Tuesday was a Radio Day for me. I was on BBC Radio Scotland telling folks how to deal with bug bites naturally and avoid the hassle and pain that can ensue from too much close contact with those pesky little terrors of the sky that plague us in the summer months.
It seemed a wee bit ironic really as the rain was lashing down outside and we seem to be having the wettest summer on record here. At least it is washing some of those pesky bugs away.
Anyway here are the Big Four biters here in UK and what to do about them in as natural a way as possible.
How to deal with bug bites naturally;
BEE STINGS – first things first – MOVE! Yes, move away from the place where you have just been stung. This is because bees are very sociable critters and as soon as they have stung you (their act of aggression and self preservation due to their thinking of YOU as a danger zone) they excrete a pheromone that tells all the other bees in the area that there is danger and to come and help. So all the little busy bees will zoom towards the cause of danger, YOU, and try to help their friend by stinging you.
To neutralize the acid in a bee sting dab it with a paste made from baking soda and a little water, or even just toothpaste.
WASP STINGS – these are more alkaline than bee stings so use vinegar to calm the sore bit. Lemon juice is also good, particularly handy if you have a G&T in your hand.
You can get the actual sting part out by dragging a finger nail gently across the skin and pushing the stinger out, or use a credit card if you have one to hand.
MIDGE BITES – Aaah the scourge of Scotland, the delightful little midge fly that comes in like a cloud in the evenings just when you want to appreciate the scenery or have a BBQ/drink etc. These are itchy bites and lavender essential oil is wonderful for soothing and healing them. If you have a big patch of bites then put about 10 drops of lavender essential oil into a tablespoon of olive oil and smooth this into the skin. If you are out and about with a drink in hand, use ice to cool the itching.
CLEG BITES – Now for those not familiar with the name cleg, lets go for it’s other name – THE HORSE FLY – These are NASTY big brutes who hang around with horses and other large species and enjoy nibbling on the, er ‘fruits’ of said beasties (yes, dung) as well as biting the animals themselves. So you can well imagine the baggage these guys are carrying, Not Nice. If you are bitten by a cleg you will know it. They don’t just pierce the skin like a bee or wasp, oh no, these guys actually cut your skin, have a drink and leave their less than charming saliva inside you. Gleg bites are therefore prone to infection. Clean the bite area immediately with warm water and salt. Use ice or hot compress to relieve pain, dab with lavender oil. Apply a light dressing if possible as you don’t want anything else getting in there. Take an anti histamine tablet if there is a lot of swelling.
There you go, what to do when the bug bites.
Hope you get some nice sunny dry weather soon wherever you are.
Still raining here…..