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Protect yourself from insect bites: be vigilant when in dark areas

By Edited May 25, 2015 2 10

Protect yourself from painful insect bites this holiday

Learn how to protect yourself from insect bites: we can all prevent ourselves from insect bites by being vigilant, especially when in dark areas, like when watering gardens after dusk.  There are many types of insect bites that are harmful in some way to human beings.  Many people can be affected in different ways from a variety of spider and ant bites, or even stings from bees can cause life threatening allergies.

Protect yourself by applying insect repellent before going outside when these insects are more prevalent.  Although it is not only at night that some will find your body a tasty morsel for their appetite.

March Flies are one of the most annoying when sitting around in the bush or at a barbecue.  In most cases you don't even realise they are there until they have attacked you.

Bed bugs

More and more people are finding that when stopping in holiday accommodation they need to be more vigilant and be aware of the problems of bed bugs. This does not necessarily mean that the accommodation is not kept clean. Bed bugs may be found in the cleanest of homes lurking in your pillows or mattresses or even in the cracks of your furniture.

Preventing bed bugs

Many people think bed bugs are found in dirty holiday accomadation. That is not right they may can also be found in clean bed linen in a clean home so we all need to be aware of this.

It is always easier to prevent the infestation of bed bugs by preventing their entry. Wash your linen every week; regularly vacuüm your mattress and carpets and try to avoid beds being too close to walls creating dark areas for them to breed. Replace your pillows each year for your own protection.

To eradicate them I would personally call in a professional to make sure they are gone.

 Mosquito bites 

Mosquitoes are everywhere, even in the least expecting places as well as your own back yard.  While travelling around in our caravan we recently stopped by the side of the road for a cuppa and to our horror we brushed against a bush and a cloud of mosquitoes appeared from know where.  We promptly jumped back into our vehicle and took off again.  Needless to say we spent the next 10 kilometres killing the mosquitoes that had hitched a ride with us.

Mosquitoes can carry a variety of infections that can be transferred from one person to another.  This happens in the same way as people sharing needles to some aspects. As most people will know typhoid was one of the worst problems in the jungles during the wars. They are also responsible for Dengue fever and Ross River virus. So always protect yourself against being bitten.

Protection from mosquitoes

Beware of the different types of protective products you buy - always read the labels on these products. Some when applied can cause plastics to dissolve.  I had applied some to my legs and then holding a plastic glass noticed that my hands had become sticky, it was dissolving the plastic.  Be careful if applying to your face when wearing plastic framed glasses as it can affect them too.

Sand flies and midges bites

These little devils can be found in any town and as they are so small  you don’t always see them until you feel itchy and start scratching, and then it is too late. Scratching the bite will make it worse. These little midges can cause acute discomfort to humans of all ages.

At times you may not even notice until hours after being bitten.  Locals often seem to become immune to them, often affecting the travelling tourists more.  If you have a sensitive skin the bites may blister and even cause more reactions for weeks after being bitten.  Children often look worse because they cannot resist the temptation to scratch which makes them more inflamed.

Treating midge bites

  • The sooner you treat the bites the better and less invasive the wound will be.
  • It is best to wash the area then wipe over with vinegar, preferably as soon as possible after being bitten.
  • Wipe with an anti histamine crème available from most chemists and stores
  • Wipe with human urine (yes I know what you mean but this does work, or you could wipe with baby nappy)
  • Soak in warm bath
  • Apply mild detergent, not if skin is broken

 

Tick Bites

 Ticks are one of the worst carriers of diseases to humans.  It is the secreting toxin of the tick’s saliva that causes the disease. A tick looks something like a spider. Ticks can be deadly to animals and are known to carry the bacteria which cause Lyme disease.

Ticks usually live in long grasses and bush areas.  They are known to crawl up the stems of these to latch onto animals or humans as they go by. So be vigilant when holidaying in an area that you are not sure of.

A tick on a dog or small animal can kill if left unnoticed. Ticks are blood suckers, so always check your pet for ticks as by the time you notice your pets’ lethargy it may be too late.

Preventing ticks on animals

Prevention is always better than the cure.  Therefore always apply a recommended tick and flea repellent to the back of your pets’ neck.  Although do not rely on that alone.  Always check your pet for signs of a lump on your dog or cats skin by rubbing your hand over their body.  Dogs and cats with long fur are not as easy to spot ticks on as the smoother shorter haired animals.  Be vigilant it may save your pets life.

Removing ticks

You will need: a pair of pointy nosed tweezers and warm soapy water. Wear gloves.

  • Use the tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible
  • Gently pull the tick out. Do not pull too hard or you could leave part of the tick behind. Make sure you do not squeeze the body either.
  • Make sure that the tick is complete, if not then immediately find medical attention.
  • Place the tick in a container without touching it.
  • Keep an eye on the person or pet that was bitten. Again seek medical attention if there is a problem and take the tick with you.

Never try to burn the tick

Never try to touch the tick with your bare hands always wear gloves

Remember prevention is better than a cure so carry tick and flea repellent with you when travelling. Keeping it in the cupboard will not help the animal either so remember to keep applying when required.

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Comments

Apr 11, 2011 5:50am
JudyE
This is a very informative article, Eileen. Thanks for sharing your tips.
Apr 12, 2011 12:36am
eileen
Thanks Gooby, we are all open to being bitten by them one way or another
Apr 11, 2011 9:08am
Deborah-Diane
Great advice for protecting ourselves from insect bites!
Apr 12, 2011 12:37am
eileen
Thanks Deb diane.it is so easy to be stung by these flying insects if not aware of them
Apr 12, 2011 4:21pm
footloose
Nice tips. I remember pulling off road, looking for some mud to put on a bee sting. Baking soda and water mixed to make a paste is helpful too. Good article.
Apr 13, 2011 8:50pm
eileen
footloose that baking pwd is really great for so many things thats for sure.
Apr 18, 2011 6:08pm
southerngirl09
Very informative article on insect bites. Some years, we have lots of mosquitos where I live, even though we are very careful not to leave any water in anything where they can breed. You are so right on the sprays; read carefully, and use only as directed. Have you ever used a Bounce softener sheet to help keep mosquitos away? I have, and I think it works pretty good. I rub it over the skin that will be exposed, and then I tie it around a belt loop or hang it out of a pocket. I use this method if I am only going to be outside for a short time.
Apr 19, 2011 5:27am
eileen
no southerngirl, I have never heared of that bounce sheet, sounds interesting. Thanks for letting me know. Anything that works is a godsend. cheers eileen
Oct 6, 2012 12:10am
Januarius
Eileen,Good article.Big ticks are always sticking on the skin of domestic animals,cattle in particular.The insects,swollen with sucked blood,are a great attraction to boys.A great delicacy
to them.The boys chew and swallow them in amusement,and
yeth remain unharmed.Children will always be children.
Oct 6, 2012 8:25pm
eileen
Wow, fancy eating them. yuk, But on the other hand I have never tried them it is just the thought of eating them I think. As kids we used to say something tasted like ants.
Yet we had never eaten ants so why did we say it I don't know thanks for stopping by and commenting
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