The warm weather brings many glorious things with it; sunshine, blue skies, barbecues and al fresco dining and ….. insect bites. It seems this is what we have to pay to enjoy our precious few months of hot weather. Some bites only cause a minor irritation but people who have an over sensitive reaction to them can end up in hospital so it is important to take all insect bites seriously. Make sure your medicine cupboard is stocked full of the appropriate treatments and read below for tips on different insect bites and what to do if you are bitten.
If you feel a sharp repeated pain it is likely a wasp has bitten you as they can sting several times and unlike bees, they do not die after stinging. You may find you have a raised red swollen lump at the site of the sting, cover this with something cold to get the swelling down and take an anti histamine tablet such as Piriton. Calamine will help with the pain at the wound and Wasp-Eze will calm the itch and irritation. Some people are severely allergic to wasp bites so if the person is experiencing swelling of the lips and face and has trouble breathing you must call an ambulance as they will need an injection of adrenalin.
Like wasps, bees sting but unlike wasps they leave their stings attached to the skin. As the plunger is full of venom it is important to remove it carefully and not to allow the venom to enter the flesh. Do this by using tweezers or flicking the stinger out with something with a hard edge, like a credit card. Treat the same way as wasp stings using a treatment to calm the site of the wound and medicine to sooth the symptoms of the irritation. As with wasp stings, some people can be allergic so be careful to look out for the signs of anaphylaxis.
You probably will not feel the moment a mosquito bites you because before they attack they inject an anaesthetic into the skin and then insert their stinger. Symptoms include an itchy red lump around the site which develop a few hours afterwards. The more sensitive a person the larger the lumps. Treat by applying a topical anti histamine cream such as Anthisan & Sting Cream which will stop the venom reaching the nerve receptors and reduce the swelling. Malaria is caught from mosquitoes so it is important to treat the affected area quickly and have regular check ups with your doctor if in the following months you feel tired and listless.
Ticks attach themselves onto your skin by using their jaws and are extremely difficult to pull off, in fact you should not attempt to pull them off. If you do you can remove the head part and leave the rest of it attached to you where it can become infected. Try smothering the tick in Vaseline to suffocate the tick, it will then die and fall off. Then cover the bite mark with an antiseptic cream to prevent infection. You can get Lyme Disease from ticks so if you experience a rash around the bite mark and flu-like symptoms within 30 days you should go to your doctor.
As with all insect bites, prevention is usually better than cure so make sure you are prepared and use mosquito covers, anti bite sprays and check yourself regularly for bite marks if you have been out in the countryside or sitting the in sun.