Well, spring is here and summer is close, time for backyard fun, fishing and camping, and of course insects, flying, buzzing, biting, stinging, irritating, insects.
Depending on what part of the country you live in will tell what you have to put up with. Around my neck of the woods we pretty much have them all. Mosquitoes, ticks, bees, hornets, wasps, and along with them the stings and bites and the skin afflictions that come with them.
Keeping a first aid kit handy is always a good idea, but keeping one with the right potions and powders for the various stings and bites is even better. One of my favorite things to keep handy is a pen-shaped Benadryl itch relief stick. They help keep mosquito bites from itching which in turn will keep you from scratching, which in turn will prevent the bite from becoming infected.
I also keep Benadryl caplets and capsules handy too for stings to help prevent the effects of a mild reaction to the venom; however, for persons with a more severe allergy to bee stings it is necessary for them to keep an EpiPen ® handy. EpiPen ® and EpiPen Jr (0.3 and 0.15 mg epinephrine) auto-Injectors are for the emergency treatment of life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis.) EpiPen Auto-Injectors contain a single dose of epinephrine, which you inject into your outer thigh.
In some countries a mosquito could mean death, but not here in the United States right? Well, not necessarily, mosquitoes have been known to carry many diseases and the US isn”t immune. Although it has been eradicated for the most part in the US, there are still occasional reports of malaria.
Around the world “mosquitoes transmitting malaria kill 2 million to 3 million people and infect another 200 million or more every year. Tens of millions more are killed and debilitated by a host of other mosquito-borne diseases, including filariasis, yellow fever, dengue and encephalitis.” (https://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/pcmosquitoes.htm)
And lets’ not forget about West Nile virus, there have been many cases in the US in recent years, this is a mosquito borne disease that has turned up in livestock as well as humans.
Insect repellants containing Deet work quite well for mosquito and tick prevention, and I would imagine it would work equally well for fleas and ants too. And it”s a good idea to keep these critters off of you. Ticks may carry Lyme disease, a debilitating disease that affects the central nervous system with symptoms like arthritis, fatigue, muscle weakness, and loss of muscle coordination.
Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics if diagnosed quickly enough but if left unchecked the effects can be permanent. If you are bitten by a tick you will know because they burrow their head under your skin, if after you remove the tick and you develop a “bull’s eye” like rash see your doctor immediately for diagnosis and treatment.
Another repellant that I am familiar with is a product put out by Avon called “skin so soft”, I can”t tell you why but I can tell you that this stuff works. I actually think it works better than the OFF! brand of repellants. Just speculation here, but perhaps it contains neem oil, this substance has been used for thousands of years as an insect repellant. I remember my grandmother telling me they used to rub bacon grease on themselves for insect repellant way back when.
There may be several products on the market to relieve the effects of stings and bites, but prevention is the best medicine. Using a proven repellant is the best bet, after all, if you aren”t bitten or stung then you don”t need to treat it.
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