No one likes getting bug bites! Bites can be itchy and annoying, though thankfully most of them will go away on their own in about a week. That said, bug bites are more common if your home or property has a pest problem. If you notice you are getting more bites from mosquitoes, spiders, or flies than you would like, our pest management company can help! Located in Carmichael, we are happy to be a pest control company that serves Roseville, Davis, and all of the Greater Sacramento area! Keep reading to learn more about handling bug bites, and be sure to get in touch with the Earthwise team if you are concerned about the number of pests on your property.
Bug Bite Symptoms
Bug bites can range from a small red speck to a large rash to a pustule and just about everything in between. The appearance of a bug bite depends on both the type of bug and how the bug’s venom or saliva interacts with the body chemistry of the victim.
Some bites can be used to identify the type of pest at hand. For example, a tick that transmits Lyme disease will often leave a mark that looks like a large bullseye target. Most bug bites, though, look relatively similar. They appear as a small, red bump, occasionally filled with pus, and are almost always itchy.
If you have symptoms beyond bumps and itching, such as a headache, a rash that spreads to other parts of the body, difficulty breathing, or a fever, you might be having a bad reaction to the bite and would then need to seek medical attention.
For most bites, the information below can help you manage the pain and itching until the bite goes away.
Cool The Area
Cooling the area with an ice pack or a cold washcloth can help reduce inflammation and swelling, and it can provide pain and itch relief. The cold ice can also help to numb the area, letting you momentarily forget about it.
Stop The Itching
Because many secondary infections occur due to scratching a bug bite and breaking the skin, it is very important to find a way to stop the itching if you don’t have the willpower to not scratch. A few over-the-counter medications exist that are great itch-stoppers. These include calamine lotion, hydrocortisone cream, and benzocaine. A more natural option includes witch hazel, a plant-derived product that can reduce swelling, stinging, and itching.
If you don’t have any of the above, you likely have a few items in your kitchen that can provide itch relief for bug bites. You can use plain oatmeal to create a paste and apply it over a bite, or you can even take an oatmeal bath. Oatmeal is very soothing and can help reduce irritation. You can also put some honey on the bite, which has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Finally, a dab of vinegar can reduce stinging and itching while acting as a natural disinfectant.
As we mentioned above, scratching your bug bites can lead to an infection. This is especially true for bug bites in children who might not keep the bite as clean as an adult would. Scratching bites can also lead to permanent scarring, which most people would like to avoid.
Medical Assistance For Bug Bites
Everyone reacts differently to bug bites and it is important to recognize when a bite is causing something more severe than just itching. If you experience a rash that spreads over the body, difficulty breathing, chest pain, muscle cramps, dizziness, elevated heart rate, or swelling, you should seek immediate medical attention.
If a bug bite becomes infected or you experience an ongoing headache or other unusual symptoms after a bite, it might be a good idea to stop by urgent care for help.
Thankfully, most bug bites go away on their own within a few days. While an individual’s reaction may vary, bug bites are often much less severe than insect stings from a wasp or scorpion.
The Best Bug Bite Treatment Is Prevention
When common backyard pests carry deadly diseases such as West Nile virus and Lyme disease, it is important to prevent bites from occurring in the first place. To do that, make sure you take appropriate steps to reduce the likelihood of a bite. These can include the following:
- Wear long sleeves and pants. While we all like to stay cool in the summer, if you’ll be spending time outside, it is best to have as much coverage as you comfortably can. This is especially important if you work in an outdoor environment and are frequently surrounded by biting and stinging bugs.
- Use insect repellent. Insect repellents that contain DEET are often regarded as the most effective and are perfectly safe to use when you follow the instructions. Though they may be smelly, it is better to deal with a weird scent than to come home with lots of bug bites.
- Light citronella candles. If you’ll be spending time on your patio, light a few citronella candles to ward off curious insects.
- Call a pest management company. Our Roseville pest management team can help you take care of any pesky pest problems whether you have bed bugs, ants, mosquitoes, spiders, or some combination of annoying pests. We treat both indoor and outdoor pests and can use effective methods that offer long-term pest management.
Let Us Help Rid You Of Biting Pests!
We want to help you keep your Sacramento-area home and property pest-free. If you are dealing with bug bites far too often, let us know and we can perform a thorough pest inspection to get to the bottom of the problem.
We use a method of pest control called Integrated Pest Management which involves discovering why pests are attracted to your home or property and eliminating those factors to prevent future infestations.
Get in touch with our Roseville pest management team today to learn more about our services and how our method can help you get rid of pests on your property.