Everyone loves spring weather – including insects. Our (seemingly short) respite from bugs in the winter comes to an end, and though we finally feel the much-needed sunshine, we also feel the effects of these spring bugs.
But have no fear! We’re here to give you all you need to survive another spring and summer, no matter how many of these insects you come into contact with.
Ticks can be a serious concern for anyone who spends a lot of time outside, especially hiking or camping, specifically because of Lyme disease. These spring bugs latch onto exposed areas of skin (or fur for your pets) and begin sucking blood immediately. The longer it’s attached, the higher you’re at risk of an infection.
Prevention & treatment: The best way to avoid ticks is by covering up. If you’re hiking or walking through a heavily wooded area, wear long sleeves and pants, and ditch the sandals for shoes that cover your entire feet. Check your skin regularly throughout your time in the woods, and thoroughly check once you’re finished for ticks. If you do find any on your skin, promptly, but gently, remove them using tweezers, grabbing close to its mouth and not around its body. Click here to learn more about preventing ticks.
Shoo, fly! Flies are more annoying than anything else, but some flies, such as horseflies, can actually bite, leaving behind painful welts.
Prevention & treatment: Most flies are inactive at night until sunrise, so it’s only during the day that you typically need to make efforts to prevent them. Cover up! Wear long sleeves, hats, long pants, and closed-toe shoes. If you do get bit, disinfect the bite with soap and water. You typically won’t need more than an antihistamine or anti-allergy pill.
Bees inject all of their poison at once, lose their stinger, then die. However, wasps keep their stinger after stinging, meaning they can inject smaller amounts of venom several times. Venom is quite different between the two as well, meaning your reactions can vary depending on which one stings you.
Prevention & treatment: Avoid wearing perfume, cologne, or bright colors outdoors, and keep the sweet foods and drinks to a minimum, disposing of empty cans and wrappers immediately. Wash a sting with soap and water, then apply a cold pack to the wound to reduce swelling and pain. Consider using an antihistamine or pain relievers, and if you notice increased swelling over the next few days, see a doctor.
We’ve heard a lot about the Zika Virus in the media recently, but mosquitoes can cause other issues as well (from infections to diseases like West Nile). While these diseases are very uncommon in our areas, it’s important to be aware and still remain careful.
Prevention & treatment: Always use an outdoor repellent, whether DEET or natural remedies such as essential oils, and use fire, candles, and tiki torches to keep them away. Protect your skin by wearing pants and sleeves. Stay away from stagnant water, and try to limit your outdoor activities to dawn or after sunset. Hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion will typically relieve any itching from a bite. Click here to learn more about protecting against mosquitoes.
Have more questions about spring bugs or other insects you’ve encountered? We’re here to help! Reach out to us here for answers.
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