Getting bit by a mosquito can be annoying. But the pesky bug is not the only insect out there that can wreak havoc. Bees, hornets and wasps are known for their sting and fire ants can leave a series of painful welts. While mosquito bites and those from fleas and mites are unpleasant, they are basically nothing to really worry about.
The insects to watch out for include mosquitoes that carry the West Nile Virus, wood and dog ticks that spread Rocky Mountain fever, and the black legged tick that circulates Lyme disease. It’s important to know what to look for when you do experience a bite so you know whether to take care of it by yourself or seek medical treatment. Here’s more info on bites from various insects.
Common Types of Insect Bites That Itch
1. Mosquitoes Bites
An itchy reddish or dark pink bump on your arm or leg most likely means you’ve been bitten by a mosquito. Around 1 percent of mosquitoes have the West Nile Virus. Look for body aches, headaches, a rash on your skin, swollen glands, and a fever 5 – 15 days after the bite. Even more serious are convulsions, a stiff neck, and disorientation, which could mean encephalitis.
2. Bed Bugs Bites
They say “don’t let the bed bugs bite”, but it’s not because the bed bug bites hurt. An allergic reaction usually shows up within the first day but could still pop up three days afterwards. Signs of bed bug bites are extremely itchy red bumps on the skin that could turn into welts. They are most likely to show up on skin that is exposed – face, neck, hands and arms.
3. Fleas Bites
Flea bites start out in clusters of three or four and tend to gravitate towards the waist area, under the arms, and around the ankles. You might even find them in the creases of your elbows and knees. The bites are extremely itchy and range from a rash to hives. The rash has been known to expand before it heals.
4. Lice Bites
Almost invisible to the human eye, bites from lice are just as hard to see. Because they nest in human hair, most bites are on the scalp, on the neck and around the shoulders.The thing you can’t escape is the itching. If you scratch them too much they could become infected and should be treated by a physician.
5. Ants Bites and Stings
Red ants, also known as fire ants, may cause very painful as well as itchy sensations. By the time you feel the stinging sensation you could be covered in ants as these ants would first hold; the bite begins when the ants grip the skin. Bee stings are similar to these bites as they both become puss-filled blisters which can hang around for over a week.
How to Treat an Insect Bite That Itch
Summer is one of the best seasons of the year. Unfortunately, along with fun in the sun, you have to contend with an influx of insect bites. How can you eliminate the itching and painful rash and cut down on the recovery time? Try these simple tips:
1. Keep It Clean
Making sure that the bite area is clean should be the first step. If you are dealing with a bite that involves a stinger, remove that first either by squeezing it or using tweezers. Use cool water to gently clean the bite then blot the area with a soft washcloth. You can give the bite a squeeze of lemon juice, which will help prevent an infection. Apply a bandage that is large enough to cover the bite completely.
2. Make It Stop Itching
An antihistamine that comes in a spray is a great way to get your insect bite to stop itching. If you don’t have an antihistamine in your medicine cabinet, reach for the toothpaste. This will work as well in relieving the itching. One other quick tip is to hold a piece of ice on the bite for a minute or two. It will numb the area and relieve the itchiness for a short time.
Natural Remedies that Really Work on Insect Bites
Honey, but only the raw version, is well known as a treatment for skin conditions, so the fact that it works on insect bites is no surprise. It alleviates the itching and also prevents the risk of infection by drawing out the poisons.
2. Baking Soda
Mixing baking soda with a tiny amount of water to create a paste is another easy way to soothe an itchy insect bite. Put the paste on the bite, let it stay for a minute or two, then rinse it off.
3. Aloe Vera
Many people keep an aloe vera plant on hand to handle any burns they may get from cooking. This miracle plant also works for itchy insect bites. Just cut off a piece of the plant, break it open, and apply the soothing gel to the bite. It will ease the itching and diminish any swelling.
While lemon juice is an astringent and can help keep the bite clean, adding some apple cider vinegar to it will eliminate the itchiness. Combine the two liquids and apply to the affected area with a cotton ball.
5. Tea Tree Oil
The oil from tea trees can anesthetize the bite area and bring the swelling under control. Please mind that tea tree oil may cause skin irritation, so be careful with this remedy if you have sensitive skin. Alternative options could be lavender or cedar oil.
You may watch the video below to learn how to prevent insect bites: