Insect Bite Relief – Strategies for Quick Remedy

Getting bitten or even stung by insects is an unfortunate event to have to ever experience. It’s quite amazing how such tiny creatures can induce so much pain and irritation to creatures as large as us. Sure, some of us can be tough and just “walk it off”. But for some people, the damage done by insects can be quite significant. Still, it would be good to learn a thing or two about insect bites.

Here are some of the more common symptoms that one may experience after a bite or sting.

Symptoms Often Experienced

At the site where one is bitten or stung by an insect, victims will often experience:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Itchiness
  • Pain

These symptoms are usually minor and will go away on its own. But in rare cases, one might experience some higher risk symptoms.

CAUTION: High Risk Symptoms

If after being bitten or stung, you start to feel:

  • Dizziness
  • Swelling starts to move towards the face
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • A feeling of illness if bit/stung multiple times

Please see a physician immediately at the ER. If you find that you have such severe allergic reactions to insect bites/stings, be sure to ask your doctor about getting an Epi-Pen. There’s a chance you might not use it, but when you do need it? You will already have it at hand and this can really save your life.

Bug Bite and Sting Removal Process

If you do not have the high risk symptoms above, then you shouldn’t have to worry about the severeness of the bite/sting. Still, it can be quite uncomfortable to endure the experience. Here is how to treat it and speed up the recovery process.

  • If a stinger is present, remove it. You can do that by pulling it out with your hand or tweezers. The stinger will most likely come out. Sometimes, toxins from the stinger or even saliva may have entered that wound site for some time. The chemical tends to just stay just right underneath the skin. That will contribute to the discomfort. It would be good to remove some of that.

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  • You probably watched movies where when bit by some creature, the victim would suck out the poison. Not a bad idea, but what if you accidentally swallowed the toxin in the process? That may lead to more problems like stomach issues. Therefore, instead of doing that, it would be better to use a tool like the Bug Bite Thing.
    • This tool looks like a syringe except it creates a suction effect instead of injecting. This would create a vacuum that would remove any chemical released by the insect. When those chemicals are no longer present, your body will also stop reacting to it (the itchiness, swelling, etc.).
  • Once the stinger is out, be sure to wash the area with soap and water.

  • If the itching becomes unbearable, you can take an allergy medication as well. You can also apply topical antibiotic like Neosporin.
  • Apply ice to reduce the swelling if needed for pain. You can also take Ibuprofen to further control the swelling and Acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help with pain.

How to Use the Bug Bite Thing

  1. Just place the tool over the affected site
  2. There are handles on the sides of the tool, just hold it and pull. You will start to feel a suction-like sensation.
  3. Hold the handle for 10 – 20 seconds and then release.
  4. The stinger (if available) will be sticking out enough for you to pull out (if it wasn’t already). You will also see some fluid, but just wipe it off.

Strategies to Avoid Insect Bites/Stings

Of course, avoiding a potential insect bite or sting altogether is much better than having to treat one so how can one do that?

  • Avoid visiting areas that have too many flowers or a lot of color. The nectar within flowers and bright colors are what attract insects to it.
  • On that note, be sure to avoid wearing too many bright colors when going outdoors where insects are abundant.
  • When you encounter bees or wasps, be sure to remain calm. These creatures are generally quite gentle UNTIL they start sensing some threat. They will attack and sting as a result.
  • If you are eating food outdoors, be sure to cover your food whenever possible. Especially with sweet foods and drinks, insects like bees will definitely be attracted to it.
  • Wear long sleeves and avoid skin exposure as much as possible. Any exposed area is a spot where insects can potentially attack.
  • Wear insect repellent.
  • If you decide to purchase the Bug Bite Thing, be sure to carry it around with you if you suspect a potential bug contact. Carry it in your emergency medical kit especially if you go on picnics or hikes.

Summary

Bug bites and stings are a terrible thing to have to experience. As much as we try to avoid it, sometimes, it is just inevitable to be attacked by a bug. But you now have strategies and tools like the Bug Bite Thing if you happen to get bit or stung. You are also aware of the signs and symptoms to watch out for that may require an ER visit.

