How to Prevent Insect Bites This Summer

Summer is the time to be outdoors enjoying the fresh air, warm sunshine and soaking in everything Mother Nature has to offer. While the dangers of frostbite are in the rearview mirror, insect bites pose a new threat. Thankfully, Five Star Regional Medical Director Dr. LouAnne Ten Kate has some helpful insect prevention tips to share.

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First, walk in the center of trails while using insect repellents. When you have completed your walk or hike, be sure to shower and conduct a full body check to be sure no ticks have attached themselves to you or your pet. Tumble clothes on high heat for one hour to kill any other remaining ticks. If a tick is spotted, use a tweezers to gently pull the tick out at the level of the head.  Do not squeeze the body.

Next, stings from bees, wasps and ants also pose health issues, and if you’re stung, scrape the stinger from the skin and be aware of any allergic reactions that may arise: rashes, itching, swelling, disorientation, cramping, vomiting and breathing problems. Cool compresses and antihistamines can help with some mild allergic reactions. Tylenol and ibuprofen can be used to alleviate discomfort.  Seek medical attention immediately for reactions that involve more than just the local area of the sting.

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Here are some additional basic insect bite prevention tips:

  • Use insect sprays containing DEET and use permethrin on clothing
  • Wear long sleeves, pants and socks
  • Avoid being outside at dusk and dawn when possible

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If you are bitten or stung, Five Star Urgent Care recommends consulting with your primary care provider, or visiting the nearest Five Star facility.