WPS Health Insurance Blog

How to prevent and treat bug bites

Posted by Camille Albert

Jul 11, 2013 9:00:00 AM

Mosquito biteNow that summer is here, it’s time to break out the bug spray. Taking appropriate measures to avoid bites from insects or spiders is essential in order to keep yourself and your family happy, healthy, and always ready to enjoy the warm weather.

While reactions to insect bites can range from very mild to severe, be sure to follow these tips while outside this summer to minimize your chance of coming in contact with pests:

  • Wear insect repellant when you’re outdoors at all times, especially when going into the woods or on a nature trail. Read the label carefully because all repellants may have different application instructions.
  • Wear clothing that is fitted to your body and is light or neutral in color. Avoid bright clothing, loose clothing, and sandals.
  • Stay away from any strong scents that may attract insects. These include perfume, cologne, aftershave, hair products, and scented lotion.
  • If an insect is near you, move calmly and slowly away, rather than swatting at it or raising your arms in the air.

If you are bitten or stung by a spider or insect, the area will most likely experience some swelling, redness, itching, and pain. This can last anywhere from several hours to several days. You can apply lotion to the area or soak it in Epsom salt and water to provide relief. Keep your eye out for more serious reactions to bites, which may include:

  • A severe allergic reaction to an insect or spider bite.
  • A toxic reaction caused by a single bite from a black widow spider, a brown recluse spider, a scorpion, or a puss caterpillar.
  • Multiple bites from an insect, such as a fire ant, bee, or wasp.
  • A skin infection in the area of a bite or sting.

If any of these serious reactions occur, it’s best to seek medical attention right away.

Leave a comment below to share some of your favorite ways to keep away summer insects and spiders.

Topics: Wellness