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Protecting Yourself From Insect Bites and Stings

Wherever you are in the world, one thing’s for sure – there are bugs there with you. Some aren’t dangerous while some are deadly – but if you’re like most people, you’re probably not a big fan of either type. So how can you ensure you don’t get bitten or stung? More importantly, how can you keep bugs away from you altogether?

Most stings and bites aren’t lethal, and only cause mild discomfort. Sometimes, however, a sting or a bite could cause an allergic reaction and require medical attention. In this article, we’re going to explore some different ways that you can protect yourself from insect bites and stings.

Know first aid.

It’s fairly simple in most countries to get a first aid certification, so do it if you’ve got the chance as you’ll never know when you’ll need it. In a group of people, if you’re the only one who has certification, you’ll be glad you got it. When you’re alone and you need to help yourself, you’ll be even more relieved.

If you don’t have a first aid certification, here are some basic steps you can take if you’re with someone who’s been stung by an insect:

  • Make sure someone is with them to ensure they don’t have an allergic reaction.
  • Wash the area with soap and water.
  • Make sure you remove any remaining part of the insect’s sting.
  • Ice the area or use tiger balm or something similar to soothe it.
  • Tell the affected person to refrain from itching.

To ensure you don’t get stung, here are a few pointers:

  • Wear light coloured clothing.
  • Avoid perfumes and strong scents.
  • Wear clean clothing and bathe regularly.
  • Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Don’t leave food out.
  • If there’s an insect flying around you, stay calm. Swatting and sudden movements could cause it to sting you.
  • Anyone who has an allergy should carry an EpiPen or something similar with them at all times. An Epipen is likely to give you enough time to get to a hospital should you have an extreme allergic reaction.

Other things you can do to reduce the likelihood of being stung or bitten include:

Use insect repellent

There are a range of effective sprays and lotions that should protect you. Brands that contain a larger percentage of DEET are more effective than other brands. Make sure you don’t get it in your eyes, DEET is toxic and you don’t want to accidentally consume any, but it is effective against insects.

Stay inside at night

Bugs bite more at night. When the sun sets, make sure you’re covered, or stay inside.

Stay away from standing water

Mosquitoes love stagnant pools of water, so make sure you’re not camping near a river or if you are make sure the section you’re near is a quick moving one. If necessary, drain any pools of water near your house.

Remove wood from around the house.

Lots of people stack wood near the house, but it’s a breeding ground for bugs and they’re breeding within feet of where you sleep and live your life. Remove wood, leaves and clutter from around the outside of the house and see the population of bugs around your home drop considerably.

Insects are everywhere and unfortunately, while bites are sometimes inevitable, be sure to practice all of the above to reduce your changes of getting bitten or stung. Also, make sure you have an allergy test in advance, so you know what insect actually poses a dangerous threat to you.