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Do you keep getting bitten by insects? Here's how to protect yourself
Thursday, 16 July · 2 min read

Spending time outdoors can benefit your health, but it also increases your risk of insect bites and stings.

Many bites and stings are harmless, but they can be irritating and painful.

Some can also spread serious infections like malaria or West Nile virus, and some adults can have a severe allergic reaction to certain insect bites. So it’s important to know how to protect yourself.

You can minimise your chances of being bitten or stung by an insect, by:

  • applying insect repellent (products with 50% of the chemical diethyltoluamide or DEET are recommended)
  • covering exposed skin by wearing long sleeves and trousers
  • making sure that you wear shoes whenever you go outside
  • avoiding using products with strong perfume, including shampoos or deodorants, as these products can attract certain insects
  • being extra careful when eating outside, because food attracts insects
  • keeping insects outside by closing doors and windows, or sleeping under a mosquito net

If a bite becomes worse over time, infected, or if you feel unwell or have an allergic reaction you should see a doctor.

Allergic reactions are more common following stings from insects rather than bites, but if you are allergic, symptoms usually develop within 10 minutes.

You can find out the signs of an infection or allergy here.

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The mosquito is more dangerous than the tiger.

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How to treat insect bites