Holiday Tips - Bites and Stings

Bites and Stings - Holiday Tips

Insect bites and stings are a real nuisance but can be avoided or at least reduced if you follow the advice and tips below.

  • Use repellants to prevent insects coming near you. These include citronella candles for outdoors or patio/balcony use, electric plug devices for indoor use in living and bedroom areas and insect repellent which includes Deet on exposed areas of your sking, e.g legs and arms.
  • Bee Stings - If you are stung by a bee, you will be left with a stinger in your skin. You will need to scrape the stinger off, don't pull it out and then pour bicarbonate of soda/baking powder onto the sting.
  • Wasp Stings - A wasp leaves an alkaline sting - to remove the discomfort you need to counter the alkaline by treating with an acid solution such as vinegar.
  • Mosquito Stings - These insects give one of the most popular bites to holidaymakers whilst on holiday. Ensure you have insect repellent on when out, not just on your exposed skin but also on your cuffs and collars. If you are staying in a malarial region then you may also need to sleep in a net.
  • Jellyfish Stings - Be careful when swimming because jellyfish are very common and some are as small as 5cm in diameter and many are transparent. If stung which is more like a burn a red welt will show. Some people can show an allergy to these stings so effects after a sting can be more severe in these cases. The mediterranean in Spain is home to many jellyfish varieties including the Sea Nettle, Compass or Mauve stinger. If you are stung the apply a solution of magnesium sulphate with salt (3.5 grams per 100 millilitres of water), or if you can't get your hands on this then use vinegar.
  • Polyp Stings - Commonly known as the purple Man-o-war which is in fact a colony of hydrozoan polyps and not a jellyfish. However these stings are very dangerous and in extreme cases provoke a cardiac arrest which can lead to death in particularly sensitive people.