Poisonous Insect Bites


As the days become longer and the weather warms, we begin to spend more time outdoors. So do caterpillars, bees, ticks, spiders and mosquitoes. The bites of these insects can range from being just a nuisance, to having a severe life threatening reaction. Screens on doors and windows as well as using repellents containing DEET will help you avoid these creatures. Wear gloves working outdoors when lifting wood, bricks or other items that spiders like to hide under. Check yourself for bites and adhered ticks after spending time outdoors in long grasses in the wilderness areas.

Here are some of the insect bites that we should be concerned with:

Puss Caterpillar Stings – Yes there is a Caterpillar that can be harmful to your health. This long haired Caterpillar has stingers hidden underneath their hairy body. When stung, a person will feel intense pain, develop a rash, accompanied by a fever, vomiting and severe muscle cramps. Remove stingers by using cellophane tape and seek medical attention.

Ticks – Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are two diseases carried by ticks. Ticks like to attach themselves around the moist areas of the groin and armpits. It usually takes an attached tick up to 36 hours before the transmission of Lyme Disease. The first signs you will begin to see is a circular rash developing upon the skin.

Black Widows – Their bites can be painless or very painful. Black Widows can be identified by the red or orange hour glass marking on their undersides. Look for the fang marks or if you begin to suffer from severe muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting and seizures, seek out immediate medical attention. You will need administration of anti-venom treatments.

Brown Recluse – Another poisonous spider which has a red or dark brown color. This bite is usually painless though it will have severe consequences. The skin will redden and then turn white at the bite sight. A bull’s-eye blister will begin to form. Immediate medical care will be necessary.

Mosquitoes – Though their bites are usually just a nuisance with itching, mild reddening and swelling of the skin, but they can also spread the West Niles Virus and Dengue Disease. Again screens on windows and doors, the use of a insect repellent and wearing long sleeves and pants will reduce the opportunities to be bit. Also makes sure to not have any standing water around your house, such as in a wheel barrow, buckets or depressions around your yard.

Severe reaction may cause anaphylactic shock. Any swelling around the eyes, tongue, lips or throat. Any difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath, dizziness, severe cramping or the development of hives, you should get immediate medical attention. Call 9-1-1 or use an Epi-pen, if one is prescribed for you.
Reference: First Aid – 463

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