A Doctor’s Suggestions for Avoiding and Treating Bug Bites

A Doctor’s Suggestions for Avoiding and Treating Bug Bites


Wherever you live in North America, you know the advent of summer will bring plenty of bugs. The more often you are out-of-doors, the more certain you are to encounter ticks, mosquitos, and whatever other bugs are indigenous to your area. A recent article by Dr. Janyce Sanford of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Emergency Medicine, offers tips for staying safe and comfortable.

Dr. Sanford recommends using an insect repellent with DEET. A concentration of ten to thirty percent is safe for children two months and older. The ten percent formulation protects for about two hours, and the twenty-four percent DEET lasts five hours. Provide additional protection by wearing lightweight, light colored long pants and long-sleeved shirts.

Ticks are known to carry diseases, depending upon your region. If you are bitten, the tick will burrow into your skin. The best way to get rid of a tick is to use tweezers and pull straight up in a smooth motion.

Bee and wasp stings are not only painful; they can be dangerous for those who are allergic to their venom. A severe allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis, and it can be deadly. If you or a member of your family is at risk, carry an epinephrine auto-injector, commonly called an EpiPen, when you’re out in the woods. EpiPens are available from pharmacies with a doctor’s prescription.

While you’re at it, take along a first-aid kit that includes bandages and basic medicine such as an analgesic, Benadryl and aspirin. An Albuterol inhaler offers help in case of an asthma attack or COPD. Add hydrocortisone anti-itch cream, alcohol wipes, and some foldable splints. When you head out into the woods, be sure you know the area and any possible risks, as well as the strengths and vulnerabilities of the people in your group. Know who has allergies, and who knows CPR.

Meanwhile, here are some natural remedies for bug bites that itch and sting:

1.) Peel a banana and rub the inside part of the banana skin on the bite.
2.) Rub the bite with raw honey.
3.) Apply Apple Cider Vinegar with a cotton ball.
4.) Apply a paste made from a little baking soda and water.
5.) Place a used dry teabag on the bite.
6.) Break a leaf off of an Aloe Vera plant and rub the bite with the gel inside the leaf.