Bites: What’s Eating You This Summer?


Feeling extra itchy lately? Well that’s because summer is the season where the human become the prey of awful outdoor bugs. Bites are pretty common during the summer since we spend so much time soaking up the sun and enjoying the beautiful weather. While most bites seem more annoying than harmful, it’s important to know the differences and the possible side effects of varying bites.


Mosquitos: Common Culprit

Mosquito bites are usually simple to identify. They’re round in shape, tend to swell a little, and become red or pink when scratched. Mosquitos are probably one of the most typical bug bites you will receive. These bites are mostly harmless, but recent cases of West Nile Virus have been found in the United States. This means it’s imperative to recognize any West Nile Virus symptoms that occur 5 to 15 days after a bite and to seek medical attention. Those symptoms include: headaches, body aches, fever, swollen glands, skin rash and possible encephalitis. Another disease to also worry about with mosquitos is Chikungunya. Symptoms for Chikungunya usually occur 3-7 days after being bitten and include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or a rash. Symptoms usually last about a week, but joint pain may persists for months. Much like the flu, there is no real medicine or treatment for the Chikungunya virus. The recommended plan is to drink plenty of fluids, take over the counter pain medicines, and rest.


Spiders: Eight-Legged Evil

Most spiders are not poisonous and only bite when threatened. Spider bites are similar to bee stings: red skin, swelling, and painful at bite. Spiders can sometimes set off allergic reactions, such as, swelling of the face, problems with breathing and swallowing, and tightening of the chest. Poisonous spiders like Black Widows and Brown Recluses cause more severe reactions and require medical help. In an earlier post, Spiders: Friend or Foe? I covered the most prevalent poisonous spiders, their reactions, and what to do when bitten by them.


Ticks: Black-Legged Creepy Crawlies

Ticks are especially pesky bugs because they latch onto your skin as you walk through plants and grass, and can travel into your home through your pets. These bug bites are pertinent to watch out for because Ticks can carry diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain fever (RMSF). Early symptoms of Lyme disease and RMSF occur 36 hours after being bitten and include a circular red skin rash, headache, fever, and fatigue.


Bed Bugs: Sleep Watchers

Bed bug bites are subtle predators because you don’t feel their bites. They bite mainly on the shoulders and arms, and are harmless for the most part. If allergic, reactions occur between one and three days later, resulting in itchy, inflamed, red and raised skin bumps. These symptoms will last for several days after being bitten, but don’t require more than some creams or oral antihistamines, and maybe a doctor’s visit.


Chiggers: Small but Mighty

Chiggers are small bugs founds in grass, forests, parks, and the outskirts of lakes and rivers. Chiggers are so small that you’d only know if Chiggers were on you once you were bitten. They’re virtually invisible to the naked eye. It takes one to three hours for Chigger bites to become red, itchy, and inflamed. It takes about a week for Chigger bites to heal, and the recommended treatment is simple over the counter antihistamine and topical ant-itching ointments.


Knowing is half the battle, so take this information and tackle all of the troublesome summer pests out there. And remember, the friendly people here at 855bugs.com are always here for additional help with critters big or small.



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