Everyone looks forward to the summer. We love the sunny skies, fun summer activities, and the relaxed atmosphere that only appears in the summertime. One thing we don’t look forward to is all the insect bites. Insects are annoying year-round, but they also seem to enjoy the summer, and there’s nothing they like more than to take a bite out of you when you’re least expecting it. But don’t let their annoying bites ruin your summer! Instead, read below to learn how to deal with insect bites in the summer.
How To Prevent Bug/ Insect Bites?
Insect bites can be painful, itchy, look horribly red and swollen, and can even become infected if you scratch them. And those are just the usual symptoms. Some insects carry dangerous diseases such as Lyme disease, West Nile virus, and malaria, which can all be transferred to the person who was bitten.
The best way to avoid all of these problems is simply by doing everything you can to just not get bitten in the first place. Luckily for all of us, there are several things we can do that will repel insects and make them less likely to bite us. Here are some steps to take to prevent insect bites:
1) Use Insect Repellent:
- The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using an “insect repellent that contains 20 to 30 percent DEET on exposed skin and clothing”. The most popular, and well-reviewed, brands are Off! and Repel.
- For those who prefer natural insect repellents, Healthline lists several natural repellents that have been proven to work, some even approved of by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Some natural repellents include lemon eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, and citronella.
2) Wear Appropriate Clothing:
- If you’re going to be in an area where there will be a lot of insects, wear clothing that covers your exposed skin. While insects can (and do) sometimes find their way inside your clothes, you lessen the risk of being bitten by not making your skin readily available to them.
- When you’re in an area where ticks are known to live, wearing light colours and plain fabrics can make it much easier for you to spot them, and remove them from your body.
3) Avoid Smelly Products:
- Products with strong scents will attract insects. Avoid shampoos, lotions, and other hygienic items that have strong or lingering scents if you don’t want to smell like an insect’s next meal.
4) Protect Your Home, Bed, Or Camping Area:
- When at home, keep your doors or windows closed to keep bugs out, and think about setting up citronella candles to repel bugs from coming close.
- To avoid bed bug bites, keep your home clean and replace your mattress every 2-3 years. Certain essential oils sprinkled around the bed may help to repel bed bugs.
- Bed nets are extremely effective at keeping bugs out of a certain area, whether it’s your bed, a camping area, or even an outdoor seating area. You can get one from amazon.co.uk using the link below or by clicking here!
Now that you know how to prevent insect bites, let’s talk about what to do if you do get bitten.
What To Do If You’re Bitten?
If you weren’t able to prevent a bug bite, there are some steps you can take to help your bite to heal more quickly if you’re experiencing mild bug bite symptoms such as itchiness, swelling, and redness.
1) Wash The Bite:
- To reduce the risk of infection, wash the insect bite with mild soap and water.
2) Apply A Cool Compress:
- Applying either a cool cloth or some ice will help reduce pain and swelling and can temporarily help reduce itchiness.
3) Elevate The Bitten Area:
- If the bite is on the arm or leg, elevate it to slow down blood flow in that area, and reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Taking antihistamines can reduce inflammation and hydrocortisone cream helps with the healing process as well as reducing the risk of infection. Both can also help with itching.
If you have difficulty breathing, feel nauseous or dizzy, are experiencing cramps, or have an accelerated heart rate, after being bitten, seek medical help. You may be having an allergic reaction to the bite and will need more serious attention than the steps listed above.
How To Deal With Itchiness?
Some might argue that the itchiness of an insect bite is the worst part… and they may be right! In addition to ice, antihistamines, and hydrocortisone cream, there are some other treatments for the itch. The most common treatments include: honey, aloe vera, baking soda, oatmeal, and lemon balm. But check out this second Healthline article for even more remedies.
When so many of us anticipate the joys of summer, it’s good to know that there are steps we can take to avoid being bitten by insects, and how to help them heal more quickly, so we can get back to enjoying the good parts of summer.