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Taking the BITE Out of Summertime Bites and Stings

LongIsland.com

As summer draws near, we spend move time enjoying the outdoors, summer activities and holiday outings. Unfortunately, along with summer fun come bites and stings from pesky mosquitoes, bees, chiggers and ants. First comes the ...

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As summer draws near, we spend move time enjoying the outdoors, summer activities and holiday outings. Unfortunately, along with summer fun come bites and stings from pesky mosquitoes, bees, chiggers and ants.

First comes the ouch of the bite, then the itch of the reaction. Whichever summer pest attacks you,a mosquito, bee, fly, ant, spider or other insect, you're not likely to escape the pain, redness, warmth or swelling that accompanies the sling. Don't worry (yet...see "When to Worry"), these are all normal responses, not signs of allergy, and a doctor's visit probably won't be necessary.

Quick action, however, can ease discomfort.
1-If there is a stinger, carefully scrape It out with your fingernail or a credit card. (Don't pull it out.)
2-Wash area Immediately with mild soap and water.
3-Apply ice for 15 to 20 minutes to prevent swelling.
4-Reduce pain with a weak solution of ammonia or a paste of baking soda and water.

PREVENTING THE STING
You're most likely to be stung from July to September. The problem is usually at its worst after rain.
* Wear subdued colors rather than brights.
*Cover arms and legs as well as your head.
*Don't go barefoot, and wear closed shoes instead sandals. Many stinging insects rest in the ground and feed on low plants.
*Check your home for nests and apply Insecticides. Common spots include eaves, behind shutters and trellises, woodpiles and attics.
* Use Insect repellents on exposed skin, then reapply after swimming.
*Clean up immediately after eating outdoors and be very careful about drinking out of cans with flip tops﷓insects often fly inside them.
* Stand still or move slowly away when confronted by stinging insects. Sudden movements may actually attract them.

NOT SO ITSY-BITSY
Many spiders will bite, causing the same uncomfortable but temporary symptoms as insect stings, but only two are serious:
Black widow spider bites resemble a pin prick and may even be overlooked. But within hours severe abdominal pain, fever. chills and breathing distress develop.
Brown recluse spider bites start out very small too, but grow very large and open within a day or so. Fever and chills, along with vomiting and rash, are common.
Fatalities have occurred with both of these bites, so prompt medical attention is imperative, especially for
small children.

THE TICK PROBLEM
The deer tick is barely the size of a pinhead, and its bite ss usually painless. But this creature is now responsible for some of the worst bites of summer, causing a sometimes serious illness called Lyme Disease, that has spread from it's origins in Connecticut, to 33 other states. A painless red skin rash begins at the site of the bite and pales in the center as it enlarges. Multiple lesions may develop, as well as minor, flulike symptoms. Untreated, the rash will expand, then fade after several weeks. Often painful complications follow. Severe swelling and soreness typically begin In a single joint, go away and then return, usually In the knee. Antibiotics can successfully treat this crippling disease, but protective prevention Is your best defense.
*Avoid grassy and wooded areas where ticks thrive especially during the late spring and the summer. If you do spend time In these areas, cover up, head to toe.
*Check skin soon after coming inside, removing any ticks carefully with tweezers.
*Don't forget about pets.

Ticks commonly attach to your dog or cat and later may attach themselves to you.

HOME REMEDIES FOR INSECT BITES
Did you know that relief from these bite, and stings might be tucked away in your kitchen pantry? Here are a few quick home remedies that will help relieve itching and stinging.

First, make sure ire the bite or sting has been property cared for and cleaned with soap and water. Then try one of these remedies:
*Baking soda or meat tenderizer:Apply a paste of baking soda and water to the site of the sting or bite to relieve pain. If you don't have baking soda, try a paste of meat tenderizer and water,
*Lemon juice, vinegar or onion juice: A dab of lemon juice, vinegar or juice from a crushed onion applied to the bite or sting will help relieve itching.

WHEN TO WORRY
About one in every 250 people is highly sensitive or allergic to insect stings. The most common culprits are honeybees, wasps, yellow jackets, hornets and fire ants, which can cause a reaction with a single bite, even in people who've been bitten before with no problem.

Symptoms of an allergic reactions include: numbness or cramping, muscle tightness, light headedness, difficulty breathing or swallowing, hives, nausea and vomiting. Get immediate medical help, if you experience any of these symptoms, as collapse and death can occur within a few minutes. Though the situation isn't usually as critical, you should also, see a doctor promptly for excessive swelling perhaps involving an entire limb or body area. After the acute reaction has passed, skin testing should be performed to confirm the allergy. You may then need a series of desensitization injections.