Insects that bite, sting greatest risk for Cincinnatians this summer

CINCINNATI -- Slithering snakes are scary and long-legged spiders are creepy, but the University of Cincinnati Health Center says these insects aren't the bugs to be cautious of this summer.

According to a UC toxicology and wilderness medical expert, insects with stingers are the ones to be weary of.

"The most dangerous arthropods we’re likely to encounter this summer all belong to the order Hymenoptera: bees, wasps, yellow jackets, hornets and ants,” says Edward 'Mel' Otten, MD, professor of emergency medicine and director of the emergency department’s toxicology division. "They can get into buildings, automobiles, clothes and are attracted by the food, flowers, scents and clothing that humans have.”

He says while most people will not have serious issues from a bee sting, a significant percentage of the population can develop a life-threatening reaction if they are allergic to the buzzing bug.

Otten's best advice for avoiding the sting? Don't leave food lying around and don’t wear strong scents or bright colors.

Next on the list for most dangerous bugs to avoid this summer are the biting kind. Mosquitos and ticks can carry diseases like encephalitis or Rocky Mountain spotted fever, according to UC Health News.

Tips to avoid these potentially hazardous bites: use mosquito repellant when outside (especially after dusk) and check everyone, including pets, for ticks after walking in the park or woods.

If you do get stung or bitten this season, below are Otten’s best tips for treatment:

  • A bee or wasp sting can be treated with an ice cube
  • Witch Hazel helps with mosquito bites and ticks should be removed with tweezers
  • Anyone allergic to stings should carry an Epi-Pen and know how to use it
  • Any bite or sting that involves more than a little tiny mark and minimal itching should be considered a medical problem and should be directed to a physician or emergency department
  • Any snake bite should be evaluated by a medical professional

For the full article by UC Health, CLICK HERE.


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