Methods for managing bites and stings — plus tips to deter insects this season

Pests becoming part of summertime leisure is an inevitable drawback. Yet, insects are not just more noticeable during summer — their activity actually peaks during these months.

“The external temperatures fuel the metabolic rates of bugs,” Michael Raupp, an entomology professor at the University of Maryland, explains to Yahoo Life. “The hotter it gets, the more vigorous their feeding and movement behaviors are.” Regrettably, this can lead them to more frequently feast upon and buzz around us.

If you’re not keen on ending up as an insect’s snack, it’s quite rational to seek strategies to minimize the chances of that happening. With every pest having its own behaviors, we gathered expert guidance on steering clear of typical critters encountered during summer festivities, as well as insight from a skin specialist on responding to bites if you do get nibbled on.

To decrease the likelihood of mosquito bites, there’s a multitude you can do outdoors. Utilizing insect deterrents with DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus can prove advantageous, shares Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann, an integrated pest management associate director at Cornell University, in a conversation with Yahoo Life. Activating a fan while relaxing outside can also be useful. “Fans, whether ceiling-mounted or placed on the deck, can direct mosquitoes away from humans,” notes Gangloff-Kaufmann.

Eliminating any sources of stagnant water near your dwelling, such as those in neglected containers, kiddie pools, or atop pool covers, can aid in reducing the number of mosquitoes in the vicinity, Jim Fredericks, an entomologist and the senior vice president of the National Pest/Index Management Association, elucidates to Yahoo Life. To prevent their intrusion into your house, “employ screens for windows and doors,” he advises.

How to alleviate the bite

The aftermath of mosquito bites is often swollen, scratchy spots, Dr. Gary Goldenberg, a practicing dermatologist in New York City, describes to Yahoo Life. “They typically cluster” and appear post outdoor exposure. For handling a bite or two, Goldenberg suggests deploying a hydrocortisone ointment — a type of corticosteroid that reduces itchiness. Consuming an antihistamine can also provide relief, as your system ejects histamine in retaliation to the allergic reaction to the mosquito’s salivary enzymes; this is the culprit behind the itching sensation, as explained by the Cleveland Clinic. Applying a cold compress ensconced in a cloth to the area for at least 10 minutes can lessen swelling.

“Bee gatherings are particularly vigorous near the end of spring through early summer,” entomologist Danielle Restuccia, a division technical services specialist at Orkin, reports to Yahoo Life. Nevertheless, she emphasizes that bee swarms are typically harmless and stinging is not their intention. “Their goal is merely to find a notable spot for a new hive and rest momentarily before pressing on.”

Nonetheless, swift action may be necessary if there is an underlying health risk, for ex

ample, if they’ve entered your abode and there is a known allergy in the household. Restuccia advises that contacting local apiarists to remove and relocate the swarm is your best bet (learn how to locate a beekeeper in your region). “They’re often willing to conduct the removal at no cost,” she mentions.

When you find yourself amidst the outdoors, Fredericks suggests circumventing the use of heavily fragranced perfumes. Moreover, should a bee approach or settle on you, he recommends that you “stay tranquil and composed.” Raupp emphasizes, “Their interest is not in harming you.”

A bee’s sting is instantly recognizable. Nevertheless, there are distinctive signs that differentiate a bee sting from other insect encounters. These typically result in “an isolated red, swollen protrusion that often reveals a central puncture,” Goldenberg points out. “Occasionally, the stinger might be visible,” he adds.

When dealing with a bee sting, his advice includes making sure the stinger is extracted — utilizing the edge of a blade for its removal rather than tweezers which may compress the stinger and prompt further venom discharge — and cleansing the impacted area thoroughly with a gentle soap and water solution. Subsequently, applying a chilled pack to the sting for about a quarter of an hour and resorting to a hydrocortisone lotion or calamine solution can aid in reducing itchiness.

Though wasps and yellow jackets represent distinct species, both can deliver multiple stings. “For wasps, maintaining cleanliness is vital,” Gangloff-Kaufmann suggests. “Refrain from providing them access to meals and beverages”— like by shielding dishes when eating alfresco— “or refuse containing leftover sustenance.”

Yellow jackets usually go unnoticed until the colony expands significantly by late August, she remarks. “Should you come across a yellow jacket nest, it’s wise either to stay clear of it or engage a pest control firm if it’s situated in a common area,” she asserts.

If you encounter yellow jackets in your vicinity, Raupp’s suggestion is to “vacate the site as swiftly as possible.” He also endorses positioning yourself at a considerable distance from trash receptacles while enjoying outdoor picnics. “These containers will attract yellow jackets, bees, and wasps,” he warns.

These swellings appear “identical to those of bees,” states Goldenberg. Nonetheless, since wasps and yellow jackets may sting multiple times, you could experience numerous lesions. Management practices are akin to treating a bee sting — cleanse the affected area with gentle soap and water, apply a cold pack, and apply hydrocortisone ointment as required.

For those with lawns, Restuccia advises regular upkeep to deter ticks from populating tall grasses and shrubbery. During hikes, she suggests consistent checks for ticks on oneself, using insect-repellents, and donning appropriate attire to establish a protective barrier against them. Additionally, donning clothing treated with permethrin before venturing into tick-infested areas is beneficial, as per Restuccia’s advice.

It is also productive to employ insect repellants approved by the Environmental Protection Agency containing ingredients like DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone.

