Stung? Here’s What To Do

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Some things in life are just unavoidable, and bug stings are definitely one of them.  From mosquitoes to ticks and from bees to wasps, we can almost assure that you’ll experience at least one bug bite this summer.  But, what do you do when it happens?  Join us today as we go over some simple first-aid for bug bites.

Before we can apply the right treatment, try to identify what stung you.  Often, you can catch the culprit scurrying away after it inflicts its bite, but sometimes you’ll find the bite long after it happened.  As a general rule, stings from flying pests will have one insertion point, whereas with ground-based pests you can see two insertion points, thanks to their pinchers.  However, no matter what stung, the following general tips will help to alleviate the pain and discomfort.

First, look to see if the bug left anything behind in your skin.  This may be a stinger, as in the case of bees, or even the full pest (think ticks).  For standalone objects, grab a pair of tweezers and yank it out after disinfecting the area with some rubbing alcohol.  For ticks, dab a little rubbing alcohol directly on the tick, and pull with tweezers straight out of the skin.  Drop the pest in a small dish of rubbing alcohol, apply the alcohol to your skin, and cover with a bandage.

After the object is removed, clean and sterilize the area.  This can be done in a multitude of ways, but the most effective is to wash the site with soap and water, and apply a little bit of rubbing alcohol.  If the skin is broken, this step is doubly important, as not only can germs from the bug get into your bloodstream, but also pathogens from the area arround you.

Once the area is clean, you are going to want to reduce the swelling of the bite, so grab an ice pack and compress it to the site.  The amount of swelling will depend on the type of pest that bite you, the intensity of the venom it may have injected, and the immune system of the person.  Keep it on until the swelling has dissipated or for 20 minutes—whichever comes first.  Reapply after waiting another 20 minutes, if necessary.

Now, this is the stage where people may start to exhibit signs of an allergic reaction, so you must pay attention.  If you or another notice signs of hives, intense pain, swelling in other parts of the body besides to bite are, or difficulty breathing, call an ambulance immediately.  Allergic reactions to bug bites can be severe and, in some cases, life-threatening, so be sure to stay on your guard.

Finally, apply some anti-itch clean, like cortisol, if you would like.  However, even though the first aid is complete, keep an eye on the bite for the next few days, and be sure to see a doctor if it is not getting better or if you see an increase of symptoms.  No need to be a hypochondriac with bites, as even the worst bites can be effortlessly cured with modern medicine.

While we hope you never have to use this guide in practice, it is certainly good to know.  For more information on pests and how to defend against them (or their bites), check back to our blog every Monday!

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