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posted by: LIT First Aid on: April 30, 2021

Image by: Alex Baumel


Spring has arrived, which means warmer weather, blooming flowers, and the return of bugs! That’s right, mosquitos, ticks, wasps, and the like are back in town. This means that it’s the perfect time to brush up on your bug bite knowledge. Below, we outline a few key tips for treating different kinds of mild bug bites this spring and summer.


1. Stay calm and move to a safe space

First thing’s first, move to a safe space away from the insect(s) that bit or stung you. Stay calm by taking a few deep breaths. From there, remove the stinger if necessary and then wash the affected area, ideally with soap and water. 


2. Apply a cold compress

To reduce pain and swelling, apply a cold compress. This can either be a cloth dampened with cold water, or ice cubes or an ice pack wrapped in a cloth. If the bite or sting is on your arm or leg, do your best to elevate it in order to further reduce inflammation. 


3. Take an over-the-counter painkiller or antihistamine 

Finally, depending on the type of insect that stung or bit you, you will need to take the appropriate medicine. If your bite is itchy, you’ll want to take an over-the-counter antihistamine, or topically apply a 0.5 or 1 percent hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion. Alternatively, if you’re more concerned with the pain from the bite, then taking an over-the-counter painkiller like ibuprofen or aspirin should help.


The vast majority of insect bites or stings will cause a mild reaction. However, if the affected person experiences any of the following symptoms, then emergency care may be required:

  • Swelling of the lips, throat, or eyelids
  • Hives
  • Nausea, cramps, or vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Dizziness, faintness, or confusion
  • Fever
  • Body Aches
  • Rash

In the case of an emergency, such as a severe reaction to a bug bite, knowing basic first aid can make a huge difference. Sign up for the L.I.T. First Aid and Lifeguard Training courses to learn important first aid skills and CPR.

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