Warmer winter months mean more bugs than usual when summer comes. And as more people head outdoors, pests don’t get the vacation memo. Did you know half a million people are sent to the emergency room each year due to stinging and biting insects? Don’t be one of them! An Atlanta pest control company can help with an infestation, but here’s the lowdown on common summer bugs and what dangers they present to you and your family.
These painful pests can include bees, hornets, wasps, and yellow jackets. Bees and yellow jackets only sting unless they’re provoked, so swatting or smacking them is not a smart way to rid them. If one gets close to you, blow at it, and calmly walk away. Avoid wearing strong scents, and remove and cover your garbage frequently. Wasps, on the other hand, are a species that’s more likely to attack if they feel threatened or if you get near their nests.
If you get stung and experience swelling of the tongue or throat, wheezing, dizziness, shortness of breath, or a drop in blood pressure, call 911 immediately. You’re experiencing anaphylaxis, an intense allergic reaction.
These summertime irritants are most active at dawn and dusk. If you’re outdoors during these times, stay in a screened-in porch, if possible. If not, wear clothing that leaves very little skin exposed to avoid getting bitten. Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, so stray from puddles, ponds, or lakes, when possible. Always use DEET to repel mosquitoes.
If you get bitten, resist scratching because it agitates the venom. Excessive scratching can also open the bite, which opens the door to infection. Mosquitoes are carriers of diseases like Malaria, Dengue, West Nile Virus (WNV), and Zika Virus. WNV and Zika are widespread in the U.S. and present flu-like symptoms. WNV can be life threatening, so if symptoms worsen, seek medical attention.
Regardless of the reaction you have, wash the area immediately with soap and water. If you’re covered in bites, rinse off in the shower. Take Benadryl or apply an OTC 1% hydrocortisone ointment to soothe intense itching.
Ticks are expected to be especially bad in Georgia this year. Planning a hike or a walk in a grassy area? Be aware of ticks! Ticks can transmit Lyme Disease to both humans and pets alike, with symptoms of headaches, fatigue, and a bulls-eye rash. If you see this unique rash, call the doctor.
Protect yourself with clothing that leaves little skin showing, but the best defense is permethrin-treated clothing and gear, along with DEET on exposed skin. After your outdoor adventure, be sure to do a thorough body check for ticks. Do this as soon as you return since it takes ticks a few hours to feed before they transmit infections.
If you find a tick, remove it as quickly as possible using fine-tipped tweezers. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as you can, pull upward steadily, and do not twist it. If you do, or you smack the bug, pieces of its body can break off in your skin, leading to a higher risk of infection. Once it’s out, immediately wash the afflicted area with soap and water or Hydrogen Peroxide. If you start to feel ill, see a doctor.
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