Preventive Care

Protect Yourself Against Bug Bites and Stings

Warmer weather means more time outdoors. It also means a higher chance of getting bitten by bugs or even stung as insects become more active. Whether you're hiking in the woods, enjoying a picnic in the park, or simply sitting on the porch, bug bites and stings can quickly ruin your experience. Not only are they uncomfortable and itchy, but they can also lead to allergic reactions or transmit diseases.

Although small, don’t underestimate our insect neighbors. Here are some easy ways you can protect yourself.

Avoiding Bites and Stings


  • Use insect repellents — Apply repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) on exposed skin and clothing. Follow the instructions on the label for proper application.
  • Dress appropriately Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and closed-toe shoes when venturing into bug-prone areas. Tucking in shirts and pants can minimize access points for insects.
  • Avoid peak times Mosquitoes are most active during dawn and dusk, while bees and wasps tend to be more active during the day. Plan your outdoor activities accordingly to minimize encounters.
  • Eliminate breeding grounds Remove standing water sources like birdbaths, flowerpots, or clogged gutters to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

More than Annoying

Bug bites and stings can be more than a nuisance. They can result in health complications, ranging from mild irritation to severe allergic reactions or the transmission of diseases. Understanding the significance of prevention can help you stay safe and enjoy your time outdoors. Here are a few reasons why it's important:

  • Allergic reactions — Some individuals may experience an allergic reaction to bug bites or stings, leading to symptoms like swelling, redness, itching, or even difficulty breathing. In severe cases, this can be life-threatening.
  • Disease transmission Mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects can transmit diseases like malaria, dengue fever, Lyme disease, and West Nile virus. Taking preventive measures reduces the risk of exposure to these illnesses.
  • Discomfort and inconvenience Itchy bug bites can be irritating and disrupt your daily activities or quality of sleep. Scratching too much may even lead to infection. Avoiding bites and stings altogether will spare you from unnecessary discomfort.

First Aid

Bug bites and stings may still occur despite your best efforts. Knowing how to administer proper first aid can alleviate symptoms and promote healing. Here are some general first aid measures:

  • Clean the area Wash the affected area with mild soap and water to remove any venom or irritants left behind by the insect.
  • Reduce swelling and pain Apply a cold compress or ice pack wrapped in a cloth to the affected area to reduce swelling and alleviate pain.
  • Relieve itching Over-the-counter creams or ointments containing hydrocortisone or calamine can help relieve itching. Avoid scratching the area, as it may lead to infection.
  • Seek medical attention Seek immediate medical help if you experience severe allergic reactions, difficulty breathing, dizziness, or other concerning symptoms.

With You All Year

AltaMed is with you through every season, with every bump, bruise, and bug bite, and through every stage of life. Remember to always seek medical attention if you experience severe symptoms or allergic reactions. Stay safe, enjoy the outdoors, and let the bugs remain a minor inconvenience rather than a major concern.

Contact us today at (888) 499-9303 to get started with AltaMed.

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Protect Yourself Against Bug Bites and Stings