Monday, 7 May 2012

How to treat bug bites

lady beetle
A few days ago, I wrote about some techniques for avoiding and preventing bug bites. Once you have a bite, relief is a beautiful thing. Most bug bites are simply an irritation.

Bugs are everywhere in nature. Where we live, in rural Ontario, and regularly walk in the forest, they live and breathe and attack in that quest for survival. I've even been bitten by lady beetles!
Yesterday, while checking my cat for burrs I spotted a tick. He was bringing home 2 or 3 burrs each time he went outside, each time he went out into Oliver's Field. The tick was teeny, and looking for a home!

Hubby's black fly bite! Huge rash.

While prevention is the best way, sometimes you have to treat bug bites. The danger, for dogs and cats, is getting heartworm from mosquitoes. There are many once-a-year preventative chemicals that your vet can recommend. Truly, the danger to us is that your pets will bring these critters into your home. Now, mosquitoes are a pain in the house. They'll buzz you all night. Black flies are better, to my mind, as they don't like being in your house and won't bother you!

Of course, once bitten, you are likely itchy.
There are several products, like After Bite, which relieve the itch. If you apply it early, it'll lessen the effects.

Wash off the bite sight, then apply them. Some are far better than others. The alcohol kills any bacteria. A local pharmacist (Perth) makes his own itch relief. Rural living!

If you are bitten by a tick, there are ways to remove it properly.

snow flea
Taking tweezers, pull it up from the bottom.
This is what we had to do for our cat.Brown Dog Tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus) and American Dog ticks Dermacentor variabilis). The black-legged tick is the one that carries Lyme Disease.

Sady has a Dog Tick which we removed.
Creepy little thing that hangs on.
They have eight legs.
I think this is the Brown Dog Tick, ironic, that, seeing as it planted itself on hubby's cat! It was fully engorged and 3 times its disengorged size. Poor old Sadie was more upset with us trying to remove it than with the tick itself! The vet has publications, mostly published by companies that sell tick prevention chemicals. Good photos, nonetheless. Pick up a brochure, they'll show you what you need to identify.
Butch, our raccoon, has fleas!

    This is a beetle that lives in the water,
    or flies about! About 3" long at my back door


Linda said...

Our daughter suffers from Lyme's disease. She has been a vet assistant and worked with animal rescue for many years, so no one is quite sure where or when she contracted the disease. But, it is a long, tough haul! And, yes, the lady beetles bite, even though people think they won't! I have AfterBite in the house, and the youngest grandson always asks for the "itch stick" when he has a bite.

DUTA said...

Thank you for this very informative post.
I don't live in a rural area, yet we have here mosquitoes, ticks and under unidentifiable factors that cause itching.
AfterBite is helpful. If not on hand, I'll apply some vinegar to the spot.

Kay L. Davies said...

I remember our collie coming home with ticks when I was a teenager in BC's Okanagan Valley. Dad knew how to remove them, and Wag was always pleased to let him do it.
I haven't seen any ticks on Lindy, and she doesn't have fleas because they can't survive our winters, but this past winter was warmer than usual. I wonder if that means there will be fleas here.

EG CameraGirl said...

Good information, Jenn. Thanks for sharing it with us. I'm often in the woods so knowing about ticks and Lyme Disease is important.

Joseph Ferguson said...

nice post