Spending more time outside is one benefit of summer, but sharing the great outdoors with bugs is not.
The best way to protect yourself from stings and bites is to avoid the bugs that cause them. If that doesn't work, this video shows you how to treat stings and bites from these common bugs:
- Bees / Wasps
- Remove stinger by gently scraping, don't squeeze
- Wash with soap and water
- Apply cold or ice to reduce swelling
- OTC pain medication eases discomfort
- Hydrocortisone cream and oral antihistamines reduce itching
Most bites cause minor irritation that can be relieved with the previous tips.
Try to identify what bit you in case you have lingering symptoms:
- Mosquitoes can transmit viruses, such as West Nile and Zika
- Ticks can cause Lyme disease (look for bulls-eye rash)
- Chiggers don't transmit disease but can be very itchy
For both bites and stings:
Avoid scratching, which can lead to infection.
If symptoms don't improve in a few days or get worse, call your doctor.
For any severe allergic reactions, go to the hospital or call 911.
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Date Last Reviewed: May 17, 2021
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor