When the good weather begins, the dreaded typical summer pests. The insects, like flies, mosquitoes, ants, cockroaches or wasps, are almost inseparable companions in the hot season. In some cases, they are just a bit annoying, but they do not itch. However, in another you do have to watch out for bites.
In general, we can divide biting insects into poisonoussuch as wasps and bees (they sting to defend themselves or instinctively, but not to feed), and suckerssuch as mosquitoes, fleas and ticks, which feed on blood and therefore bite people and animals.
The risk of bites is that they can transmit a serious disease, both to humans and animals. For example, ticks can transmit Lyme disease, which causes fever, chills, and muscle aches and, if left untreated, can spread to the heart, joints, and nervous system.
Mosquito bites are the most frequent. Only the females bite people and animals, and they do so to draw blood. The reaction occurs because the mosquito injects saliva into the skin when it draws blood, and the skin reacts with a small, itchy bump. There are people who react mildly to mosquitoes. Others, on the other hand, can see a large red and inflamed area appear that also hurts. More serious cases may involve fever or hives.
2.- Wasps and bees.
The bites of these animals increase a lot in summer, as it is the time when they are most active and people spend more time outdoors. In addition, for some years there has been a warning about the appearance of the Asian wasp, an invasive species that is now very present in areas of the Cantabrian coast and Galicia. It is important to be careful with their bites, especially allergy sufferers. Currently, the most effective treatment for people with allergies is the vaccine, which has a success rate of close to 95%.
Unlike mosquitoes, wasps, and bees, fleas don’t fly, but they do jump. Its bite resembles that of a mosquito, since it also produces intense itching and leaves a small lump on the skin. In addition, several bites often appear in a line and leave traces of blood on clothing or sheets.
In Spain alone there are more than 20 species of ticks and there has been an increase in bites this summer in several autonomous communities. In general, their sting is painless and produces few symptoms: redness, swelling or a small sore on the skin. Ticks are dangerous for animals, as they remain attached to the skin and can transmit different diseases to dogs, such as babesiosis or ehrlichiosis.
5.- Bed bugs.
Their bites are confused with those of fleas or ticks. They leave a small red spot on the skin, slightly darker in the center. Several also appear together, online or in a group. Those who experience an allergic reaction may experience itching, blisters, or even severe hives.
6.- Black fly.
This insect looks like a mosquito, but its bite is very painful and usually requires a doctor to go. When biting, it injects an anesthetic substance that makes us not feel pain at that very moment; however, their saliva produces the allergic reactions. Once the analgesic effect has passed, pain appears, and in the most severe cases, fatigue, headache or fever.
How to avoid summer bites
Avoid water areas. The insects accumulate where the water stagnates. For example, mosquitoes use areas with water to lay eggs. On the other hand, other insects, such as the black fly, prefer areas with flowing water, such as rivers.
Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. To prevent bites, it’s best to avoid taking your fur outdoors. For this reason, whenever possible, it is advisable to wear light, light-colored clothing that covers as much as possible, especially at night, when insects are most active.
protect pets. Animals are the other big affected. There are different types of antiparasitic products for them, which can be combined with each other for a more complete protection, especially if they are going to be outdoors: repellent collars, pipettes and sprays. In the case of ticks, care must be taken when removing them because they remain attached to the skin. The best way to do this is with small tweezers and grab it as close to the skin as possible so as not to crush it.
Always carry repellent. The repellent should be our inseparable companion during the summer, especially for children and if we are going to spend time outdoors or in areas with vegetation.
Have plants that repel insects. For example, citronella is one of the most effective against all kinds of insects, but there are many more: basil for mosquitoes and flies, lavender for fleas, peppermint for mosquitoes and ants or rosemary for mosquitoes and moths.
Take an extra vitamin B. Few people know that vitamin B is able to repel mosquitoes. Therefore, eating foods rich in this nutrient, such as rice, legumes, liver, salmon, sardines, eggs, whole grains and vegetables, makes sweat more acidic and gives off an unpleasant smell for insects.
How to treat bites. If we have already been bitten, the first thing we must remember is not to scratch ourselves to avoid possible infections. You have to wash the area with soap and water and put some ice to reduce the inflammation. Afterward, you can apply a rune ointment or cream to relieve itching.