreaks in your area and places where you travel; you can visit the CDC’s website for up to date information.
Occasionally, bugs will still manage to sneak past our prevention techniques and take a bite out of us. Here are four tips on how to treat bug bites.
- For bites that swell, apply an ice pack to the bite.
- For bites that itch, apply an anti-itch cream like hydrocortisone or take an oral antihistamine. Both of these can be bought over the counter. For instant relief, you can place an ice pack on the bite until the medicine begins to work.
- For painful bites, like from a stinging insect, you can take oral acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Please be sure to read the directions carefully and take the appropriate dosage.
- For bites that continue to cause problems, please visit your local first care medical. Symptoms that may need treatment include rash, fever, body aches, spreading redness, or flu-like symptoms. For a severe reaction, call 911 immediately.