Bug Bites

There are several bugs to watch out for while hiking or going on camping trips. Bugs to watch out for are ticks, chiggers, and both the brown recluse spider and the black widow spider.


If you get bit by a chigger,  don’t panic –  it won’t be fatal. Chiggers are extremely small and they burrow into the pours of your skin. Chigger bites are not deadly, however they cause some itching such as a mosquito bite would.  If you are bitten by one, you can be relived of its itch by using calamine lotion or dabbing the bite with clear nail polish.


Brown Recluse Spider

If you are bitten by a brown recluse spider, you may not know it right away.  It can take two to eight hours for that bite to take effect.  The symptoms of the bite of a brown recluse spider are: swelling, pain, and redness.  An open sore will most likely form at the location of the bite. The victim will also experience fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and joint pain. A light rash will commonly formed over the victims wound.


Black Widow Spider

A bite from a black widow can cause sharp pain and redness at the wound. The victim may also suffer sweating, nausea, vomiting,  severe muscle pain, stomach cramps,  shock  and spasms. Breathing can become difficult as well. If you have never been bit by a black widow before it is recommended to go to a primary care center.  If you are allergic the bite can be deadly.

Tick Bites

Next, tick bites. If you are bitten by a tick, you are advised to use tweezers and gently pull the tick  out.  If you jerk the tweezers and are to restless, the ticks mouth piece could break off into your skin.  After that, wash the wound with soap and water and apply antiseptic. Sometimes ticks can carry diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky mountain spotted fever. Lyme disease can affect your skin, nervous system and your joints.  Rocky mountain spotted fever can cause  headache, abdominal pain, vomiting, and muscle pain. A rash can also occur , but won’t show in the first few days. If this is not treated it can be fatal.

Bee Stings

Finally, if you are stung by a bee or hornet, you should take the dull side of a knife and scrape over where the stinger is. If you do not have a knife handy, a credit card works as well.  You never want to squeeze the stinger, because that can make more venom go into the skin.  If you have never been stung by a bee or hornet before and you feel sick, you are to go straight to the E.R. If you are allergic, bee stings can be deadly. If you know you’re allergic, it is advised to keep an EpiPen with you at all times in case you are stung.

Insect stings usually just cause some pain, a little swelling and itching.  Others may have a more serious reaction called anaphylactic shock.  Someone experiencing anaphylactic shock may have symptoms of swelling of the throat which makes breathing very difficult.  In this case, immediate medical attention is necessary.            

Prevention of Bug Bites


To avoid bug bites and help treat them, you can do a few things:

  • Always be prepared with a first aid kit and dress appropriately. In a first aid kit, you should have remedies for these bites.
  • If you are hiking in the woods, you should have a hoodie, jacket, long sleeve shirt and long pants.  Button your shirt and tuck your pants into your boots so these bugs won’t be able to bite you as easy. Make sure you bring calamine lotion, gauze pads, band aids, antiseptic, Neosporin and mole skin.
  • Have a cell phone in case you need to call for help.

   Written by Dylan Pitts  5/7/2013

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