Summer Fun Interrupted!

Summer Fun Interrupted!

Bug bites in the summer..what gives?

Summer is upon us with warm weather, trips to the beach, and loads of fun activities for every age group. As we seek to relax and enjoy this very short season, here comes the nuisance of insect or bug bites. It’s a recurrent phenomenon around the country that is hard to ignore. Allergy sufferers are more vulnerable and a reaction can be easily triggered from an insect bite.

Some of the prominent pests are Ticks and Mosquitoes. They are considered the frequent and main offenders. Reason? They are more dangerous because they transmit diseases. Mosquitoes transmit Malaria, West Nile virus or encephalitis, while ticks transmit Lyme disease. Other bugs such as flies typically buzz annoyingly around our ears or get in the house.

Malaria though, is more prevalent in tropical countries. In the US, we are more concerned with West Nile and Encephalitis. The former can be fatal. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread by a tick bite.

To protect yourself from these pesky creatures you can take a number of precautionary measures:

Free your house and environment of standing water: The elimination of this source of breeding for mosquitoes significantly reduces the mosquito population in the immediate and surrounding areas.

Taking care of your lawn and landscape: While this sounds like an aesthetic rationale, it actually drives away the ticks. Ticks are known to harbor in tall grass-like areas. A well kept lawn will take care of this problem.

Use insect repellent: Most insect repellents contain the active ingredient DEET. Use one that contains at least 20% of DEET. This spray keeps the bugs away and makes you less appealing to mosquitoes and ticks alike.

Choose your clothing wisely: For some reason, mosquitoes are attracted to dark color and floral print clothing. They also have an affinity to sweet smelling perfumes and colognes. With this mind, it’s a smart move to wear light colors, long sleeves, socks, and a broad brimmed hat for better coverage around the ears and neck; keep perfumes/colognes to the minimum. Also,  light colored clothing helps with detecting ticks.

Protection for your house: Install screen protectors on your windows and doors. Look out for holes and tears on the screens and get them repaired.

Check for ticks: Ticks have the tendency of hiding in warm parts of the body. The armpits and the groin are great hiding places. If you’ve been outdoors in the woods or walked through tall grass, check these parts of your body for hidden ticks. If you’re a pet owner, check your pet as it may be a reservoir for ticks.

Most insect bites cause itching and stings. However, if you think you’re having a severe allergic reaction, or a serious medical condition such as West Nile virus or Lyme disease, please seek medical attention immediately.