Spiders, bed bugs, and wasps, oh my! It seems we all have some bug that we fear more than others, but the real fear begins with a bite or sting. Knowing when a bug has bitten you, what kind of bug it is, and what you should do about the bite are all essential to seeking the care that you or your child need.
Basic Bugs That Bite (Or Sting)
Depending on where you live, certain creepy critters are more pervasive than others. You may encounter fleas, bed bugs, gnats, mosquitoes, flies, ticks, and mites. All manner of spiders can bite while bees, wasps, and hornets can sting.
Most bites and stings are benign, but others can be painful or even life threatening if not treated properly and in a timely fashion.
Annoying and itchy, these bites are part of summertime or any warm climate. Most of us know when a mosquito comes calling, and that itching can cause an infection. Using hydrocortisone cream helps settle down the itch, and most bites go away in a day or so, but there are circumstances to watch out for. Some of these flying menaces carry the Zika virus or the West Nile virus.
If you notice a rash in another part of your body, get red eyes, or if you begin to have pain in your joints, you may have been bitten by a carrier. In this case you should call Lake Mary Pediatrics immediately.
Bed Bug Bites
Yuck! That seems to be everyone’s reaction to even thinking about sleeping with bed bugs, but it can happen. You can bring them home with you in your suitcase after a trip, and they happen to be a major public health problem. Bed bugs often spread quickly, and before you know it, there is an infestation in your home.
If you notice bites after sleeping, avoid scratching as this can cause a bacterial infection. The best course of action is to contact a professional exterminator to rid your bed or your entire home of the infestation. They may be living not only in your bedding, but also in soft furniture, drawers, and other areas of the home.
A tick bite is not painful, but you can become ill over time from Lyme Disease and other tick borne diseases. If the bite becomes ulcerated near the bite lump or you have a pink rash on your wrist, arms, or ankles, it is time to seek medical care. Muscle aches, chills, and fatigue are also red flags that signal a needed trip to see Lake Mary Pediatrics.
If the tick is still attached to you, use tweezers to gently remove it by pulling upward. Do not try to twist it out or parts of the tick may remain on you. Dip the removed tick in alcohol and place it in a plastic bag to show to your physician, who will likely will test the tick for any known diseases.
Most spiders will leave you alone if you don’t bother or disturb them. Two particularly worrisome types are the black widow and the brown recluse spider. If you do sustain a bite, wash the area with soap and water right away.
The brown recluse spider bite will become red and intensely painful within 8 hours. There may be a fluid-filled blister that turns into an ulcer. This ulcer may become infected and cause a rash, fever, joint pain, plus nausea. This type of bug bite can become a life-threatening situation for children, so do not delay in seeking medical care.
The black widow spider is not deadly, but can cause swelling, redness, stiffness, and pain. In the unlikely event that chills develop with a fever and stomach pain, go immediately to an emergency room for treatment.
Bees and Wasps
These flying insects are all around us, especially when a garden is nearby. A sting usually will become red and swollen right away. Look for the stinger and carefully remove it from the skin.
If the person is allergic to bee or wasp stings, this can be a serious situation that requires appropriate treatment from a medical professional. Others may use ice and an antihistamine like Benadryl to reduce any swelling or itching sensations until the site of the sting has healed.
Allergic Reactions to Bug Bites
Some people find that they have more of a reaction to a particular bite than the rest of the population. This is most likely due to an allergic reaction like with fire ants, lice, or flies. In these cases, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Visit a medical facility or see Lake Mary Pediatrics if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Blotchy rash
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Feeling faint or dizzy
- Rapid heart rate
- Severe itching
If you are worried about a reaction to a bug bite, contact Lake Mary Pediatrics as soon as possible.
As always, if you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call 407.323.3550 today!