Mosquito bites are distressingly familiar, we’ve all been bitten by one numerous times, and can recognize the itchy, swollen bump that results. But what about all those other mysterious, red, itchy spots that show up after you return home from all of your fun and adventurous outdoor activities? In this blog, we offer up a description of some of the most common bites you can expect to receive this summer, in order to protect yourself as best as possible.
Mosquitoes are prolific, annoying pests, that find their way into camping trips, cottage weekends, afternoon hikes and basically any activity people enjoy outdoors. Mosquitos live in grass and bushes with their favorite breeding ground being standing water, including birdbaths, clogged rain gutters, storm drains, pools, ponds, etc.
As numerous as mosquitoes are, thankfully, only the females bite humans. Both male and females feed on plant nectar and water. However, females require blood in their diet in order to reproduce.
Female mosquitos have long, tubular mouthparts that allow them to pierce your skin and feed on your blood, which usually results in an itchy welt. Most people are allergic to proteins found in mosquito saliva, which is the cause of the itchiness and swelling. Mosquitoes choose their victims based on the scent of your perspiration, so your sweat has a lot to do with whether you get bitten!
Black flies are very common throughout the United States, often found near bodies of water where their larvae grow. Black fly breeding grounds are very similar to that of mosquitoes, which is why these two bugs get confused for one another all the time. And just like the mosquito, the females are the only biters, requiring the blood for reproductive purposes.
Black flies typically bite near the head or face, and their bites leave a small puncture wound that can result in anything from slight swelling to a swollen bump. Black fly bites are especially painful because the fly cuts a hole in the skin in order to feast on a pool of blood.
Bees don’t need an introduction, nor do they need a description. Everyone knows what they look like, and chances are, you also know what a sting feels like. Getting stung by a bee in your lifetime is understood by most to be inevitable.
Honey bees, bumblebees, sweat bees, and other species, all have the capacity to sting. The stings of most of these species can be quite painful, and are therefore keenly avoided by many people.
Bee stings differ from other insect bite in terms of the venom that’s left behind. In particular, bee stings are acidic, whereas wasp stings are alkali. As a result, the body’s reaction to bee stings can be vastly different to that of other bugs. For most people, bee stings cause a painful stinging, but are otherwise harmless. In people with insect sting allergies, stings may trigger a dangerous anaphylactic reaction that is potentially deadly. A sting is typically followed by redness and an increase of heat in the affected area.
Not to be left off the list is the bug widely considered to be the most aggressive stinging insects – vespid wasps. The most popular of this category of wasp is the Yellow Jacket, identified by their alternating black and yellow body segments. They are often mistaken for bees, although their bodies lack the same amount of hair, rounded abdomen, and the expanded hind leg used for carrying pollen of the bee.
Yellow Jackets like to snack on meat, fish and sugary substances, making them prevalent near trash receptacles and picnics.
These wasps are not quick to sting, however, they will aggressively defend their hive if they suspect danger. Each insect is capable of delivering multiple stings, with each being fairly painful. These stings are also known to induce allergic reactions in some people.
Relief From All Insect Bites & Stings
Thankfully, there exists one handy, portable, lightweight, easy-to-use device that will treat ALL of the bug bites and stings mentioned above…the Therapik®. Using patented technology, Therapik® delivers a highly concentrated source of heat to the skin in order to neutralize the venom and relieve the itch and soreness. Simply press the device to the affected area, hold the button for 30 seconds, and you’re done!
And for only $12.99, there’s no excuse not to get one! You can order your Therapik® through our website, or by visiting our store on Amazon.