Being allergic to a stinging insect like a wasp or fire ant can be challenging. The insects are everywhere outdoors and they can also get inside your car or house, making it difficult to avoid contact with them. However, there are a few things you can do to minimize your risk of being stung. Even more importantly, you'll want to know what steps to take to deal with an allergic reaction if it happens. Here are some tips that may help.
Protect Yourself Outdoors
If you've had an allergic reaction to a sting in the past, you should consider having allergy testing done to determine which insects you need to avoid. That's because the bugs have different nesting places. If you're allergic to fire ants, you'll definitely want to watch for ant mounds when walking in your yard. If you're allergic to wasps, you'll want to be on the lookout for their nests clinging to the side of your house as you do maintenance chores. Besides learning where the insects are most likely to be found, you can also reduce the risk of accidental contact by making yourself less attractive to the bugs.
For instance, if you plan to be outdoors for the day, you may want to avoid wearing bright colored clothing or fragrant perfume that attracts the insects. Be conscious of everything you wear because even the fragrance of your shampoo can attract the bugs. Also, always wear enclosed shoes when you go outside. It's also a good idea to wear long pants when possible and tuck them into your socks so no skin is exposed if you are allergic to fire ants. In addition to keeping your skin covered, you may also want to wear insect repellent to make yourself unattractive to any insects flying around near you.
Safeguard Your Home
Every time you open your door, there is a risk of a flying insect getting inside. For that reason, you want to make sure there are no nests near your door or porch area. Use pesticide to get rid of wasp nests and ant hills. If you have a bee hive on your property, you may need to call a bee removal expert to remove the bees along with the hive. Check with your local jurisdiction before you kill bees, because bees may be protected in your area. Because of your allergy, you should let a family member or pest control professional examine your property and the outside of your home for stinging insects and apply the treatments necessary to get rid of them.
Keep the windows to your home closed unless you have screens on them. Also, keep the windows on your car closed at all times if possible. You may want to leave a small crack for air circulation, but that's all it takes for a wasp to get inside. Even when you're driving, you should leave the windows up so an insect doesn't fly inside while you're going down the road or stopped at a light.
Work With Your Allergist
Stinging insect allergies can be severe at times. Your reaction can happen quickly, so you'll need immediate treatment as soon as it happens. For that reason, your allergist may give you a prescription for epinephrine that comes in an injectable pen. You should keep it near you at all times so if you're stung by a bee or bitten by a fire ant, you can inject the medication right away. Using one of these pens could save your life and buy you time while you wait for help to arrive. You should still call for an ambulance or get to an emergency room as soon as you can for further treatment.
In addition, if you've had a bad allergic reaction to a sting in the past, you should consider wearing a medical alert tag that lets first responders know about your condition. You may want to use the buddy system when you go outdoors, especially if you go on a picnic or hike in the woods, so there will always be someone to call for help if you get stung. And finally, never let your guard down. There could be a hornet on your soda can or a line of fire ants marching up your picnic table. Always remember to check your surroundings wherever you go since insects are everywhere and they are attracted to human activity. Visit a site like http://www.oakbrookallergists.com for more information.