In our last article, we gave tips and warnings about bees and wasps, fire ants and sand flies. This time, we’re escaping the heat and open spaces of picnics and beaches to head for some tree cover. The truth is that there are different things to be worried about when you’re taking a hike in the woods. Here are some other bugs you should be on the lookout for this summer and what to do about them if you should meet them.
Ticks are one of the most common source of bites in humans. They like warm, moist areas of the body, which makes them so risky when you’re camping. Unlike other bugs, ticks remain attached to you after they bite you so that they can continue to suck your blood.
The bite itself is generally harmless, although you should try to remove the tick as quickly and completely as possible. However, ticks are notorious for carrying disease – Lyme disease being among them, and frequently misdiagnosed. If you are allergic to ticks, you’ll see problems around the bite – a burning sensation, itching, etc., which can be relieved with hydrocortisone cream. If you have a more severe reaction, then it’s time to stop into our Spring Hill walk in clinic to take quick action.
As mentioned, though, the worst part of ticks is not the bite – but the potential disease. If, in the weeks following your camping trip or walk through the woods, you notice a rash, neck stiffness, nausea, weakness or a number of other symptoms, you should come immediately to our urgent care center in Spring Hill for treatment, which may include an antibiotic.
Although we hear a lot about black widow and brown recluse spiders, they are actually quite rare. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention, though. If you get bit by a spider, most of the time it is harmless, if annoying. You should treat it by washing it and using an antibiotic ointment if you suspect it was a brown recluse. Otherwise, keep the affected area elevated and apply a cool compress to reduce swelling.
If you suspect you were bit by a black widow or if your bite isn’t healing, stop into our Spring Hill walk in clinic for immediate treatment.
These dastardly insects are so small yet so dangerous – in fact, we can say they are the most dangerous insect in the world because they transmit so many diseases! Of course, your neighborhood mosquito is more likely to cause you annoyance than malaria, but you should still be aware of diseases like West Nile virus and, more recently, Zika virus.
That’s why it’s best to always stay protected, i.e., wear light colors and insect repellent, and to eliminate mosquito hotspots if possible, i.e., no birdbaths, poorly maintained landscaping ponds, and improper drainage in your backyard. If you do get bit by a mosquito, you’ll most likely just be a bit itchy; if you have a lot of bites, e.g., from sleeping in the backyard or playing outside at dusk,, you may want to pick up some calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream to cut down on the itching.
If you have unusual persistent symptoms, like headaches, body aches, diarrhea or rash, or worse – neck stiffness, vision loss or disorientation, come into our urgent care center in Spring Hill immediately to be checked for West Nile.
LifeGuard Urgent Care is open 7 days a week, 8am-8pm to serve you when you need it – before you head to work or after that weekend BBQ. If you suspect you have been bitten by something and you are having an adverse reaction, stop in, no appointment necessary, to get it checked out.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider.