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Bugs and Other Creepy Crawlies

How do you avoid them in the first place?

Bugs have favorite colors, too! Their two favorites are blue and black, so if you can avoid these, you're going to be one step ahead. Tight cuffs on your shirts and pants are always a helpful addition, this keeps the bugs from crawling up your legs and arms.

Have mom or dad start a campfire (if they're allowed). Bugs really dislike smoke, so this is a natural way to keep them at the neighbors. Citronella candles work, but you have to stick fairly close to the candle to really get the benefits. Don't camp right next to the water. I know that this is where all the fun is, but the mosquitoes don't want to miss any, either, so they're going to be there and they'll bring the whole family to join in the fun! And last, but certainly not least, before you set up that tent, be sure to check the ground where you're going to put it. Ants nest in the ground, and if you put your tent on top of their hill, they're going to come on in and join you in yours until you move it so they can get to theirs.

Uh-oh, I've been bit or stung! Now what?

The first thing that you have to figure out is, what bit or stung you!

Mosquitoes

If it's a mosquito, it's going to be a little sore, but there's not much that you can do about it. You might try a cool, damp washcloth if it stings, or some calamine lotion if it itches.
 

Ticks

Ticks are no bigger than the size of a pinhead, and therefore, very difficult to spot. They tend to hang out in grassy areas, like meadows, so if you can avoid these areas, it's going to be the safest way to go. These little creepy crawlies generally wander around for two hours before they figure out where they want to bite you, so if you check yourself over every hour or so, you might be able to get rid of it, before it gets you. For some reason, ticks tend to wander upward, so be sure to check your hair and other warm places that they might be hiding. If you are going to wander in grassy areas, be sure to wear long pants. If you must wear shorts, hiking boots, socks and insect repellants are the only way to go. If you do find a tick wandering on you, try insect repellant to get it off. If you have been bitten by a tick, grab it as close to the head (the part that's under your skin) as you can. If any part of the tick remains, seek medical attention!
 

Bees

Usually these nasty flying things are nothing more than a quick, painful OUCH!. But, you still want to get the stinger and poison out. The first thing you want to do is remove the stinger. You don't do this by grabbing it and pulling, that only injects more poison. Get a credit card or knife and scrape at the stinger, it should come out. Now, get either some baking soda, or if you can't find any, grab a little dirt, mix either of them with water, making a paste, and apply it to where you were stung, when it dries, it will pull the stinger out with it. If you or someone that you're with gets stung, and they're allergic, then it's a whole different story. Be sure that you have your "EPI-KIT" with you, if you're the one that's allergic, and be sure to tell the person that you're with that you have it. That way, if you get stung, and you can't tell them, they already know and be sure that both of you know how to use the kit. Seek Medical Attention!
 

Spiders

The ultimate in "crawly"! The two most common, poisonous spiders, are the brown recluse and the black widow. The black widow has a red hourglass underneath their black shiny bodies. . The bite itself is not always painful and may go unnoticed. But the symptoms, which generally occur about two hours after you get bit can include: abdominal pain similar to appendicitis as well as pain to muscles or the soles of the feet. Other symptoms include alternating salivation and dry-mouth, paralysis of the diaphragm, profuse sweating and swollen eyelids. There is no first aid treatment available for spider bites. It may take several days to recover, but recovery usually occurs without serious complications. Seek Medical Attention!

The Brown Recluse is another spider that is poisonous that you must be on the lookout for. It has long, skinny legs and is about one-half inch long overall. Its entire body is brown, except for a dark, violin shaped mark on its head. Brown recluse spiders are most commonly found in Midwestern and Southern states of the U.S., and they usually hang out in dark places, such as piles of rocks, wood, or leaves. They are non-aggressive and bite only when disturbed. If you get bit by a brown recluse spider you may not notice anything at first or only feel a little sting. The symptoms generally begin showing up after four to eight hours and the area where you were stung will start to hurt a little more. It might even look like a bruise or a blister, surrounded by a "bruise" may begin to form. If you you've been bitten by a brown recluse spider, tell an adult immediately. Brown recluse spider bites rarely kill people, but it's important to get medical attention as soon as you can because you can get pretty sick. With an adult's help, wash the area where you were bitten with soap and water. You can also apply ice to the area, elevate it, and keep it still. If it's possible, have an adult catch and bring the spider to the doctor's office with you - this is important because sometimes it's difficult to diagnose a spider bite correctly. You or an adult can kill the spider, just be sure not to squish it so much that no one can tell what it is. The best way to avoid being bitten, is to avoid the areas where they spend their time. Seek Medical Attention!