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Mosquitos and Ticks. Oh My!

With a wet winter and spring, experts are predicting strong mosquito and tick populations in Wisconsin this summer, which we can attest too.  While there are plenty of preventative suggestions to avoid a bite, it’s likely that you’ll come across these pests sometime this summer.  If you or a loved one is suffering from a bite, here are some tips and home remedies to try this summer.

Mosquito Bites
Mosquito bites are tempting to scratch, but it’s the worst thing you can do for your bite.  Scratching can break the skin, increasing the risk of infection, and create more inflammation and swelling, which only “fuels the fire” of the itching sensation.  Instead, try some of these natural home remedies to reduce itching and swelling.

Ice/Cold Compress
Placing ice or a cold compress on the bite will numb the nerves around the bite that are fueling the itching sensation.  The cooler temperature will also help reduce and control the swelling.

Cooled Tea Bags
Just like cooled tea bags are good for puffy eyes, they’re good for mosquito bites too.  Take a used tea bag and let it cool for 5-10 minutes.  Then place the tea bag directly on the mosquito bite to relieve itching and swelling.

Baking Soda
Mix baking soda with water to create a paste.  Apply the baking soda paste directly on the bite.  Baking soda helps neutralize the PH balance of your skin, which will reduce inflammation.

Lemon or Lime
These citrus fruits are anti-itch and anti-bacterial.  Apply a little bit of lime or lemon juice to the bite or rub a peel over the bite.  However, because citrus oils can react with the sun, only use this technique indoors.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most underused home remedies according to some experts.  Its acidity helps fight any itching sensation.  To use, place a few drops on a cotton swab and rub directly on the bite.

 

Tick Bites
The tick population is also out in full force this summer.  Most tick bites result in little to no symptoms, but some ticks do transmit diseases, such as Lyme disease.  Keep in mind the tips below to protect you and your family safe from ticks this summer.

Stay away from long grasses/shrubs
Ticks like to climb long grasses and/or shrubs to come into contact with humans or animals.  Avoid these areas during the summer.  If you or your pet are in long grasses or wooded areas make sure to thoroughly check yourself and your pet for ticks before returning indoors.  Wear light clothes to make the presence of a tick easier to spot.

Check pets regularly
We often use special product to protect our pets from ticks.  However, our pets can still transport ticks, bringing them in closer contact with humans.  Make sure you check your pet regularly for ticks so they are not bringing them into the home.

ticks

Use a tweezers to remove a tick.

Remove tick with a tweezers
If you discover a tick on your body, use a tweezers to remove it.  Flip the tick onto its back and grip the tick as close to the skin as possible.  Pull gently until the tick comes free.  Do not twist or turn the tick when pulling; this could cause the tick to break in half, increasing the risk of infection due to left behind body parts.  Once removed, rinse the tick down the sink or flush down the toilet, or put it into a sealed jar.  Wash the bite thoroughly with soap and water.

If you or a loved one develops symptoms such as fever, nausea, pain and swelling of joints, numbness or rash (specifically in the shape of a bull’s eye around the bite) seek medical attention.

We’d love to hear about any other tips or tricks that have worked for you or your family.  If you have any further suggestions to help fight the itch, leave them in the comments below!
 

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