Insect Bites (cont.)
Insect Bites Prevention
You can minimize your exposure to insect bites and stings by changing your
patterns of activity or behavior.
- Have a professional exterminator or hive keeper remove or destroy nest
or hives of biting or stinging insects or bugs; do not attempt such actions by
- Some vector mosquitoes are most active in twilight periods at dawn and dusk
or in the evening, so avoid outdoor activity during these periods. Wear
long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats to minimize the areas of exposed skin.
Shirts should be tucked in.
- Use insect repellants. Repellents applied to
clothing, shoes, tents, mosquito nets, and other gear will enhance protection.
- Permethrin-containing repellents (Permanone) are recommended for use on
clothing, shoes, bed nets, and camping gear. Permethrin is highly effective as
an insecticide/acaricide (against ticks and mites) and as a repellent.
Permethrin-treated clothing repels and kills ticks, mosquitoes, and other
arthropods and retains this effect after repeated laundering. Such treated
clothing is thought to pose little danger for poisoning to humans wearing it.
- Repellents containing DEET (N,N-diethylmetatoluamide) as an active ingredient
are recommended by most authorities. Formulations containing 30% DEET or less
are recommended by some researchers because the additional gain in repellent
effect with higher concentrations is not significant when weighed against the
potential for toxicity, which include rare cases of encephalopathy (brain
infection) in children. Follow the directions on the bottle or spray can to
avoid toxicity to children and adults.
Insect Bites Prognosis
Most people respond well to home or emergency treatment for bug bites or
stings. People with very severe allergic reactions or those who do not respond
to initial treatment will often require hospital admission for further treatment
and monitoring. A severe episode may be fatal in spite of appropriate medical
For people who get a disease transferred from insect/bug bites or stings, the
outlook depends on the disease transmitted, how quickly it is diagnosed,
appropriately treated and the overall health of the individual. Outlooks or
prognoses of these diseases may vary from good to occasionally poor if organs
are permanently damaged.
Medically reviewed by Joseph Palermo, DO; American Osteopathic Board Certified Internal Medicine
CDC.gov. Insects and Scorpions.
CDC.gov. Fight the Bite for Protection from Malaria Guidelines for DEET Insect Repellent Use.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/1/2016
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