Fleas, Ticks, Spiders, and More: How to Deal With Common Bug Bites and Stings

Even though it’s getting colder, you still need to worry about bug bites. Getting stung or bitten by a bug is no fun. Different types of bug bites and stings require different remedies. Here are some quick tips for dealing with bug bites and stings

Fleas 

Fleabites are small, red and itchy. Treat fleabites with over-the-counter anti-itch creams or antihistamines. Try to eliminate fleas by checking your pets. Pets often pick up the tiny pests while playing outside. If they have fleas, take them to the vet for a flea bath, shot, shampoo, or other remedies.

Ticks 

Ticks embed themselves into flesh when they bite. Remove ticks with a pair of tweezers. Wash the bite area with warm water and soap. Apply disinfectant and a bandage. Keep an eye on the bite to make sure symptoms of Lyme disease don’t develop. Remember to check your family members, pets and friends for ticks after playing outside or in the woods.

Bees, Hornets, and Wasps 

Bee, hornet and wasp stings are more painful than itchy. If you are severely allergic and you are stung, use your epi-pen immediately if needed. If not, apply a compress of water and baking soda.

Spiders 

Spider bites feature many of the same symptoms as other bites- pain and itchiness. Apply ice for 10 minutes to relieve these symptoms.

Lice 

If you or your child has an itchy scalp, it may be a sign of lice. In the past, lice were dealt with by shaving the head of the person affected. This is no longer the case. There are currently shampoos and other products that you can use to ward off lice.

If you notice a bug bite persisting for more than a day or two, you may want to contact your doctor to see if you have a more serious problem. Many insects carry diseases that can persist long after they bite you. A Riley at IU Health primary care physician can help you deal with these diseases as soon as possible.

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