Protecting yourself against stinging insects

News

Summertime has many hidden dangers, and one of those dangers is bugs!

Some are just a nuisance, but others can be dangerous and even deadly. There are two categories of flying insects: Those that cause allergic reaction, and insects that carry disease.

When it comes to stinging insects, the danger depends on whether you’re allergic.

“Most importantly if they do get stung, they need to use their EpiPen or get quickly to a facility,”said Doctor Ira Helfand, of Family Care Medical Center. “In fact even if they do use their EpiPen they should probably go to a facility because sometimes you need more than one shot  to control the reaction.”

Even if you’re not allergic there are steps to take to avoid being stung.

“If you get stung once, some have an alarm pheromone which tells their nest mates to also sting you,” Entomologist Natasha Wright said. “So the best thing to do is keep a safe distance until a pest management professional can come and assist you.”

Another insect that can be equally as dangerous but not as noticeable, are mosquitoes. There are three diseases some mosquitoes carry.

“Mosquito-borne illness is a problem here increasingly over the past few years mosquitoes carry West Nile Virus, they carry Zika, which has not been a problem here but it could be in future years and they carry Insufalitus,” Helfand explained.

Dr. Helfand told 22News symptoms for any of these illnesses often include a fever.

Braman in Agawam can spray your property to treat for mosquitoes. You can also use repellant.

“If you’re using DEET 20-30% DEET is good anything higher than that is pretty much wasted, I know they sell 100% DEET but you just don’t need that much,” Wright said.

Helfand said if you think you’ve been bitten by an infected  mosquito, the best thing to do is to see a doctor as soon as possible.
 

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