2017-08-29 / Front Page

Dealing with bites

Purdue Extension Corner

With Labor Day weekend coming up, I thought it was a great idea to provide everyone with a few tidbits of information related to bites from outdoor pests. First, it is important to realize that some individuals are allergic to insect bites. Therefore, if a person is stung and has a rash develop over most of their body, has trouble breathing, feels dizzy, feels sick or throws up, or has chest pains, then it warrants a trip to the emergency room (and/or calling 9-1-1).

Bites and stings can make your skin red and itchy for up to five days. Try not to scratch the bite/sting because it can become infected. If you think you have been bitten or stung, take the time to wash the area. Once you have washed it up, cool the skin, by placing an ice pack on it for 20 minutes, removing it for 5 minutes, and repeating the process. Lastly, lift the part of the body that was bit or stung to help cut down on the swelling.

If you find a tick on you, then use a pair of tweezers to get it off. To remove it properly, take the tweezers and find the tick’s mouthpart, then lightly apply pressure and pull the tick up slowly and steadily. Once you have the tick removed, dispose of it in a sealable plastic bag in the trash outside your home. I would also suggest keeping the tick in the sealable plastic bag for a few days before disposing of it. That way if the individual develops a rash or gets sick, you will have the tick there and can show it to the doctor.

In an ideal world, no one would have to worry about bug bites, stings, or ticks. Here are some helpful hints on how to strive towards the ideal world by preventing bites and stings. When outside, try to wear dull colored clothing. Brightly colored clothes actually attract insects. Likewise, avoid wearing perfumes. If you see an insect, do not swat it away. When you swat an insect away, you are more likely to annoy it and cause it to retaliate in an effort to defend itself.

Using an insect repellent is another good way to help avoid bug bites and stings. When selecting what insecticide to use, read the label to ensure you are applying it properly. Try to select an insect repellent that contains DEET at a level less than 10 percent. When applying the insecticide, do not apply it to any youth under 2 years of age or on anyone’s hands, mouths or eyes. Once you are done outside, remember to change clothes and wash your skin that has been exposed to the insecticide.

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. All times listed are Eastern Time.

Upcoming Events:

August 29-Women Walk Putnam County Luncheon, Putnam County Hospital

September 1-My Record of 4-H Achievement due

September 4-Labor Day, Extension Office is Closed

September 5- Putnam County Master Gardener Meeting, Julian Mathematics and Science

Center, social time at 6:30 p.m., educational program at 7:00 p.m.

(by Mark Evans, County Extension Director, 4-H Youth Development Educator, Purdue Extension Putnam County)

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