There’s no shortage of bugs in the wild, and there are more than we think. A lot of them we can’t even see, and some of these happen to latch onto us and give us bites without us even knowing it!
However, there are some common camping bug bites that I would like you to know and learn about so you can prevent them from happening from the very start.
Many times bug bites won’t show up until AFTER your camping trip. And sometimes they are from the bugs you can’t even see.
One of the main bites, and I feel that these ones are probably the easiest to combat against since you can see them. That doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous though.
A lot of mosquitoes can carry diseases (sometimes fatal). These include: malaria, West Nile Virus, and yellow fever.
Most of the time mosquito bites will only cause your skin to itch, be inflamed, and cause pain.
Symptoms Include – Itching, soft red, pink bumps on the skin. These symptoms can occur up to 48 hours after the bite.
Prevention – By far the easiest, insect repellent. Make sure the insect repellent you use contains DEET.
Wearing light clothing is another easy way to protect yourself against these annoyances. Mosquitoes tend to be more attracted to darker colors. Take it an extra mile by wearing loose clothing, it will make it more difficult for them to find their way to your skin.
Don’t leave water sitting there. This is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, be sure to dry all your dishes right away, while all puddles near your campsite should be filled with dirt.
Cure – These treatment methods from Global Healing Center are great ways to speed the healing process up.
These are another common bug bite, and they tend to latch onto our more warmer, moist body parts. This includes our scalp, underarm, and sometimes GENITAL AREAS.
When they latch onto our body they can sometimes stay there for weeks without us even knowing it. When it has drawn enough blood, it will then detach itself.
These disgusting parasites also carry diseases. Lyme disease is a common one and is not something you want.
Symptoms Include – When there is a tick attached to you, you can feel pain or see swelling.
A rash or blister can also occur, while you may feel a burning sensation too.
Prevention – You can prevent yourself from being eaten alive by these things by simply applying some insect repellent to your skin. Again, make sure it contains DEET.
Light and loose clothing is great to combat against these annoyances too.
Stay away from long grass areas, trees, shrubs, and leaf piles. This is where they live.
Never sit on the ground either, you’re much better avoiding ticks in the first place by sitting on an outdoor bench or chair. And because they can’t fly, they will have to come in direct contact with you to get attached.
Cure – Remove the tick with some tweezers, otherwise use gloves or tissues to remove it with your fingers. It will also be in your best interest to keep it in a jar to or Ziploc bag and freeze it just in case you need to check it for diseases.
Now you should wash the entire bite area with warm water and soap. Mild dish washing soap works well. Be sure to wash your hands after removing the tick, and check everyone for ticks when you get home after your trip.
Chigger – Little Bugs With A Big Bite
Chiggers are invisible (or at the very least, hard to spot) to the human eye and tend to bite around your waist, ankles, and sometimes skin folds.
The worst part? They burrow under your skin and can turn a successful camping trip into a bad one, that’s no exaggeration either.
Symptoms Include – Extreme itching and swelling, a flat red bump (or sometimes raised bump) on the skin, the mark can resemble a pimple or blister.
Prevention – You can use insect repellent that contains DEET to prevent yourself from getting these annoying mites. However, you can also use a repellent that contains permethrin. These work extremely well with keeping chiggers at bay.
Wear long pants and high-top shoes, tuck your pants into your socks. This method works great as you walk through chigger-infected areas. Protect yourself even further by tucking your shirt into your waistband.
Consider wearing tightly-woven fabric clothing. Because chiggers can actually find their way through clothing, it’s best to wear something that’s harder for them to get through.
Again, stick to the trail, since chiggers live in vegetation while they wait for potential victims.
Cure – When you know you have a chigger bite, take a hot shower immediately. Scrub your body with soap, this will remove all chiggers you have on you.
You can relieve the extreme itch by using an antihistamine or topical hydrocortisone cream. If you don’t have any of that, an ice pack will also work.
And DO NOT ITCH, as hard as it may seem. If you do happen to break the skin, you will need to apply some antiseptic ointment. This will stop infection.
Even though fire ants aren’t located all over the globe, they can be your biggest pest when you’re out and about staying in Mother Nature.
The bite is so painful it feels like your skin is on fire!
Because they are territorial, they will move in swarms, climb up your leg and attack you repeatedly.
Symptoms Include – A group of swollen red spots, a blister can appear on top of the bite. They are painful, they itch, and will last up to a week.
Prevention – Avoid camping near sandy areas, since this is where their mounds are and are usually full of activity.
If you see signs or a nest, resist the temptation in the first place and stay away from it. One easy way is to wear shoes, socks, and long pants.
If you happen to get attacked, move away from the nest quickly and brush them off with a cloth or piece of clothing. This is so they can’t sting your hands!
Cure – Wash the bitten areas with soap and water, apply an ice pack for at least 20 minutes. After that, take an oral antihistamine.
Don’t scratch, this will infect the stings and make them last longer. Wrap the areas in a bandage to help you not scratch.
Bees And Wasps
Highly underestimated, you’ve more than likely been stung by one of these creatures at least once in your life, however there are a lot of people that are allergic to them.
Just because one reaction that you had years ago wasn’t bad, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have the exact same reaction again. This time it could be worse, or might not be as bad.
Symptoms include – On contact, the sting will be a sharp burning pain. A red welt will occur at the area of the sting, while a little swelling can occur.
Allergic symptoms include – Wheezing, shortness of breath, fast heart rate.
Swelling on face, lips, throat and tongue.
Another common allergic symptom is a skin reaction – hives, itching, flushed or pale skin.
You may get loss of conscious, diarrhea or nausea.
Prevention – Wear footwear that cover your entire foot, don’t wear clothing with floral prints, stay away from beehives, keep food and trash covered, if you’re near a bee or wasp – let it do its thing and leave it alone – if it feels threatened IT WILL attack.
Cure – Identify the stinger right away, remove it with your fingernails or a tweezer, wash the area with soap and water, then apply an ice pack.
If allergic symptoms arise, contact 911 immediately! Or get to the hospital asap.
Many of these bug bites can be prevented with a little common sense. It isn’t rocket science to know you should be wearing proper footwear when out and about in the great outdoors.
It’s not hard to know that insect repellent should also be applied every time you go camping.
Do it the easy way and always use your repellent, make it a habit to put it on just like you would with your sunscreen.
Other than that, everyone should have fun in the outdoors, I like to enjoy my camping trips by doing activities. What about you? Let me know in the comments below 🙂