by Trino Medina, RPh
Doctors Renaissance Hospital Clinical Pharmacist, CVS Clinical Pharmacist
published June 2017
My fondest memories of summer have always
been going to Buhl, Idaho as a migrant
farm worker. We would leave in early May and
return in late August. I didn't particularly enjoy
the hard labor of plowing beets in the fields,
but enjoyed the cool days off in the little town.
The evenings were always cold even though it
I can't remember ever being bitten by a bug
in Idaho! In contrast, my small town of Alamo,
Texas is a different story where you find lots
of mosquitoes, bees, wasps, ants, spiders, lice
and ticks. The hot South Texas heat makes it a
favorable environment for many bugs. It is important
to know how to prevent and treat bug
Many bites are mild and only require a
person taking off the stinger, washing the area
with soap and applying a steroid cream like
hydrocortisone, sold over the counter. Some
people get moderate reactions and require the
addition of an oral antihistamine like Benadryl.
Yet others have serious reactions to bug bites
with symptoms like swelling of the throat
and lips, nausea, respiratory problems, faintness,
dizziness, rapid heartbeat, confusion and
shock. If you or a family member experiences
this you need to seek emergency help immediately.
Many adults and children known to have
severe allergic reactions to bites fill prescriptions
for epinephrine or EpiPen.
My sons and I went hunting at a friends ranch
and could not find any deer, but came back infested
with ticks. This bug attaches itself to
your body and sucks as much blood as it can.
We were able to remove them all with tweezers
making sure to remove the head portion of the
bug. Ticks carry a disease called Lyme disease
that is a serious illness transmitted to human
hosts. Fortunately my sons and I did not contract
Lyme disease has three stages starting
with a rash around the bite, usually appearing
three days to a month after bite.
Secondly, the disease
such as fever, chills,
and joint and muscle
pain. The third stage
arthritis. One of my
almost died when he
went hunting and came back with ticks that infected
him with Lyme disease. He ended up at
the hospital for a couple of weeks getting antibiotic
treatments. He did survive but swears he
will never go hunting again!
You don't need to
avoid an enjoyable pastime, just be smart and
wear insect repellent with deet, long sleeves
that fit wrists closely, long pants tucked into
your socks, and close toed shoes.
Enjoy your summer and don't let the bed
bugs bite you!