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What to do when something bit or stung you – Part I

Now that school is out and the weather is hot, everyone is heading outdoors. But every hour spent outdoors – while healthy! – raises your risk of interacting with a bug. Whether it’s mosquitoes, spiders, bees and wasps, or sand gnats, you are likely to get bit or stung at least once this summer.


Most bites and stings won’t be anything but irritating, but in some cases they can cause real problems. Here’s what to look for and what to do if you have a close encounter with a bug.

Bee and wasp stings

Many people are allergic to bee and wasp venom, but they don’t know it because they’ve never been stung. That’s because bees and wasps sting only when they perceive a threat. If you stay away from them, you will lower your risk of getting stung.

If, however, they’re making your picnic a real drag, remember these tips for avoiding bees:

  1. Don’t wear fragrances – and that includes scented lotions and hair spray.
  2. Avoid wearing flower patterns – you don’t want the bee to come on to you, thinking you’re in need of pollinating
  3. If possible, don’t serve sweet drinks in cans or partially closed containers – if the bee can get into drink, and you take a drink, you’re looking at a sting!

If you do get stung and it begins swelling or you break out into hives, come immediately to our Spring Hill Urgent Care Center for treatment.

Fire ants

Getting ants in your home is no walk in the park, but fire ants are a different beast altogether. If you happen to disrupt a fire ant hill, you are looking at multiple stings, since each ant can sting more than once.

The best way to avoid fire ant stings is to eliminate fire ants and avoid disrupting anthills. But sometimes when you are mowing the lawn or discovering the backyard, you’ll encounter them anyway.

For most people, it will be enough to ice the affected area, take an antihistamine and smear hydrocortisone cream on the bites. If that doesn’t help or if the affected area begins swelling, a trip to our urgent care center in Spring Hill will be necessary.

Sand gnats

A unique problem to beaches, sandflies, aka sand fleas or sand gnats, can cause a great trip to go awry. That’s because sand fly bites hurt!

The best way to avoid sand fly bites, unfortunately, is to cover up – not always a treat on the beach. So if you do get bit, make sure you give the affected area a little TLC – smearing on hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion. And don’t itch! It just makes it worse.

If your sand fly bites aren’t clearing up after a few days or you’re seeing other unusual symptoms, drop into our Spring Hill Urgent Care Center. Unfortunately, since they bite, these creatures can pass on diseases to their victims.

These are only three potential sources of bug bites – stay tuned for our next article, where we will go over a few other buggy issues. Remember that if you see anything unusual around the bite, it begins swelling, or the bites don’t seem to be going away, you should stop into LifeGuard urgent care center in Spring Hill for immediate treatment. We are open 7 days a week to serve you when you need it.