Perhaps the easiest way of dealing with the discomfort of a bite or sting is preventing one from happening in the first place. Read on to discover home remedies to protect yourself.
Keep your cool. If a wasp, yellow jacket, or any stinging insect flies near you, stay calm. Slowly move away from the area and do not flail your arms or try to swat the bug. Getting agitated may incite the insect to sting.
Unsweeten your sweat. Ever notice how two people can be sitting outdoors and insects will hover over one but ignore the other? No one is sure why, but some experts think insects find certain varieties of sweat or body odor more appealing than others. According to one theory, so far unsubstantiated, changing the smell of your sweat may repel insects. Some believers suggest that eating onions and garlic can drive bugs away. The downside? You're likely to repel humans, too.
Don't wear bright, flowery clothes or rough fabrics. These seem to attract insects for some reason. Stick to smooth fabric and light-colored outfits in tones of white, tan, green, or khaki when you plan to spend time outdoors.
Go fragrance-free. Perfume, cologne, and scented aftershave, hair spray, and soap will attract insects. You may feel a bit bland without your favorite fragrance, but it may be well worth the dearth of painful stings.
Leave bright, shiny jewelry at home. Bright jewelry and other shiny metal objects attract insects. You may lack some pizzazz, but in this case, making less of a fashion statement is in style.
Keep your shoes on. Walking barefoot through the grass may feel great, but it's not such a wise idea. Bees are attracted to the clover that covers many lawns, and yellow jackets build their homes in the ground, so going shoeless can mean stepping into trouble.
Keep food covered when outside. Picnics are a summer family favorite, but open food attracts stinging insects. Keep covers on food as much as possible and keep the lids on garbage cans as well. You're best off steering clear of public trash cans that are partially or fully open on top.
Watch what you drink from. If you're downing a cold drink outdoors, use caution. Insects can fly into drinking vessels, so guzzling a cola could lead to a sting on the tongue or throat. While outdoors, avoid drinking from cans or other narrow-lipped, open-mouthed containers that might allow bugs to launch a sneak attack when you take your next sip.
Be aware of your surroundings. When gardening or doing yard work or other outdoor chores, be on the lookout for hives. Nests can be found in the eaves and attic of your home and in trees, vines, shrubs, wood piles, and other protected places. Disturbing a nest, even by accident, can irritate the insects. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology suggests using extreme care when operating power lawn mowers, hedge clippers, and tractors, as well.
With billions of bugs out there, you're bound to get bitten or stung sometime in your life. Thankfully, relief for bites and stings is as close as the kitchen. Try the following home remedies the next time you have a run-in with an insect.
For more information about insect bites and allergies, and ways to treat them, try the following links:
- To see all of our home remedies and the conditions they treat, go to our main Home Remedies page.
- Herbal Remedies for Bites and Stings can show you how to help relieve the pain and swelling of an insect attack.
- To learn more about spiders and their bites, read How Spiders Work.
- Read How Allergies Work for information about allergy causes, symptoms, and treatments.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.