Fast Relief for Insect Bites or Stings.
If you are stung or bit by a bee or insect, and do not notice any of the above symptoms of allergic reaction, illness, or infection, you can most likely treat the injury at home. Remain as calm and quiet as possible, and move to a safe location. Wash the bite or sting with soap and warm water, and apply a cool compress to reduce swelling. To ease pain, you can take NSAIDs, like aspirin or acetaminophen.
To reduce pain and swelling, apply an ice pack for up to 20 minutes once per hour for the first six hours. An oral antihistamine or cream applied directly to the sting, like Benadryl, may help relieve mild symptoms, like itching.
Because the symptoms of many insect-bite-transmitted diseases are similar to symptoms of the flu, but can have much more serious consequences, you should always visit PrimaCare if you experience flu-like symptoms that won’t subside, or if you have persistent symptoms following self-treatment of a bug bite.
Preventing Insect & Spider Bites
- When going into the woods or other areas where you might come into contact with insects or spiders, always wear insect repellant and clothing that covers all areas of the body.
- Wear gloves or closed-toed shoes if you are working in areas where insects and spiders are prominent, such as near piles of wood.
- Avoid wearing perfumed lotions, aftershave, or scented hair products when spending time outdoors in the warm months.
- Remove areas of standing water near your home or camping area.
- If you encounter bugs or spiders, remain calm and avoid swatting or flailing. Instead, retreat slowly if insects appear threatening.