Skin Rashes and Other Conditions

How to Avoid Insect Stings

Allison Tsai Aug 13th, 2014 (updated Jul 20th, 2015)
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Be cautious with food
Be cautious with food

A picnic might sound like the perfect summer activity, but eating outdoors can attract all kinds of insects that bite or sting.  It can help to keep food covered and uncover it only to put some on a plate. And don’t leave plates of food sitting out unattended.

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Avoid drinking beverages outside
Avoid drinking beverages outside

Stinging insects are attracted to beverages and have a tendency to crawl inside drink cans and containers. Stick with beverages that have lids to close off the beverage and keep the bugs out.

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Cover garbage
Cover garbage

Insects are also attracted to garbage. Keep garbage cans covered with tight lids and move them away from wherever you're gathering. Not only will this keep everyone away from the stench of trash, but it also will keep the pesky bugs away.

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Avoid perfume
Avoid perfume

Insects are attracted to sweet-smelling perfumes, deodorants, hair sprays and colognes. You may be trying to impress someone, but you are just as likely to attract unwanted attention from insects.

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Leave the bright clothing at home
Leave the bright clothing at home

Insects are hardwired to be attracted to bright colors, such as floral patterns. Avoiding bright clothes when outside can help keep the bugs at bay.

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Watch for signs
Watch for signs

When out gardening, mowing the yard or doing other outside housework, keep your eyes out for stinging insects. For instance, hornets like to build huge nests in shrubs.

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Look out for mounds
Look out for mounds

Be careful around fire ant mounds and make sure not to disturb them. Also, keep an eye out for children playing near them, as they might not know that fire ant mounds can be dangerous.

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Be aware of what a reaction looks like
Be aware of what a reaction looks like

No matter how cautious you are, bug bites and stings will happen. Watch out for signs of allergic reaction. Normal reactions to insect stings include, pain, swelling and redness at the sting site. Signs of a serious allergic reaction include, hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the tongue, nose and throat, and dizziness or fainting.