Summertime calls most of us to spend time outdoors. Alas, bugs can be a real buzz-kill at best, and carriers of disease at worst. Additionally, most commercial insect repellants contain a chemical known as DEET, which should be used with caution, if at all. Many studies have found DEET to have harmful effects.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tricks to keeping biting bugs at bay, and they don't involve applying toxic chemicals to your skin. There are also many natural remedies that can help take the sting out of your insect bites, should preventive methods fail.
The Most Common Offenders.
The featured article in Medical News Today 1 offers an excellent and extensive overview of a wide variety of bug bites, their signs and symptoms
and potential side effects, which can range from mild to severe (allergic reactions):
"When insects bite they release a form of saliva that can cause inflammation, blisters and irritation. Insect bite signs and symptoms vary, depending on the type of insect and the individual's sensitivity.
While one person may just have a small, itchy lump that clears away in a few days, somebody else can have a more serious reaction, such as papular urticaria — crops of small papules and wheals, which may become infected or lichenified (thickened and leathery) because of rubbing and excoriation."
WebMD also has a helpful "Bad Bugs Slideshow" to help you identify some 28 different types of bugs and their bites. 2 Some of the most common biting insects include: