It’s summertime! Which means barbecues, picnics, baseball, fireworks, and plenty of bugs! So, here’s how to protect yourself from the flittering, crawly critters, courtesy of Natural Health magazine.
- Mosquitoes. Would you believe they cause more human deaths than any other creature, including bears, snakes and sharks? It’s true! Because they can carry diseases like malaria, yellow fever, and encephalitis. To prevent bites, remove all standing water in your yard, including your pet’s water bowl. Stay indoors at dusk and dawn when most mosquitoes feed. And try bug repellent with 20% DEET. Which interferes with a mosquito’s ability to sense the carbon dioxide you exhale.
- Ticks. A bite can cause a nasty rash, or an illness like Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever. So, if you’re in an area where you can brush up against tall grass, tree trunks or branches, wear long sleeves and long pants in light colors so you can spot and remove ticks before they burrow in. And as soon as you get indoors, take a shower and do a thorough tick-check, including your underarms and crotch area. If you find a tick, use tweezers to pull it out slowly and get the bug to release its head from your skin. Also, save the tick in a jar with a tight-fitting lid so it can’t escape. If an infection appears – like a red bull’s eye around the bite - you’ll want to take the tick with you to the doctor. The good news is: a tick usually has to be attached for at least 24 hours to infect you.
- The final bug protection tips are for bees and wasps. They’re attracted to bright colors, perfumes and aftershaves, and sugary treats, like soda and beer. If you get stung, it takes about 60 seconds for all the venom to be injected. So, quickly flick the stinger out with your fingernails, or the edge of a credit card. Then wash with soap and water, apply ice, and take an antihistamine and ibuprofen. And if you have difficulty breathing, swelling, or were stung multiple times, see a doctor right away.