Summer is among us, which means bug bite season also approaches. While most insect bites are harmless or merely annoying, others can be dangerous. It is, therefore, prudent to try to prevent bites from pesky bugs, especially if traveling to an area known to have insect-borne diseases like malaria.
How to Prevent Insect Bites
A simple way to prevent bug bites is to reduce the amount of exposed skin. Pesky bugs generally have a hard time biting through clothing. You should, therefore, wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outside. Tuck your shirt into your pants and pull your socks over your pants. The latter may look odd, but it will keep bugs from crawling under your clothes to bite you.
For extra protection, treat your clothes with an insect repellent containing permethrin. Follow the instructions on the label and treat your clothes at least two hours before you need to wear them.
You can, of course, also apply insect repellent directly to your skin. If you’re also using sunscreen, apply the sunscreen first. Wait for it to dry completely and then apply the insect repellent.
If you’re going to sleep outside, use a mosquito net, preferably one treated with an insecticide or bug repellant. Make sure it covers you completely. If you’re sleeping in a bed, make certain the mosquito net reaches the floor. If it doesn’t, tuck it into the mattress. If you’re using a sleeping bag, tuck the net under you.
Bedbugs are blood-sucking insects that generally live inside. While they are a year-round problem, they tend to be most active during the Summer and early Fall. A hotel infested with bedbugs can ruin a vacation.
If you’re going on vacation, pack your clothes in large plastic bags with seals. At the hotel, check your room for signs of bedbugs like brown specks on the walls or bed frame. Keep your suitcase on a luggage stand rather than on the floor. Check yourself for red welts that could be bites from these pesky bugs.
Mosquitoes are a particularly noxious pest, but they have at least one weak point: They need standing water in which to breed. To keep mosquitoes out of your yard, you need to remove any possible breeding sites.
What If I Get Bitten Anyway?
In most cases, you’ll be able to use a home remedy like an ice pack or over-the-counter treatment like an antihistamine or anti-itch cream. Any of those should provide some relief.
Get in touch with us at Dermatology Consultants of South Florida if you develop a rash, aches or a fever, for these can indicate a virus or allergic reaction. We have offices in Sunrise and Coral Springs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to learn more about protecting your skin from pesky bugs!