Insect Bites and Stings
Mark Twain once said that God loved the fly, which is why He made so many of them. The same might be said of mosquitoes, spider, bees, and the zillions of other biting, stinging creatures that seem to have nothing better to do than make your life miserable.
Insects were on earth long before we were and they’ll be here long after we’re gone. If you spend any time outdoors, there’s simply no way to avoid them – or the painful, itchy consequences. But there are ways to get quick relief from close encounters with the buggy kind.
Here’s what doctors recommend you try.
Scrape off the stinger . When you’ve been stung by a bee, the stinger usually stays in the skin, where it keep releasing venom. To reduce pain and prevent swelling, it’s important to remove the stinger as soon as possible. Don’t pull it out, because squeezing the stinger can cause it to release more venom into the skin. An even better strategy is to scrape it out, using a credit card or a stiff cardboard.
Paste on relief. Applying paste made from baking soda and water directly to bites and stings can help draw out the venom, which will provide quick relief and prevent the pain from getting worse.
Get help from the kitchen . Another way to stop the pain of bites and stings is to apply a paste made from a meat tenderizer that contains pepain. This substance helps break down the proteins in insect venom, reducing the pain causing punch.
Cool the area . Covering insects bites and stings with a cool, damp cloth will help reduce swelling and provide instant pain relief. You can also put ice in a plastic bag and apply that instead.
Dress in muted colors . In sects are attracted to bright colors (which is why many flowers are adorned with brilliant reds and yellows). To stop insects from seeing you as their meal ticket, it’s a good idea to wear subdued, dark-colored clothing when you’re going to be spending time outdoors.
No scent makes good sense. Just as insects are attracted to bright colors, they’re also attracted to sweet smelling, flowery perfumes and soaps. When you’re going camping, experts say, leave the scents behind, including scented deodorants.
Load up on garlic . It’s not only vampires that are scared off by garlic. Some experts believe that eating garlic before going outside will make you less attractive to biting bugs.
Get plenty of thiamine . This vitamin also called vitamin in B 1, may give your perspiration an odor that many insects find unappealing, although it’s undetectable by humans.