An insect bite is a condition when a person experiences symptoms as a result of being bitten by an insect. In general, insect bites or stings only cause mild symptoms in the area being bitten, including:
• Itchy rash
• Rash and redness
• Heat, stiffness or tingling sensation
• Pain in the bitten area.
Under other conditions, insect bites or stings can cause a severe reaction that requires immediate medical attention, such as:
• Nausea and vomiting
• Heart beat
• Swelling of the face, lips or throat
• Difficulty swallowing and speaking
• Hard to breathe.
Immediately consult a doctor if the symptoms above occur. Because it can be fatal to life threatening.
Types of Insect Bites
There are many types of insects that live in nature. Some insects will only sting when they feel threatened, while others deliberately bite to eat human blood, such as bed bugs. However, both types of insects can cause mild to severe conditions.
Several types of insects that bite humans to eat blood, and at the same time spread disease, include:
• Fleas. Certain types of ticks can be an intermediary for the spread of diseases, such as the bubonic plague (bubonic plague) and Lyme disease.
• Flies. Several types of flies can bite and spread diseases, such as leishmaniasis (a parasitic disease spread by the phletobomine fly), and sleeping sickness caused by the tsetse fly.
• Mosquitoes. In general, mosquito bites only cause itching. However, certain types of mosquito bites can spread serious illnesses such as Zika virus infection, West-Nile virus infection, malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever.
Apart from the above types of insects, there are also types of insects that, although they do not spread disease, their stings can cause serious allergic reactions, for example:
• Fire ants. Fire ants are an aggressive type of ant, especially when they feel that their nest is being disturbed. These ants can sting multiple times, and inject a poison called solenopsin.
• Bees. When stinging, bees generally leave a poisonous sting on the skin. If the sting is not removed immediately, more and more toxins will enter the body, and trigger a severe reaction.
• Wasp. Like bees, wasp stings are also poisonous. The difference is, if bees generally sting only once, wasps can sting multiple times in one attack.
In certain cases, bites from other animals such as centipedes or centipedes can also cause a dangerous reaction.
Insect Bites Treatment
As mentioned earlier, insect bites often cause only mild symptoms, such as itching, burning and swelling. In such cases, treatment can be carried out at home in the following ways:
• Wash the bitten or sting area with soap and water.
• If a stinger is left on the skin (for example from a bee sting), remove the sting carefully.
• Apply calamine or baking soda, on the bitten area. Do this several times a day until the symptoms disappear.
• Cold compress the bitten area with ice wrapped in a towel, or a cloth soaked in cold water. This method is useful for reducing pain and swelling.
In general, mild symptoms from insect bites will disappear within 1-2 days. But in severe cases such as being stung by a bee or wasp in the throat or mouth, the patient must be taken to the hospital immediately.
If you are in a situation where your colleague has a severe reaction after being bitten by an insect, do the following steps while waiting for medical help to arrive:
• Take off the victim’s clothes, and cover him or her
• Do not give the victim anything to drink
• If the victim vomits, sit him down so he doesn’t choke
• Perform CPR (CPR) if the victim is not breathing.
Prevention of Insect Bites
Insect bites can be avoided by staying away from areas that are generally insect habitat, such as trees and flowering plants. Prevention can also be done by taking the following steps:
• Stay away from harmful insect nests, such as bees or wasps, and don’t try to remove the hive yourself. Ask a professional insect repellent to remove the nest.
• Some mosquitoes are active when changing from day to night or vice versa. Therefore, avoid activities outside the home at this time.
• Remain calm when bees or wasps approach. Trying to hit him will only sting him. But if the bees attack in groups, they immediately run into a closed room.
• Wear clothing that protects the whole body, such as long pants and long sleeves. Choose clothes that are clean and bright in color, but don’t use perfume or fragrance.
• Some insects are attracted to food scraps. Therefore, keep the room clean, especially from leftovers.
• Eradicate mosquito nests (PSN) by conducting insecticide fogging (fogging) which is followed by 3M actions, such as tightly closing water reservoirs and burying used items that can hold water.
• Use a mosquito repellent with active ingredients DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or lemon eucalyptus oil, especially when outdoors.
• Install mosquito repellent wire in the ventilation of the house, and use air conditioning (AC).