Snake and Insect Bites

Insect and snakebites can be an additional nuisance if you find yourself in the wilderness.  They can cause allergic reactions, irritations and even spread diseases like rabies or malaria.


For instance, tics carry Lyme disease.  Mosquitos transmit malaria and dengue.  Flies spread sleeping sickness, typhoid, cholera and dysentery.  Fleas transmit the plague and lice transmit typhus as well as relapsing fever.


Insect Bites


In order to prevent stings from insects, it is best to keep insect repellants and netting.  Wear long sleeved clothing with long pants if possible and avoid insect infested areas.  Also, make sure to get your immunizations up to date and get your booster shots.


If you happen to get bitten or stung, do not scratch the bite or sting because this may cause an infection.  Make sure that there are no insects attached to your body to avoid being bitten again.  If you happen to find ticks, you need to cover them with a heavy oil, Vaseline or tree sap so that you can cut off their air supply.  Once it releases its hold, you can get it off of you using tweezers.  Make sure to take off the whole tick without squeezing its body.  Wash your hands afterwards and properly clean the wound daily.  Also, make sure to keep antibiotics handy for flea, tick, louse and fly diseases.  Also drink a Benadryl and get to a doctor if you can.


Bee Stings

bee sting

If a bee stings you, do not panic.  Remove the stinger and venom sac if you see it attached.  You can remove the stinger by scraping it off with a knife or fingernail.  Do not squeeze it to avoid more venom going into the wound.  Wash it off with soap and water to keep from getting an infection.  Carry an insect sting kit with you if you know you have allergic reactions to stings.  For temporary relief and prevention of secondary infections you can use antiseptic packets especially designed for stings.  Put on a cold compress.  You can also use onion, crushed cloves of garlic or coconut meat to help relieve some of the pain.


Spider Bites

 black widdow

Watch out for those black widows with the hourglass figure on their abdomen.  Only the females bite and it can develop into sever pain.  This pain spreads throughout the entire body and eventually settles in the abdomen and legs.  It may cause nausea, vomiting and a rash.  Sweating, weakness, and tremors may also follow.  It takes a few hours to dissipate and a couple of days to fully recover.  Clean and care for the wound and treat for shock.  An antivenin is available for this type of bite.  Treating for a tarantula bite would be similar to the treatment for black widow bite.


Scorpion Bites


There are two different reactions to scorpion bites.  The first is a local reaction with pain and swelling around the stung area.  The second is a severe systematic reaction with respiratory difficulties, thick feeling tongue, body spasms, drooling, gastric distention, double vision, blindness, involuntary rapid movement of the eyeballs, involuntary urination and defecation, and heart failure.  Death is rare in healthy adults.  However, children and adults with high blood pressure or illness can die from this type of reaction.  The treatment is the same as for a black widow.  Get to a doctor as soon as you can.



 poisonous snake

Familiarize yourself with the different types of snakes that are most common in your surrounding wilderness areas.  Being able to identify them can help you tell if they are poisonous or not and what treatment to use.  Snakebites are uncommon but if you know how to treat them, you can avoid needless tragedy.  Death from snakebites is rare and more than half of snakebite victims have little to no poisoning.  When bitten, it is important not to panic because it can spread the toxin more quickly if you do.  Keep the wound below your heart and move as little as possible to keep the blood circulation slow.  Use a constricting band between the wound and the heart.  Mechanical suction devices can be used to remove the poison but never use your mouth to suck the poison out because you will ingest the venom.  Get to a doctor as soon as possible.  Injecting yourself with antivenom can complicate your reaction so avoid doing that on your own.


Always be vigilant and avoid insects and snakes as much as possible.  Clean all your wounds and care for them with caution.  See a medical professional as soon as you possibly can.  If you are forced to care for these wounds out in the wilderness educate yourself about what proper steps to take and it can help save your life.

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