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Insect bites can be painful or bothersome for everyone, but they can be life-threatening for people with insect bite allergies. As the weather warms up, more bugs will be outside, and it’s important to be prepared.

These are some insects that are often the source of bites and stings:

  • Bedbugs
  • Bees
  • Fire Ants
  • Hornets
  • Mosquitos
  • Spiders
  • Wasps
  • Yellowjackets

Insect Bite Reactions

It’s common to react to being bitten by an insect. Symptoms can vary in severity, and it can sometimes be challenging to differentiate between common and allergic reactions. Here are some signs you should look out for:

Common Reaction

  • Pain
  • Swelling at the site of the bite
  • Redness

Local Irritation

  • Mild to moderate swelling
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Redness

Mild Allergic Reaction

  • Pain
  • Mild to moderate swelling
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Pimple-like Spots

Severe Allergic Reaction (needs immediate medical attention)

  • Trouble breathing
  • Hives
  • Wheezing
  • Rapid Pulse
  • Dizziness

Pay attention to how your body reacts to insect bites and schedule an appointment with an allergist if your symptoms progress beyond mild pain or irritation. Seek immediate medical attention if your symptoms worsen to the point of a severe allergic reaction.

Tips to Avoid Insect Bites

If you have an allergy to insect bites or suspect you might, there are many ways to protect yourself from the threat of getting bitten. Follow these tips to keep yourself insect-free:

Wear Long-Sleeved Shirts and Pants

Dressing appropriately is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself from insect bites. Wear long-sleeved clothing to keep your limbs covered when you are outside during the warmer months or in an area with many insects. Some insects are drawn to bright-colored clothing, so keep your wardrobe more neutral. Also, wearing socks and shoes will protect your feet if you stumble upon a nest.

Identify and Avoid Insect Nests

There are many different types of insect nests and places where they might appear, including:

  • Beehives for honeybees
  • Bushes, trees, and buildings for hornets and wasps
  • Dirt mounds for ants and yellow jackets
  • Indoor and outdoor webs for spiders

Keep note of which insects you are allergic to and where you can find them inside and outside of your home.

Use Screens on Windows and Doors

Screens can be an easy way to keep insects outside your home. Many insects enter your home through an entryway, and a screen can block bugs from getting in. They can be placed on your windows and doors and used year-round. If you have screens, clean them often and check for holes and other openings.

Use Insect Repellant

Using bug spray, repellant, or candles can also keep insects away. There are many different types of bug sprays, and some may irritate your skin. Try a few before finding one that is right for you. Additionally, spraying repellant near your trash cans and lighting a repellant candle can keep bugs away when you are outside.

Bring a Buddy to Outdoor Activities

If you have a severe allergy, bring a friend along for your outdoor activities. Tell them about your allergy and what to do if you have a life-threatening reaction. Epinephrine kits, including the common brand EpiPen, can give you the medicine you need immediately, so always keep one with you.

There are many ways you can prepare for and prevent an allergic reaction on your own, but there are other preventions, such as allergy shots, that you can discuss with a doctor. Dr. Jeffrey Langford can assess your needs and determine the right treatment plan for you.

Do you have an insect bite allergy? Talk to Langford Allergy.

Dr. Langford and our team will accurately diagnose your condition and begin a treatment plan to help you achieve successful outcomes with your health. Schedule an appointment with us today: 478-787-4728