Itchy Bites

Many people love the great outdoors. Hiking in the mountains can be a great way to spend a day or a weekend. Being outside though always offers the potential for insect bites. While some of these are harmless and merely annoying, there are some bug bugs that are dangerous and even deadly.

One of the diseases often contracted by hikers is Lyme disease. This disease is most prevalent in the southern region, specifically in the Smoky Mountains. Lyme disease is carried by deer ticks and can be transmitted to humans only after six hours of feeding. This is why checking for ticks after an outdoor activity is important. The disease can be best treated if diagnosed quickly which is why it is important to know the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease. A few days after being bitten by a tick, a large red rash, like bulls eye, will appear at the bite. This is a sign to see a doctor and receive medication.

Black widow spiders are also small bugs that can be dangerous. While their bite is often painful, for some, the bite will be painless. The site of the bite will be slightly swollen and tender. Also, there will be two red fang marks, signs of the black widow’s bite. Since the venom can be poisonous, it is important to seek medical care immediately.

A bite from a brown recluse spider may also be painless, at least at first. Shortly after being bitten, the skin will turn red and then white. A red bulls-eye blister will form at the bite site and become painful. Although this spider’s bite is not usually deadly, it is still important to seek out a doctor. If possible, bring the spider or bug responsible for the bite. This will provide much easier treatment as the symptoms of bug bites can be similar.

One of the least deadly, but most annoying, bugs is the flea. Fleas are hard to see by the naked eye, and while usually known for preying on pets, they can also feed on people. Their bite causes itchiness and redness at the bite site. Some people are more sensitive than others to flea bites and will show more serious symptoms. Knowing what causes a bite is important, especially for the outdoorsman. When in doubt, go see a medical professional, and explain what has happened. While the bug bite is usually not serious, in some cases, they can be deadly.