Insect stings or bites are very common, and they often only cause a minor irritation. However, some bits can become infected or trigger an allergic reaction, which is very serious. Some of the bugs that are commonly found in the UK that bit include mosquitoes, fleas, bedbugs and spiders. Those that sting include bees, wasps and hornets. When an insect bites you, it makes a hole in your skin in order to feed, and usually they inject some sort of venom onto the skin which causes the issues.
Signs you have Been Bitten or Stung
In most cases, you will immediately notice that the area in which the bite or sting happened is red, itchy and swollen. There could even be a wet substance forming on the skin from the venom that has been injected. These symptoms usually last for a few days. Depending upon the type of insect or the allergic reaction of the person, the bite or sting can become more serious, requiring medical attention.
If there is ever a lot of swelling, pus or blistering, then this often means that an infection is present, and this does warrant medical attention. The following are signs that show you need to call for immediate medical attention when bitten or stung and you show:
- Increased heart rate
- Difficulty breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Having trouble swallowing
Treating Bugs Bites and Stings
The good news is that most of these bites and stings can be treated at home. You will want to properly wash the area with water and soap, then place a cold compress on the area to reduce the swelling. You should try to avoid scratching as this can make the area worse and does increase the chances of infection. For pain, you can use over the counter pain medications.
Preventing Stings and Bites
If you want to prevent these stings and bites, remember to always use an insect repellent to help detract insects from wanting to bite or sting you. If you do come into contact with a bug that stings, such as a bee or wasp, do not panic. Slowly move away from the area and avoid swatting, as this can increase your chances of getting stung. You will want to ensure that you are preventing bugs bites and stings when traveling in areas like Africa, Asia and South America, as many bugs carry diseases like malaria.