It is now officially “bug season” in Ontario, with flying ants, bees, mosquitos, bed bugs, ants, fleas, ticks, gnats and spiders out in full force. It is important to pay special attention to bug bites as any kind of infection can add to your overall general viral load.
Most bug bites are a nuisance and relatively harmless, causing localized swelling, itching and redness. However if a bug bite becomes infected it can make you feel quite ill, especially if you are allergic to the bite and experience an inflammatory reaction. Some bug bites are lethal. For instance, a bite from a tick can spread diseases such as lyme disease or Rocky Mountain fever.
In some places (principally developing countries), mosquito bites may transmit malaria and yellow fever as well as viruses that cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain.)
Avoiding Bugs Is Your Best Defense
As bug bites are caused by bugs it is a good idea to take measures to keep insects and spiders out of your environment such as –
- Making sure your windows have window screens
- Removing standing pools of water where mosquitoes may breed
- Not leaving food around that could attract ants
- Clearing spider webs as soon as they form
- Washing floors, clothes and bedding regularly to prevent bedbugs and spiders
Calendula oil is an excellent natural version of an insect repellent and counter-irritant. Citronella candles can also be burned to ward away mosquitoes both indoor and out of doors.
If the problem is mosquitos or flying ants then sleeping with a mosquito net is probably a good idea.
What to Do About A Bug Bite
For ant and mosquito bites wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. A Calamine lotion or ointment such as Caladryl is an effective over the counter remedy that helps deal with the pain and swelling of bug bites.
For tick bites remove the tick as quickly as you can. The sooner the tick is removed the less chance there is of contracting any disease the tick may be carrying. Using tweezers grasp the head of the tick firmly and as close to the skin as possible and pull straight back with the tweezers. Try not to leave the head or any other part of the tick embedded in the skin. Do not touch the tick with your hands. Once it has been removed scrub the bite with soap and water. Do not try to use a match or lighter to burn the tick out of your skin or use home remedies like turpentine or petroleum jelly to try and dissolve or slide the tick out of your skin.
If an allergic reaction occurs as the result of a bug or spider bite then take the person to the hospital immediately
Most bug bites heal by themselves within two or three days. Spider bites may take a little longer – up to two weeks.
For more information about reducing your viral load, dealing with skin irritation, nutrition, recovering from infections, naturopathic testing, weight loss programs or any health issue you may be experiencing, visit the Pinewood Natural Healthcare Centre website that has a list of full services and products at www.pinewoodhealth.caor call our Toronto Office at (416)-656- 8100. We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services.