Itching caused by Insect Bites

Itching Caused by Insect Bites

Insect bites can be a nuisance, especially when they cause itching. Whether you are trekking through a forest or lounging by a lake, taking a few precautions can help prevent insect bites and the annoying itch they bring.

Types of Insects that Bite

The most common insects that bite and cause itching are mosquitoes, fleas, bedbugs, mites, ticks, and lice. Mosquitoes are one of the most common insect culprits because they are attracted to standing water. Fleas commonly live in carpets and bedding, and bedbugs have been known to infest hotel rooms and homes.

Risks of Insect Bites

While insect bites are usually harmless, some can lead to more serious health risks. For example, mosquitoes can transmit viruses such as West Nile and Zika. Ticks can transmit Lyme disease, and fleas may spread plague. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Unexplained fever
  • Rashes
  • Body Aches/Joint Pain
  • Malaise
  • Headache

Preventing Insect Bites

To reduce your risk of insect bites, take the following measures:

  • Wear light-colored clothing and pants tucked into socks to make it harder for insects to bite.
  • Apply insect repellant containing DEET or permethrin.
  • Avoid camping or hiking near stagnant water.
  • Examine your skin, clothing, and camping gear for ticks or fleas after spending time outdoors.
  • Check hotels for signs of bedbugs before unpacking.

Treating Insect Bites

Once you have been bitten by an insect, you can take the following steps to reduce the itching:

  • Apply a cold compress or an ice pack to reduce swelling.
  • Wash the bite with soap and water.
  • Apply an anti-itch cream such as calamine lotion or a hydrocortisone cream to reduce itching.
  • Take an antihistamine such as Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or Loratadine (Allegra).

If the itching persists, please consult your doctor.