In case of a tick bite, it’s possible the arachnid is still attached, Goldenberg notes. Under such circumstances, Goldenberg suggests employing sterile, fine-tipped forceps to clutch the tick as near to the skin’s surface as feasible, followed by an upwards tug with consistent, uniform pressure, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises. Sanitize the bite location and your hands using isopropyl alcohol or soap and water thereafter, disposing of the tick by immersing it in alcohol, sealing it in a bag or container, encasing it tightly in tape, or flushing it away.

Should you suspect a tick bite with no tick in sight, Goldenberg urges looking for a red welt that crusts and scabs over. Should a ring of redness emerge around the bite, a rash surfaces, or a fever develops, it’s critical to contact a health care professional. “Tick bites may necessitate oral antibiotics if there’s suspicion of a tickborne ailment,” he asserts.

To keep spiders outside, Gangloff-Kaufmann recommends blocking entry points around windows and entrances. She adds that “Homeowners ought to also clear away spiderwebs indoors and outdoors to prevent spiders from residing and constructing new ones,” and mentions that reducing exterior lighting at night can also be effective. “Illumination attracts nocturnal flying insects, and spiders gravitate towards such ready food sources,” she explains. Fredericks also advises examining objects like decorations boxes and grocery totes for spiders before bringing them indoors.

If a spider is present indoors, Raupp suggests that you “gently usher it into a vessel” and release it outdoors, distanced from your dwelling. Yet, spiders accustomed to indoors may not survive outside. Hence, it’s sometimes recommended to relocate them within your residence, perhaps to a garage or shed. Spiders are recognized asadditionally advantageous for their role in preying on other nuisances like cockroaches and mosquitoes.

Most spiders refrain from biting unless provoked, according to Raupp. Yet, spider bites still occur. While being bitten by a Joro spider — identified in various eastern U.S. states and distinguishable by the females’ extensive 4-inch legs — is not probable, it is possible. These venomous creatures (which, unlike most spiders, are capable of flight), don’t pose significant risk to humans, with any potential bite resembling a bee sting.

Generally, “spider bites manifest as red nubs with crusting and scabbing,” notes Goldenberg. With certain venomous spiders, one might experience necrosis — skin necrosis — leading to a large sore, he warns.

In the unfortunate event of a bite from a perilous spider like a widow or recluse, or if the biting spider’s type is unknown, immediate medical attention is imperative as suggested by the Mayo Clinic. Medical care is also warranted if one experiences acute pain, abdominal cramping, an expanding wound, difficulty in breathing or swallowing, or if redness spreads from the lesion.

Although fleas pose a perennial concern, they are especially inclined to proliferate in warm climates. To mitigate interactions with fleas, Fredericks recommends frequent grooming of pets and vigilant checks for fleas on them. He also emphasizes maintaining cleanliness at home and routinely laundering bed linens. It’s beneficial to vacuum regularly as well, adds Restuccia. “Systematic vacuuming indoors can eliminate flea eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults from carpets and rugs,” she states. “Keep the lawn well-trimmed as fleas favor concealing in lengthy grasses,” explains Fredericks. Application of flea-preventative treatments on dogs and cats is also an option.

Should you suspect fleas, watch for “several tiny punctures,” Goldenberg remarks — a common sign of a flea bite. Administering a thorough wash of the area with soap and water, applying an ice pack on the punctures, and using hydrocortisone cream can alleviate itching.

Maintaining cleanliness in and around your abode can significantly minimize the probability of ant colonization, as advocated by Gangloff-Kaufmann. “Ensure the dining area remains tidy and waste containers are emptied,” she instructs. Dependent on the context, ant bait like Terro may also be effective, Raupp mentions. Additionally, sealing entryways around your dwelling can prove beneficial, as per Fredericks.

Being stung by an ant typically results in several miniature crimson nodules, as Goldenberg describes. With fire ant stings, these bumps may evolve into blisters filled with pus. Goldenberg endorses applying ice to diminish inflammation and hydrocortisone cream to cease the itchiness. Should you experience discomfort, taking acetaminophen might also be beneficial.

Experts advise not to fret over cicadas. “They pose no harm — indeed, vociferous but transient,” articulates Gangloff-Kaufmann. “In fact, the massive emergence of cicadas is a marvel that should be appreciated.” (Consuming them is also possible, with attention to safety measures.)

Should you desire to avoid interaction with cicadas, Fredericks suggests keeping windows and doors shut to block their ingress into your abode. Fortunately, cicadas are also non-biting. “They’re not going to cause you harm,” states Raupp.

Fruit flies may be irksome but, akin to cicadas, they pose no threat — they lack the anatomy needed to extract blood.

Yet if you’d prefer they steer clear of your kitchen, Fredericks suggests refrigerating produce or securing them in airtight containers, and disposing of excessively ripe fruits in a sealed trash receptacle. “Ensure the kitchen surfaces are wiped clean and spill-free,” he adds on.

Maintaining a spotless sink is also wise, declares Gangloff-Kaufmann. “Fruit flies capitalize on damp food residues and sludge, which is why they frequently exhibit around home sinks,” she observes. Constructing a trap with vinegar and dish soap, covering it with plastic and puncturing holes can also aid in trapping and containing fruit flies, Raupp asserts.

While it’s likely you’ll encounter insects during the summer, experts claim that your exposure to bug bites can be lessened by taking measures to keep the pests at bay. “Homeowners can avert many of these and additional pests within and around their residences through steadfast adherence to maintenance and hygiene,” Gangloff-Kaufmann concludes.

Check Also

Is bariatric surgical procedure nonetheless greatest? What new analysis says in regards to the process as weight reduction medication surge in recognition.

Weight reduction medication have grown in recognition over the previous few years. However is taking …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *