Don't Let Insects take a Sting out of Summer!

Buzz, buzz, buzz…summer is here and so are bugs. Spending time outdoors means you can be exposed to insect bites and stings from bees, wasps, spiders and ants. "Bee and wasp stings are the most common type of envenomationsin New Mexico and cause the most discomfort. They are also the most common cause of insect related death. Some individuals may experience a life-threatening allergic reaction to insect venom immediately after being stung," said Jess Benson, Director of the New Mexico Poison Center. By following a few prevention tips you can help keep your summer bite and sting free.

  • Avoid attracting flying insects by keeping trashcans covered and putting leftover food away. Avoid wearing bright colored clothing and perfume because you will look and smell like a flower…bees like flowers.

  • If a flying insect approaches, move away from the insect without waving your hands and arms. Do not try to destroy bee swarms, beehives or wasp nests. Wear a Medic-Alert bracelet if you have a history of a life-threatening allergic reaction. Ask your physician about prescribing an emergency bee sting kit to have in an emergency.

  • All spiders are venomous with varying degrees of potency. Be careful reaching into dark corners.  Shake all shoes, clothing, towels and bedding that have been sitting around Dust and vacuum around windows, corners of rooms, and under furniture regularly.

  • Watch Out for Ant Nests. Be aware of your surroundings. Do not not walk brarefoot and be alert when doing yard work.

  • Use insect repellent carefully and avoid spraying your face. DEET is a common ingredient in insect repellents and can have harmful effects if used in high concentrations. Always read labels thoroughly before using any insect repellant.

  • Follow Pesticides label directions. The three most common are insecticides, herbicides and rodenticides Keep pesticides in their original containers. Use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container tightly after use. Keep pesticides locked-up where children cannot see them or reach them.

  • Call the New Mexico Poison Center for poisoning emergencies, questions about poisons, or for information about poison prevention, 24 hours a day, toll free at 1-800-222-1222.

The New Mexico Poison Center is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of poisoningsin New Mexico. The Center is a public service of the New Mexico College of Pharmacy and the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center.

Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322

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