What’s red, blotchy, and itchy all over? The kids aren’t the only ones that have come out to play this season. The bugs are out and with that comes the dreaded bug bites. We’re here to help! Though most bug bites are annoying, only some of them are really harmful and should be cautiously looked out for.
Bug Bites That Really Bite
Ticks can, literally, get under your skin. While most bites aren’t serious, they can sometimes carry Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Ticks hide in grass and plants, so be cautious as you brush up against these things. To prevent tick bites, cover your arms, legs, and head appropriately when spending time outdoors.
Antibiotics usually cure Lyme disease effectively, but failure to treat the disease when it’s caught can lead to arthritis, meningitis, and other illnesses. Early signs of infection include a circular skin rash, fever, headache, and fatigue.
Black Widow spider bites can be poisonous. The bite might be painless or cause a sharp pain. It’ll look like one or two red fang marks and may induce muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, seizure, and a rise in blood pressure. Though death from black widows is rare, medical care should still be sought immediately. Anti-venom medicine and muscle relaxants usually remedy the problem.
For those living in Midwestern and south central states, watch out for Brown Recluses. They often hide in attics and closets and their bite can lead to serious wounds. It’ll look like a red bullseye blister. Seek medical care immediately, as there are cases where this bite has proven to be deadly.
Bees, Wasps & Hornets
While it’s rare to suffer a bad allergic reaction to a bee, wasp, hornet, or jacket sting, it does happen. At least 40 people a year die from these types of allergic reactions. Those who are allergic should carry an EpiPen to remove the stinger. Some symptoms of an allergic reaction include swelling in the face or neck, feeling dizzy, and being short of breath.
Most mosquito bites are just itchy, but some can lead to West Nile virus, Dengue Fever, and other diseases. Symptoms of those more severe diseases include high fever, neck stiffness, coma, muscle weakness and paralysis, and disorientation. To help prevent these diseases, spray on some insect repellent before going outdoors. Coleman makes a great DEET-free odorless repellent that’s safe for kids! A tip from the wise: mosquitoes are often lured in by sweat, alcohol, perfumes and dark clothing- so avoid these if you can!
Luckily, most bug bites that people deal with are usually just itchy mosquito bites. In these instances, be sure your child (or you) doesn’t scratch! Scratching can lead to infection.
While some bug bites are inevitable, we hope that our tips and tricks will help save you from a few bug bites this season or treat the ones that you get with proper care.