Warm weather is inviting and motivates us to spend more time outside, but it also serves as an invitation to insects that thrive outdoors during the summer. Your encounters with bugs that bite such as ants, bees, wasps, mosquitos and ticks, will become more difficult to avoid during these months. When they attack, the results can be irritating, itchy, painful or in severe cases, life threatening.
There are several home remedies that you can try to help bring relief, reduce swelling and prevent infection in minor cases. Before trying these home remedies, you should first try to identify what caused the bite. Look for tell- tale signs that are synonymous with the culprit. Here are a few signs that will help you to identify these bugs and their bites-followed by suggested home remedies.
1. Mosquitoes– Round, red bumps with an insatiable itch.
Remedies- Aloe vera gel, rubbing alcohol and witch hazel can help relieve the itching. Preparation H is also known to relieve the itch and reduce inflammation. Honey can be dabbed on the skin to prevent the bite from getting infected.
2.Ticks- Red welts; however, if a tick carrying Lyme disease bites you, it will usually leave a circular rash around the bite. This resembles a bull’s eye target.
Remedies-Remove the tick with a sterilized fine-tipped tweezer, if a tweezer is not available cover your fingers with tissue paper (you should never remove a tick with your bare hands). Wash the bitten area with warm water and soap. Apply ice to relieve pain, itching or swelling. An application of antibiotic ointment and a bandage will help with irritation. For the next few days continue to inspect the area for signs of a bite from a tick that carries Lyme disease.
3.Bees or wasps- In most cases, the area where you have been stung will become red and swollen with white surrounding the site of the sting. The area may also feel hot to the touch and have a lingering dull pain.
Remedies- Remove the stinger as soon as possible. Apply ice or a wet cloth to the site to help relieve pain and swelling. Over the counter medications such as antihistamines and pain killers work well for pain relief.
4.Ants- A sharp pain and burning sensation at the site, followed by painful and itchy red bumps or blisters.
Remedies- Applying ice can reduce the swelling. Diluted tea tree oil, rubbing alcohol and calamine lotion can help with the maddening itch. To prevent infection of the site, baking soda and water made into a paste or apple cider vinegar is recommended.
Trying these home remedies can help you treat bites from these unwelcomed summer pests but prevention is always best. Keep in mind; these remedies are for minor reactions only-more serious reactions require immediate medical attention.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.