Insect & Animal Bites

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously classified the hobo spider as a venomous spider. However, more recent studies demonstrate that hobo spider bites are not as dangerous as previously thought.

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  • How Do People Get Lice?

    Q: How Do People Get Lice?

    A: According to the Center for Disease Control, head lice are spread by head-to-head contact with a person that is already infested. Such contact is common with children while they play at home, school or sporting events. Sharing clothing is another common method of spreading lice, especially hats, scarves, hair ribbons, barrettes, combs and brushes. Lice may also pass through the sharing of toys, such as stuffed animals.
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  • What Does an Ant Bite Look Like and How Do You Treat It?

    Q: What Does an Ant Bite Look Like and How Do You Treat It?

    A: Biting ants, or fire ants, leave red hive-like lesions that are distinct for their immense burning and itching, according to WebMD. In some cases, the lesions or blisters fill with puss and, in other cases, the bites create a life-threatening allergic reaction, according to WebMD. For the quickest relief, ice packs, pain relievers and antihistamines are commonly used to treat the pain and itching associated with ant bites, according to WebMD.
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  • Is There a Disease Caused by Bedbugs?

    Q: Is There a Disease Caused by Bedbugs?

    A: There is no evidence to prove that bedbug bites cause infections or disease themselves. It is suspected that they aid in the spread of infectious diseases, but this has not been proven. At worst a person scratching the bites makes himself more susceptible to infection by aggravating the wound sites and potentially introducing bacteria.
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  • Where Do Ticks Commonly Hide on Your Body?

    Q: Where Do Ticks Commonly Hide on Your Body?

    A: According to naturalist Debbie Hadley for About.com, ticks are most commonly found in warm areas where they are able to easily hide, such as within the hair, behind the knees, between the legs, under the arms and sometimes in the belly button. Ticks hide on the body to keep warm and go undetected so they are able to feed for longer periods of time without being noticed.
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  • How Long Do Flea Bites Last?

    Q: How Long Do Flea Bites Last?

    A: According to FleaBites.net, bites from fleas typically require a few weeks to fully heal. The time it takes for flea bites to heal is heavily dependent on how sensitive a person is to them.
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  • Can Flea Bites Make You Sick?

    Q: Can Flea Bites Make You Sick?

    A: Fleas can carry infectious diseases from animals, and their bites can transfer these diseases to humans. The Public Health Department of Seattle and King County states that a flea bite does not necessarily mean a person will get sick, but some of the diseases fleas transmit can be deadly.
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  • How Can Scars From Bug Bites Be Lightened?

    Q: How Can Scars From Bug Bites Be Lightened?

    A: There are several ways to treat scars caused by bug bites, including the use of steroid injections, surgery, filler injections and laser resurfacing, according to WebMD. Most treatment options look at improving the look of the scar; no treatment can currently remove scars altogether.
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  • Why Do Bug Bites Itch?

    Q: Why Do Bug Bites Itch?

    A: Bug bites itch because of a mild immune system reaction to bug saliva, according to the Mayo Clinic. When a bug bites someone it injects its saliva into the skin and the reaction in the body's immune system can result in an itchy bump.
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  • How Long Does It Take for a Flea Bite to Go Away?

    Q: How Long Does It Take for a Flea Bite to Go Away?

    A: The healing time for a flea bite varies widely based on the use of topical treatments and an individual's reaction to the bites, according to The Travel Doctor. Being able to recognize and treat flea bites as well as eliminate the pests from indoor environments can go a long way to shortening healing time and preventing bites in the future.
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  • Can I Get Rabies From a Rat Bite?

    Q: Can I Get Rabies From a Rat Bite?

    A: According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are no known cases of rats transmitting rabies to humans. In fact, other small rodents, as well as rabbits and hares, do not seem to pass the disease along, observes the CDC.
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  • Q: What Are Good Organic Treatments for Chiggers and Their Bites?

    A: Rubbing ice on chigger bites is an organic way to manage the discomfort from itching, notes Healthline. Keeping weeds and grass trimmed prevents a person's yard from attracting chiggers, and applying sulfur powder to socks before going outside keeps chiggers off a person's legs, states Sherri Deatherage Green for Mother Earth News.
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  • Q: How Do You Identify Common Bug Bites?

    A: Insect bites initially cause pain and may then precipitate allergic reactions as venom deposited through the bite courses through the skin, explains Healthline. The intensity of the reaction varies from minor to life-threatening depending on the type of insect and the level of individual sensitivity to insect venom.
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  • When Should a Tick Bite Be Treated by a Doctor?

    Q: When Should a Tick Bite Be Treated by a Doctor?

    A: When bitten by a tick, contact the doctor if there is difficulty removing the tick, a rash appears at the bite site, flu-like symptoms develop or the bite site becomes infected, states Mayo Clinic. Seek emergency care when there is a severe headache, difficulty in breathing, paralysis or heart palpitations.
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  • Are There Home Treatments for a Scorpion Sting?

    Q: Are There Home Treatments for a Scorpion Sting?

    A: Home treatments for scorpion stings include washing the area with soap and water, applying ice or cold compresses and elevating the area that received the sting, according to Mayo Clinic. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, can alleviate discomfort.
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  • Is Cedar Oil an Effective Bed Bug Treatment?

    Q: Is Cedar Oil an Effective Bed Bug Treatment?

    A: There is no proof that cedar oil is effective in the treatment of bed bugs, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Manufacturers claiming cedar oil (as well as cinnamon) eradicates bed bugs have even received charges for providing misleading advertising.
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  • What Over-the-Counter Drugs Should I Take If I Get Stung by a Wasp?

    Q: What Over-the-Counter Drugs Should I Take If I Get Stung by a Wasp?

    A: Take over-the-counter drugs containing acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief in the event of a wasp sting, according to WebMD. Antihistamines are also available over the counter and offer itch relief for wasp sting victims. Apply antibiotic cream directly to the wasp sting immediately after the incident.
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  • What Does a Bed Bug Bite Look Like?

    Q: What Does a Bed Bug Bite Look Like?

    A: Bedbug bites are normally arranged in a cluster or line and appear red in color. Often a darker red spot is in the middle of the bite. Normally bedbug bites occur on the face and neck area as well as the arms and hands, according to Mayo Clinic.
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  • How Do You Identify Insect Bites?

    Q: How Do You Identify Insect Bites?

    A: To identify an insect bite, a patient should determine the intensity of the pain or itch, swelling of the bite site and symptoms of diseases that relate to the insects, claims Everyday Health. Identification of the bite aids in deciding the appropriate treatment.
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  • What Is the Most Effective Treatment for Fire Ant Bites?

    Q: What Is the Most Effective Treatment for Fire Ant Bites?

    A: Fire ant bites are best treated by first washing the area of the bite, applying a cold compress and subsequently applying a hydrocortisone ointment or using antihistamines, according to Healthline. It is best to do this as soon as a bite is noticed.
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  • Q: How Do You Treat Swelling From Insect Bites?

    A: To treat swelling caused by an insect bite, apply ice, elevate the area of the bite, and take a nonprescription medication that reduces swelling, reports WebMD. Do not apply warmth to the affected area until the swelling is gone.
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  • Q: How Do You Get Rid of Dead Lice and Eggs in Kids' Hair?

    A: To remove dead lice and nits from a child's hair, a special tool called a nit comb is used, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Medical packages often feature nit combs alongside lice shampoo. When nit combs are unavailable, flea combs for household pets are also effective.
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