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Treating Insect and Snake Bites

While reptiles and insects may be fun to look at, the dangers these creatures can present are far from entertaining. If you find that you have been bitten by a snake or an unfamiliar insect, the action you immediately take could literally mean the difference between life and death. Knowing how to handle different types of bites is thus of extreme importance.


Insect Bites

Amazingly, there are more than one million classified types of insects in the world. Of those one million, thousands upon thousands are poisonous. Consequently, unless you are a studied entomologist, the wisest stance to take toward unfamiliar bugs is simply to avoid them, lest you unwittingly should come across one of the dangerous ones. If, however, you find that you have been stung or bitten by an unfamiliar insect, take immediate steps to determine the nature of the wound.

  • Check for Signs of Allergic Reaction. If you are experiencing any signs of an allergic reaction (i.e. rash, swelling, redness, difficulty breathing), immediately seek emergency medical attention. What looks like a minor bite could become a serious health risk if you are allergic to the insect that has bitten you.
  • Watch for Signs of Infection. When insect bites get infected, they can present a more serious health condition. If you notice that the bite is getting pussy, extremely red, swollen, or painful, seek medical help.
  • Treat Minor Bites at Home. Insect bites that do not present a more serious health risk can be treated at home. A simple mixture of baking soda and water can be soothing and provides a great itch reducer. A wet cloth or a wrapped ice cube can also offer a measure of relief.

Snake Bites

While most snakes are not poisonous, the venomous ones are among the most dangerous animals in the world. Every year at least five Americans are killed by a snake bite, and about 8,000 are injured. If you have been bitten by a venomous snake, you will likely know it immediately, but the following signs are an indication that you should immediately receive emergency medical attention:

  • Blurred vision
  • Weakness, dizziness or fainting
  • Blood discharge from the bitten area
  • Marks and swelling where the snake bit
  • Severe pain at the site of the bite
  • Diarrhea
  • Convulsions of varying severity

While snakes and insects may be interesting to look at, never take chances if you suspect that you have come across a poisonous one. Simply leave as quickly, quietly, and carefully as possible. You’ll be glad that you did.