Tips for Bug Bite Treatments & Prevention

Bug bites can put a damper on your plans for outdoorsy fun during the spring and summer months. Depending on the bug the bit you, reactions can range from minor to severe. At St. Francis Urgent Care, we treat non-emergency infected bug bites. So if you feel a sudden sting, don’t bug out! We’re here for you.

Be Cautious of Summer Critters

There are a lot of insects that come out to play (bite) when it warms up, but some of the most common include:

  1. Mosquitoes: We all know about these little blood suckers! In spring and summer, they can be the bane of our outdoor existence. We all know their itchy bites are not only annoying. But were you aware these little critters also carry diseases like the West Nile and Zika viruses that can be transmitted to people? To protect yourself, use insect repellent containing DEET, wear long sleeves and pants, and eliminate standing water around your home where mosquitoes breed.
  2. Ticks: These guys are another unwelcome visitor when it gets warmer, especially for anyone who enjoys hiking or camping in wooded areas. These tiny arachnids can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever through their bites. People living in the Northeast, Midwest, and Pacific Northwest regions are most at risk. To prevent tick bites, wear long clothing when venturing into wooded or grassy areas, use insect repellent with DEET, and be sure to do thorough tick checks after spending time outdoors.
  3. Bees and Wasps: Bees and wasps play essential roles in pollinating plants. But, for anyone allergic to their stings they can be deadly. During spring and summer, bees and wasps are more active as they forage for nectar and build their nests. To avoid attracting these insects, keep food and sugary drinks covered, avoid wearing bright colors or floral patterns, and steer clear of their nests.
  4. Spider Bites: While most spider bites are harmless, some species can deliver venomous bites that pose health risks: The Brown Recluse and Black Widow spiders are some of the most dangerous. The Recluse is typically found in the Midwest and South Central states. Their bites can lead to symptoms like necrotic skin lesions at the site of the bite, as well as pain, itching, fever, and nausea. While people bitten by a Black Widow spider bite can cause severe muscle cramps, abdominal pain, sweating, and in rare cases, respiratory distress. Black Widows are most commonly found in Southern and Western States. Experts say people can lower their risk of spider bites by wearing protective clothing and always being aware of their surroundings. That means having a healthy awareness of spider webs or egg sacs that may be a sign spiders are nearby. If you suspect that black widow or brown recluse spiders are present, take appropriate precautions to avoid contact with them.

According to the American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), insect bites are rarely life-threatening. ACAAI says signs that a bite may be life-threatening include swelling, difficulty breathing, rapid heartbeat, nausea, and loss of consciousness. At the first signs of emergency symptoms like these, call 911 immediately.

Bug Bite Relief with St. Francis Urgent Care

Meanwhile, quick relief for less serious reactions like itching, rash or pain at the site of the bug bite may be as close as your nearest St. Francis Urgent Care. Our team of highly trained and certified clinicians are available to help seven days a week, including evenings and most holidays. You can schedule a virtual care visit or just walk in so you can begin to feel better, faster.