Bug bites are annoying, but thankfully, they usually aren’t dangerous. Treating them is often much more about treating itching and pain than actually stopping anything dangerous from spreading.
However, a few kinds of insects actually can cause harm with a bite. That’s why it’s important to be able to identify what bit you and how you can treat the bite. Here are 10 common kinds of bug bites and how to treat them.
1. Mosquitos bites are common and usually harmless.
Mosquitos are one of the most common insects that bite. These raised welts are annoying and extremely itchy, but they’re not dangerous except in rare cases when they can cause an allergic reaction. If you have been bitten by a mosquito, are so itchy it’s driving you to distraction, and can’t get relief from topical creams, you may want to visit a doctor for a steroid shot.
Thankfully, mosquito bites aren’t nearly that uncomfortable for most people. They appear as hard, medium-sized red lumps. They might grow or swell as you scratch at them. The best way to get relief is to wash the bites with water and regular soap, then apply a topical antihistamine. If you’re in a lot of discomfort, you can take an oral antihistamine.
2. Spiders tend to bite while you’re asleep.
Spiders have a way of getting into your house even during the wintertime, so they’re always around. What’s more, they often bite people while they’re asleep, so you might wake up with a welt and not know where it came from. They usually mimic other common kinds of insect bites, looking like a raised lump that may itch or ache.
Most spider bites aren’t serious, but you should seek urgent medical attention if it’s extremely painful or if you are struggling to breathe. The same goes if you notice stomach cramps, an ulcer, or an infected spot on the bite.
Treat the bite like you would a cut: Clean it well and dab on a little topical antibiotic, such as Neosporin. If it is really bothering you, you can take some aspirin or put an ice pack on it.
3. Fleas usually point to an infestation from a house pet.
Flea bites can be extremely uncomfortable. Not only are they itchy, but they also tend to happen in large numbers. A flea infestation can throw a house into disarray, so it’s important to regularly treat any household pets for fleas, even if they’re strictly indoor animals.
Flea bites usually show up on your legs and feet since fleas often live in carpets and furniture. They might cluster together or scab over.
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do for flea bites except treat the itching. Any over-the-counter itch medicine can help with this. Oral antihistamines might help, as well. The only other thing you can do is treat your home to kill the infestation.
4. Fire ant bites are uncomfortable but not usually serious.
Fire ants live in certain regions in the United States. The bites are uncomfortable but recognizable. They show up quickly and begin to fill with pus, itching severely.
As with most other bites, there’s nothing to worry about unless you’ve previously had an allergic reaction to fire ant bites. You can treat the itching with topical creams, ice packs, or oral antihistamines.
5. Bee stings can cause severe allergic reactions in some people.
Bees, on the other hand, are found almost everywhere in the United States. Most people are stung by a bee at some point. For people who are allergic, bee stings can cause extreme swelling, dizziness, nausea, difficulty breathing, or anaphylaxis. People with severe bee allergies should carry an EpiPen to keep themselves safe.
Thankfully, for most people, bee stings just mean a moderate amount of discomfort. The thing that makes the stings unique is that bees leave their stinger embedded in the skin, so it’s important to remove that before anything else. If you don’t, it will continue to inject venom into your skin.
Bee stings usually turn red and might be swollen, itchy, or painful. Remove the stinger as quickly as possible using tweezers, your fingernail, or even a credit card. Wash the sting, apply a cold pack, and dab on some ointment to stop the pain or itching.
6. Wasp stings hurt but aren’t complicated to treat.
Wasps, like bees, can cause allergic reactions in some people. Unlike bees, though, they don’t leave a stinger embedded in the skin. This makes the stings a little easier to treat. They look like red welts, sometimes with a white prick mark in the center.
If you don’t have a wasp allergy, there’s not much to do except relieve the pain. Wash it like you would a cut and apply some cold pressure for relief.
7. Ticks can carry serious diseases that need prompt treatment.
Ticks are a nastier bug to encounter for several reasons. For one, they frequently embed themselves in the skin instead of just biting and letting go. People and animals usually pick them up in grassy or wooded areas. You can find them on your scalp, underarms, groin, legs, or neck.
You’ll need to make sure you remove the tick as soon as possible with a pair of tweezers, pulling hard to get every piece of it out of your skin. Clean the bite well with alcohol.
The other danger with ticks is that they can carry diseases, such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. However, these diseases take up to 36 hours to transfer to humans, so you’re unlikely to get sick if you find and remove the tick quickly.
Always check your body thoroughly for ticks after walking in woods or long grass. If you notice a tick bite that is painful, swollen, or blistered, call a doctor. Lyme disease from a tick bite is often accompanied by a distinctive “bulls-eye” rash, so seek urgent medical attention if you notice that. You’ll need to be treated with a round of antibiotics.
8. Chiggers tend to stick around on clothes after they bite.
Chiggers are unpleasant, but they’re only common in certain parts of the United States. They usually live in long grass or wooded areas, but it’s common to pick them up in yards, as well. The unpleasant thing about them is that they like to bite people in warm, accessible areas of the body, like the ankles and feet, the groin, and the underarms. This can make for painful and awkward itching.
The bites are small and might look like mosquito bites or might resemble hives or a rash. If you know you have chigger bites, shower thoroughly and clean the bites. You may also want to wash your clothes and bedding since chiggers occasionally travel into houses. After that, it’s simply a matter of treating the itching with whatever topical or oral treatments work for you.
9. Bedbug bites mean you need to do some serious debugging in your home.
Like fleas, bed bugs can be particularly unpleasant because they mean you’ve encountered an infestation. Since these bites happen while people are sleeping, most people don’t notice them until they start to itch. They might cluster around the neck, arms, or legs, which are often areas that are exposed at night. The bites often appear as a zig-zag and can be anywhere on the body.
Traditional itch treatments are the best way to tackle these, but the most important thing is to make sure you pinpoint the infestation and treat it thoroughly.
10. Horsefly bites hurt but are usually harmless.
Not everyone is familiar with horseflies, which can leave a painful, jagged bite. These can take a while to heal since they often resemble cuts rather than bites. They may be very swollen and be surrounded by hives.
Make sure to wash the area thoroughly and treat with an antibiotic cream and cold pressure.
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Source: Remedy Daily