If only all the bugs we encounter are completely harmless like butterflies. Some of these dangerous bugs are actually beneficial to society like bees. They only attack when provoked. On the other hand, you also have bugs that are just a pure nuisance like mosquitoes. Still, please do your best to stay safe from their bites and stings!

Did you enjoy this article? Have you tried using the Bug Bite Thing before? Please leave a comment below!

Are you at home and have an ant infestation? Click here to learn how to get rid of them.

Maybe you have a fruit fly infestation? Click here to learn how to control their population.

8 thoughts on “Insect Bite Relief – Strategies for Quick Remedy”

  1. Hi Mike,

    FYI, acetaminophen & ibuprofen are both anti-inflammatories.  Either one will help with pain AND swelling.  Taking one for pain and one for swelling is completely unnecessary & probably not safe.

    The Bug Bite device looks really interesting.  It’s a unique approach to dealing with bug bites.  I don’t have severe reactions, but I certainly do not enjoy the many bug bites I get every summer.  I’ll probably do some more research on this.

    Thanks for bringing it to my attention with your blog post.

    Karen

    Reply
    • Hello Karen! It’s quite interesting about acetaminophen and ibuprofen. I wasn’t sure at first about whether they are both anti-inflammatories or not so I did do a little research beforehand and before I posted my article. Apparently, acetaminophen isn’t an anti-inflammatory. It’s more classified as an analgesic. BUT, the way they both work (at least for the goal we want to achieve), I can definitely see how they both have that “anti-inflammatory”/pain-reducing effect.

      Ibuprofen for sure is an anti-inflammatory. I know when the pressure builds up from the swelling, that’s when pain kicks in (I imagine the region with the bite feeling like it’s going to explode). By first reducing the swelling, it then indirectly reduces pain. Acetaminophen, on the other hand, will directly reduce the pain. 

      In the end (especially for the bitten victim), the goal is still pain/inflammatory relief (and not so much on drug classification) and both acetaminophen and ibuprofen will do just that. 

      From my understanding, I believe you can actually take both because they work through different pathways, but probably not recommended. Both drugs will indeed help with pain relief. However, the side effect of ibuprofen puts more strain on the stomach when taken too much while acetaminophen puts more strain on the liver. The only problem with taking both is, now that individual needs to consistently take both to feel that pain relief. Taking one and not the other wouldn’t have the same strength and effect anymore since the body has grown accustomed to taking both by that point. In addition, the constant use would put added stress on both organs which is what we don’t want. 

      Rather, it would be better to alternate between Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen. That way you get the benefit of similar pain relief with the 2 drugs while limiting toll on the two organs (they get alternating rest days).

      Other than that, I am happy to hear that you do not have any severe reactions to bug bites/stings. Do check out the bug bite thing more and only purchase when you feel comfortable though.

      Reply
  2. Hi Mike!

    I love your site! Life hacks are awesome 🙂 One of my jobs is in education and it seems like the ‘Bug Bite Thing’ tool would be great to have in the first aid kit at the school. (of course, only for the kids who don’t have severe allergic reactions). 

    It seems to be a kid-friendly tool that would take some of the pain and fear out of bug bits for kids. 

    Thanks for the recommendation!

    Reply
    • Hello there, Beth! That’s awesome that you are in the field of education working with kids and helping them with their future. The bug bite thing would be a great tool to have especially for the field trips that are outdoors where there are potential bugs biting/stinging.

      Reply
  3. Thank you fo0r this wonderful piece. Two weeks ago my son was bitten by a bee, It is timely to me. I have read the whole article especially the bug bite device which is very interesting. This has prepared me. I will try and apply for one in case of a bite. Thanks much for this information. 

    Thank you for this

    Gad.

    Reply
  4. Good and Interesting topic. Even I also experienced Insect Bite at childhood time. But the I did not face any High risk symptoms. I felt pain and redness. Going to the topic it is interesting and I also heard about the Bug Bite it really works good. Nice explanation about the use of Bug Bite and Strategies to avoid insect bites. Interesting topic go through like this, waiting for another interesting topic from you.

    Reply
    • Hello there! Glad you enjoyed reading this article and also that you did not have any high risk symptoms. More content will definitely be coming.

      Reply

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