Health Care

How to Take the Sting Out of Summer

A Mother and Daughter Walk Their Labradoodle on a Country Road.

How to Treat Bug Bites and Stings

Nothing ruins a perfect summer get-together faster than bugs crashing the party. And while bites and stings from common insects such as ants, bees, fleas and mosquitoes are usually harmless, they can cause irritation, itching and swelling.

For serious bites and stings or symptoms that worsen, our urgent care experts are here to help, seven days a week and with no appointment required.

Take Steps to Avoid the Insects

Coming into contact with bugs is a natural part of spending time outdoors, but those tiny critters can be persistent. This summer, stay one step ahead by making your space less appealing for bugs to visit. When you can, try to:

  • Burn citronella candles
  • Drain any standing water in your yard
  • Turn on an oscillating fan
  • Use bug repellent
  • Wear long sleeves, pants and closed-toe shoes

How to Care for Itches and Irritations

In rare cases, bug bites or stings may cause an allergic reaction or more serious illness, such as Lyme disease or infection with West Nile virus. However, a little TLC is usually all you need to soothe any affected areas.

First, wash the spot with soap and water. Then apply an ice pack to reduce swelling. If the area is uncomfortable, you might also get some relief from over-the-counter treatments, such as:

  • Anti-itch creams
  • Oral antihistamines (the kind you use for allergies)
  • Topical pain relievers you can rub or spray on

If you have a serious allergic reaction that includes vomiting, trouble breathing or a swollen tongue or throat, get medical help right away.

We hope you’re able to enjoy lots of time outdoors this summer without being bugged too much. If you’re worried about a bite or sting or it seems to get worse, you can walk into your neighborhood Centra Care seven days a week to be seen by our experienced providers.

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