INSECT BITES & STINGS

 

GENERAL INSECT STINGS

1.       If a stinger is present, remove it by scraping away or gently pulling it out with forceps. 

2.     Apply paste of baking soda and cold cream or use a commercially available sting aid for topical relief of mosquito and other insect bites.  Calamine lotion will also relieve itching 

3.     If multiple stings, or unusual reaction (i.e. excessive reddish skin or breathing issues), or a history of severe reactions, take victim immediately to advanced medical support. 

Bed Bug Bites 

Description: Bedbugs are flat-bodied, oval, reddish brown and about a in size. Although not painful at first, bed bug bites usually become red, swollen and itchy. Reactions to bites range from mild to severe.

Treatment: Apply paste of baking soda and cold cream or use a commercially available sting aid for topical relief of bed bug bites.

  

 

Bee & Wasp Stings 

Description: A very sore area that is red and swollen.  Usually there is a stinger protruding from the skin. 

Treatment: 

1.    Scrape the stinger away with the edge of a credit card, knife blade, or thumbnail.  Do not try and squeeze the stinger out, as this will cause more bee/wasp venom into the skin.   

2.    After removing the stinger, wash the area with soap and water. 

3.     Apply a cool washcloth or ice pack. 

4.     Some people have symptoms of severe allergic reactions are:

        shortness of breath

        thickening of the tongue

        sweating

        an anaphylactic shock

        Seek medical help immediately if you have an allergic reaction.

  

Chiggers

Description:

It is generally visible only with magnification. Chiggers are different than mites in that they feed only in the larval stage.  The chigger larvae get onto the skin and move around until they meet some obstacle, for example the waistband of underwear, the elastic band of socks, etc.  They then attach to the skin and begin feeding.  The area around where they are feeding usually turns red with an itching sensation.  

Treatment:

1.       Wash area with soap and water

2.       Apply local topical hydrocortisone cream; antihistamine, or local anesthetic cream should be applied to reduce the itching.  Calamine lotion can also be used.

3.       The wounds must not be scratched

 

Preventive:

Spray your feet and ankles with a quality insect repellent containing Deet.  Dimenthyl phthalate or flowers of sulphur can also be used in the socks and around the ankles 

 

Fire-Ant Sting 

Description: After being stung by the fire ant, tiny painful red bumps appear.  After an hour or so, they usually change into blisters. 

Treatment:,

1.    Apply ice pack at ten minute intervals for a period up to hour 

2.    When through with ice pack treatment, apply bite soothing lotion such as calamine.

3.    Some people have symptoms of severe allergic reactions are:

        shortness of breath

        thickening of the tongue

        sweating

        an anaphylactic shock

        Seek medical help immediately if you have an allergic reaction.

  

Flea Bite 

Description: Usually flea bites are suspected when tiny itchy red bumps appear below the knee. 

Treatment:

1.    Reduce itching by applying an ice pack

2.    After removing ice pack and drying skin, applying soothing lotion such as calamine

  

Mosquito Bites 

Description:  Have a long proboscis (snout) for sucking blood.  They are most active in shady, low light, damp or marshy areas. 

Treatment: Use sting aid for topical relief of mosquito bites.

 

 

Scorpion Sting

Description: Usually found in the south western portions of the US.  Less dangerous than the black widow, with the exception of babies. 

Treatment:

1.       Cold packs 

2.    Get victim to advanced medical support as soon as possible.

 

Spider Bites 

Description and Identification of Spiders:

 

Description

Habitat

Problem

Brown Recluse

Oval-body with eight legs. Light yellow to
medium dark brown. Has distinctive mark shaped like a fiddle on its back. Body from 3/8 to 1/2 inch long, 1/4 inch wide, 3/4 inch from toe-to-toe

 

Prefers dark places where it's seldom disturbed. Outdoors, old trash piles,  debris and rough ground. In-doors attics, storerooms closets.  Found in Southern Midwestern US

Bites producing an almost painless sting that may not be notices at first. Shy, it bites only when annoyed or surprised. Left along, it won't bite. Victim rarely sees the spider.

Treatment:

1.       Keep victim lying down, quite and warm.  If the victim must be moved, use a stretcher

2.     Get advanced medical aid immediately

 

  

Description

Habitat

Problem

Description

Black Widow Spider

Color varies from dark brown to glossy black.

 

Densely covered with short microscope hairs. Red or yellow hourglass marking on-the underside
of the female's abdomen. Male does not have this and is not poisonous. Overall length with legs extended is 1 1/2 inch. Body is 1/4 inch wide.

Found with eggs and web. Outside: in vacant rodent holes, under stones, logs, in long grass, hollow stumps & bush piles.
Inside in dark corners of barns, garages, piles of stone wood. Most bites occur in outhouses. Found in Southern Canada through US, except Alaska.

Bites causing local redness. Two tiny spots may appear. Pain follows almost immediately. Larger muscles become rigid. Body temperature rises
slightly. Profuse perspiration and tendency toward nausea follow. It's usually difficult to breathe or talk.  May cause constipation, urine retention.

Treatment:

1.       Keep victim lying down, quite and warm.  If the victim must be moved, use a stretcher

2.     Get advanced medical aid immediately

 

 

 

Description

Habitat

Problem

Tarantula

Large dark,  "spider" with a furry covering.  From 6 to 7 inches in toe-to-toe diameter.

Found in South western US and the tropics. Only the varieties found in the tropics are poisonous.

Bites produce a pinprick sensation with negligible effect. It will not bite unless teased.

Treatment:

  1. Wash the wound with soap and water
  2. Apply a cold pack
  3. Apply antibiotic cream to prevent infection

 

  

 

TICKS

 Description: Oval with small head, the body is not divided into definite-segments. Gray or brown. Measures from 1/4:inch-to 3/4 inch when mature.  They can burrow into the skin.

Prevention:

1.       Examine body and clothes after any exposure to tick infested areas, and always remove ticks immediately 

2.     Have a partner inspect your backside 

3.     Before entering tick infested area, cover neck, legs, back of neck and arms with an insecticide containing Deet

 Treatment: 

  1. Grasp the tick with forceps as close to the skin surface as possible and pull slowly and firmly. Do not twist or crush the tick.
  2. After tick removal, swab the area with iodine solution,
  3. If you cannot remove the tick, or if its mouthparts remain embedded, get medical care.
  4. If rash or flu-like symptoms appear (see list below), get medical help immediately.

         Chills and fever

         sweating

         Pains in bones, muscles and joints

         back and head aches

         Coughing, vomiting and weakness

         Rash appears in 2 to 4 days

Information in part from: USDA Handbook #227

Information in part from http://www.denvergov.org/ Division of Animal Control & from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln Cooperative Extension Service.

Drawing of a chigger from North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Information for this first aid procedure provided in part form the Oklahoma College of Pharmacy with additional information available via their website located at:  http://www.oklahomapoison.org/

DEET is produced by Morflex, Inc

Information in part from: USDA Handbook #227

Treatment information in part obtained from Windaroo Valley High, with more information on Fire Ants available at: www.windvallshs.qld.edu.au/curriculum/fireants/index.html 

Additional treatment information obtained from Queensland Government, with more information on Fire Ants available at:  www.dpi.qld.gov.au/fireants/

Information obtained in part from The Ohio State University Extension Service

DEET is produced by Morflex, Inc


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