What You Need to Know about Mosquito Bites and Insect Stings

August 29, 2014By

While the world of insects is truly a fascinating one that some people spend their lives exploring, most of us only care about the damage they can do. Generally, this comes down to mosquito bites and insect stings. So, unless you care about why fireflies along the Mae Klong River blink in unison or some other mystery involving creepy crawlers, below is what you need to know about bites and stings.

Can a Carpenter Bee Sting?

These common bees have a tendency to get right up close to you, as if they’re threatening you with their stingers. However, this generally has more to do with their attraction to motion (cruel irony for us, considering the first thing we tend to do when a carpenter bee gets close is flail our arms).

The mail carpenter bee is actually all talk anyway, as it isn’t capable of stinging. Female carpenter bees can, but they have to be extremely provoked before they’ll go that route.

How Should I Treat a Mosquito Bite?

Although most of us will experience dozens of them every year, there’s no getting used to a mosquito bite. Even though it may only last a second, that red bump and the itches it brings can feel like they remain for an eternity.

However, you absolutely have to resist the overwhelming temptation to scratch. For one thing, it actually helps the histamine agitate your skin, resulting in even more irritation than before. Secondly, it’s incredibly easy to scratch too much, break the skin and leave yourself open to infection.

Always wash your bites in cold water and use soap to clean the area. After that, use anti-inflammatories (e.g. NSAIDS, Benadryl and steroids), antihistamines and over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone cream (if the itch becomes really bad).

While it’s rare, if you develop any odd symptoms or it appears you’re suffering from an infection, go see a doctor and get some antibiotics.

Which Insects Can Upset Allergies?

Just about any insect can cause an allergic reaction in someone. However, there are two main factors working behind the scenes.

First is the amount of substance an insect injects in you when they attack (e.g. venom from a stinger). For example, if a bee stings you and is able to leave their stinger in for a few seconds, chances are venom is continuing to pump into your body. As you can probably guess, the longer venom is being pumped into you, the more symptoms you’ll experience.

Secondly, it will depend on how allergic someone is to these substances. Again, if you look at a bee sting, some people walk away with nothing more than some swelling around where it happened and mild pain that goes away after a couple hours. Other people, though, can suffer from life threatening symptoms if they are extremely allergic to bee venom. This second type of person obviously needs to practice more caution around bees and even carry an EpiPen with them.

wasp

How Do I Remove a Bee’s Stinger?

Again, the longer the stinger stays in your skin, the worse off you’ll be. Pulling it out with a tweezers is a great option because you won’t run the risk of squeezing more venom into your body. However, unless you have a pair readily available, it really doesn’t matter. Just get the stinger out.

How Do I Treat a Bee or Wasp Sting?

With the stinger removed, apply a cold compress. This will numb the pain and constrict your blood vessels, helping to stop the venom’s spread.

However, any topical treatments like powders or creams are largely unproven. After all, the venom is below your skin.

Hopefully the above helps shed some light on a part of the animal kingdom most of us could do without. Always avoid insects that sting and bite, but when you become the victim, try to remember the above. Need more information about how to control stinging creatures in your yard? Contact Fischer Environmental Services today to learn more about control options, (800) 391 – 2565.

 

Sources:

http://www.pestworld.org/news-and-views/pest-health-hub/posts/qa-with-dr-parada-on-insect-bites-and-stings/

http://listverse.com/2013/12/17/10-strange-and-mysterious-insect-behaviors/

Filed in: Mosquito Bites