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Saturday, March 21, 2009

The nuisance of biting bugs during a bug out

By Joseph Parish

Proper planning must be taken in order to ensure that you and your family are not devoured by biting bugs during a bug out. Most of the current insect repellents on the market today use DEET as the active ingredient. You will find it in just about the entire over the counter product line that you can purchase. Supposedly, the DEET in the repellants today can be safely used on children as young as two months old as well as on adults.

There are several tricks of the trade that you can do while bugging out which would cut down drastically on the insects bothering you. First consider soft drinks. Try to stay away from open beverage cans which contain sweeteners. Keep well in mind that sodas attract the stinging insects.

Never wear perfume or after shave lotion outside. As a survivalist you should already be well familiar with this rule. To do so you are merely inviting trouble.

Try to avoid large areas of water. Don’t stop your BOV for the evening near a large pond as you are certain to get eaten up. Standing water provides breeding grounds for certain insects including the annoying mosquitoes. Never leave containers filled with water outside your BOV.

It goes without saying that you should always dress accordingly. Always wear your shoes and wear long pants when possible as well as a lightweight long sleeved shirt. The key is to cover as much of your skin as you possibly can. This way you will be afforded the most protection from the biting insects.

Regardless of what you do you perhaps will still get bites and stings. If you do use antihistamines to limit the itching and reduce the swelling. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen also helps reduce swelling from the bites while relieving some of the associated pain. A cream such as hydrocortisone has been known to alleviate some of the itching. Make sure you have plenty of all these medications in your vehicles first aid kit.

If you get stung by a bee, hornet, wasp or yellow jackets follow these rules. Bees will generally leave a stinger attached to a venom sac. You can see this by looking closely at the sting area. Try to remove the stinger as quickly as you possible can. Gently scrape it with a blunt type object like a credit card. Wash the area very carefully with plenty of fresh soap and water. You may have to do this several times a day until you see an improvement in the area of the bite. Don’t forget to apply an ice pack to the area for a few minutes and provide acetaminophen for any pain.

If perchance you obtain a sting in your mouth this would warrant an immediate trip to a medical professional. A sting that occurs in the mucous membranes can rapidly cause severe swelling which could conceivably block the airways. If you experience any of the following conditions be sure to seek medical attention.

  • Wheezing
  • difficulty of breathing
  • tightness of chest
  • swelling within the lips
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • nausea
  • vomiting

Bugging out in the woods is certain to invite specific dangers. If you are bite by a spider you should first consider that most spiders that are found in America are essentially harmless. The exception to this is the black widow or the brown recluse spider. These spiders are usually found in the warmer climates. Wash the bite area with plenty of soap and water three times daily until it is healed. You could apply compresses if needed and provide acetaminophen to ease pain.

If you suspect that you have been bitten by a black widow or a brown recluse spider apply ice to the area as soon as you can. Get to a hospital immediately. The symptoms of these spider bites include:

  • purple or deep blue area around the bite
  • a white ring with a large outer red ring
  • muscle spasms
  • abdominal pain
  • headache
  • fever
  • Sick feeling
  • Lose of appetite
  • Painful joints
  • vomiting

If you happen to be bugging out to the northeast or the upper Midwest you should be cautious about being bit by ticks which may possibly be carrying the Lyme disease. Since we would be spending a lot of time outdoors during a bug out situation these would constitute our major concern. Try to wear white clothing so that you can readily see the little blood suckers as they appear on your clothes. Have your socks cover your pant legs to prevent them from getting on your lower legs. Always check your hair in the evening.

If you discover a tick on your child you should immediately contact the doctor. Keep the tick in a jar of alcohol in case the doctor wants to examine it. Use a pair of tweezers to grasp the head of the tick firmly as close to your skin as you can. Pull it firmly out and then swab the bite area with alcohol. Do not use a match or petroleum jelly to kill or remove the tick.

Careful actions on our part when bugging out can create a safe and secure outing situation for both you and your family.

Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish


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