Everyone gets bitten or stung by something at least once, but knowing what bit you can be tricky. It doesn’t matter if you’re indoors or outdoors, awake or asleep, those bugs are gonna get you.
While many insect encounters aren’t harmful, some are downright dangerous. There are those that spread diseases, venomous types, and those that can cause severe allergic reactions. Symptoms of a bite or sting don’t always show up immediately, and there are times you may not be aware that something got you until you flare up.
So how can you tell what zapped you and what to do about it? Consider your surroundings. Were you outdoors? In a hotel? At home with pets? Learn to identify the differences between common insect bites and stings and how best to treat them.
You may see or feel two Dracula-like puncture marks that do not itch. Instead, the bite site will be painful. There may also be swelling, red or purple coloration that looks like a bruise, or a blister. Black widow and brown recluse spider bites can cause severe reactions to their venom. Brown recluse bites look like a bullseye with a scabby center. Black widow bites will cause a burning sensation at the wound site.
Seek medical attention immediately if you have any of the symptoms above, plus abdominal cramping, difficulty breathing, fainting, dizziness, muscle pain, sweating, or fever. Pain usually lasts for hours.
Mild spider bites are can be asymptomatic or cause pain for up to an hour. They can be treated with an over-the-counter pain reliever or ice packs to reduce inflammation and pain. Home remedies like baking soda paste, raw potato, or a paste made with crushed aspirin can help.
Fire ants are pretty much yard bullies that sting. Symptoms include bumps, or small welts that appear in a cluster, and that are usually accompanied by intense burning pain. Pus-filled, itchy blisters usually develop after a few hours and then last for days. If you can help it, don’t scratch them because they will leave scars.
Clean the skin and try treating them with witch hazel, apple cider vinegar, cold compresses, or a topical steroid ointment.
Bite marks that resemble blisters, hives, or pimples. Extremely itchy and RED and may be mistaken for mosquito or flea bites, though they are bigger than flea bites. Watch out for them on the legs, creases of the body, or where clothing may tighten. You’ll more than likely run into chiggers outdoors.
Apple cider vinegar helps as well as ice, aloe, oatmeal baths, and baking soda paste.
Bites: tiny, red, round marks that are surrounded with a small ring shape. They’re usually raised and bumpy, and incredibly itchy. Flea bites can look like one or two random dots or like a small rash, and will produce scabs. Fleas like dining on ankles and legs.
After you clean the area with soap and water, apply tea tree oil, black tea bags, witch hazel, or apple cider vinegar. Establish a flea eviction and prevention protocol by cleaning your pets, bedding, and floors. Borax helps with that!
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