The bugs are back in town! No, we’re not talking about love bugs, but MOSQUITOS! Those pesky pests are a staple of Florida summers and Centra Care docs are reporting an increase of patients complaining of insect stings, bites, and allergic reactions from them.
Insect bites and stings can cause an immediate skin reaction.
The bite from fire ants and the sting from bees, wasps, and hornets are usually painful. But bites caused by mosquitoes, fleas and mites are more likely to cause itching than pain.
- Use an insect repellent containing DEET.
- Avoid the outdoors during dawn and dusk.
- When using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and then repellent.
- Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by getting rid of items that hold water.
In most cases, stings can be easily treated at home:
- Remove the stinger by scraping the back of a credit card or other straight-edged object across the stinger. Do not use tweezers as squeezing may increase the amount of venom released.
- Wash the site thoroughly with soap and water.
- Place ice on the site of the sting for 10 minutes and then off for 10 minutes. Repeat this process.
- If necessary, take an antihistamine, or apply creams that reduce itching.
- Over the next several days, watch for signs of infection (such as increasing redness, swelling, or pain).
Call 911 if you are with someone who has a severe reaction such as chest pain, face or mouth swelling, difficulty swallowing, trouble breathing, or goes into shock.