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Bug Bites 101

While most bug bites and stings are just a tiny bit painful, itchy or annoying, there are some insects that can mean trouble when they bite you. It’s time to get acquainted with the critters that want to take a bite out of you!

Bees & Wasps

For most people, being stung by a bee means a second or two of pain and some redness or swelling where the bite occurs. But if you’re allergic to bee and wasp stings, being bitten could mean major problems. If you are allergic, chances are you already know it; you may even carry around some special medication in a locket around your neck or in your purse just in case you get stung. Allergic reactions to bee stings range from hives to having a hard time breathing to an increased heart rate to feeling faint to parts of your body severely swelling up. If you notice any of these systems in yourself or in someone you are with who has just been stung by a bee, you must get help immediately. It hardly ever happens, but in the most severe allergic reactions to bee stings you could die without immediate medical attention.

Bees might sting you if they feel threatened or scaredBees might sting you if they feel threatened or scared

Fleas & Ticks

Fleas are often found on Fido or Fluffy, but they can also be attracted to you. Don’t worry, though. Fleas can’t cause any serious harm to your health – they’re just annoying.

Depending on where you live, ticks could ruin a good camping trip – they love heavily wooded areas. One variety known as deer ticks may carry Lyme disease, so the trick is to get them off your body fast. Ticks can carry other diseases, too, like Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Ticks are usually found in heavily wooded areas.

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes hang out anywhere people, food or pools of still or standing water are found. Generally they aren't anything to worry about: they bite, you itch, end of story. But there has been some concern about West Nile virus, which is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. The good news is that healthy kids, teens and adults under 50 are at low risk of catching West Nile virus. And although the virus can put people at risk for developing a serious infection called encephalitis, this hardly ever happens. Less than 1% of the people who are infected with West Nile virus become seriously sick.

Mosquitoe bites can be very itchy!Mosquitoe bites can be very itchy!

Spiders

Most spider bites are minor, although they can cause mild swelling or allergic reactions. But a small percentage of teens become ill after being bitten by brown recluse or black widow spiders. Although not everyone will have a reaction, you should see a doctor and get treatment quickly if you know you've been bitten by one of these types of spiders.

The brown recluse is brown (big surprise) with a small shape of a violin in a darker brown area on the back of its head. These spiders are small but tough: a half-inch body with legs another inch long or more. They like to hide in dark, quiet places like basements, attics, storage sheds or garages. When people enter their space unexpectedly, they bite out of fear. The bites usually don't hurt at first though – most people don't even know they've been bitten.

Spiders can be scary or happy!Spiders can be scary or happy!

Brown recluse spider bites don't cause problems for most people. But in a small percentage of cases they can lead to skin damage and scarring. The few people who do have a reaction may notice swelling and skin changes 4-8 hours after the bite. The swelling may form a blister. If this happens, a dark, scabby material called eschar may cover the blister within a week after the bite. Most brown recluse bites get better on their own, even if it takes a couple of months. So it's always a good idea to see a doctor for proper treatment.

The black widow is easily identified by its shiny black body and orange hourglass shape under itsa belly; it's a similar size to the brown recluse spider. Most people who have been bitten by a black widow don't even know it until they feel the symptoms. But if you stay alert you’ll be able to see one of the many warning signs that tell you you’ve been bitten by a black widow – and give you enough time to act before things get too serious.

The venom (poison) in a black widow bite causes a reaction throughout your body, not just around the bite area. You may get painful cramps within a few hours that may make you feel achy all over; these can spread to include abdominal cramping, which may be severe. You may also have nausea, vomiting, chills, fever and headache. If you show any of these symptoms, get to the hospital immediately.

Bugging Out

For most kinds of bug bites and stings, medicines called antihistamines will help stop the itching and lessen the swelling; another type of medication called acetaminophen can give you a break from any pain you may experience. Ibuprofen can help reduce swelling while relieving some pain. Some people use soothing creams to make the itching better. If bites or stings get infected or if an open sore or blister just won’t heal, make an appointment with your doctor.

In terms of ticks, you can get rid of them by grabbing a pair of tweezers as soon as you notice them. If you remove them from your skin within two days you’ll be less likely to catch anything (like Lyme disease) from them. Always be sure to pull a tick out from the head, which is closest to your skin, to be certain you remove the whole thing. Have someone help you get the hard-to-reach places of your body, and pull each tick out very slowly. After, clean your skin with soap and water. atever you do, don’t ever try to burn a tick off of your skin. The flame from the fire will only make a tick mad and that will cause it to burrow and dig even deeper into your skin. When you've pulled the tick out, put it in a jar of rubbing alcohol to kill it. You may even want to put it in a glass jar or container so you can show the doctor exactly what bit you.

After a bee sting check to see if the insect left its stinger behind. If it did, get it out of your skin as soon as possible to reduce the chances of being exposed to any venom there may be in it. Wash the sting or bite with soap and water and keep it clean. Apply some calamine lotion, put an ice pack on the area for 15 minutes every few hours or so or cover the sting with a cold compress. If you’re allergic to bee stings, see your doctor for a prescription for an epinephrine kit. If used immediately after a bee attack, this shot will stop the allergic reaction before it starts, which could save your life. An epinephrine kit is easy to use; your doctor or pharmacist will explain how. If you're severely allergic to bug bites and stings, talk to a doctor about getting venom immunotherapy (shots) from an allergist.

Serious Stuff

How do you know when a sting or bite is too much for you to handle alone? If you have any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction get to the nearest hospital’s emergency room right away:

  • shortness of breath
  • wheezing
  • redness or hives over most of your body
  • swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • feeling like your throat is closing up
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • chills
  • muscle aches or cramps
  • weakness
  • fever

If you get bitten by a spider but you’re not sure what kind, pay close attention to your own body’s reaction to the bite. If you're feeling sick and have cramps get to the ER immediately. If you somehow managed to kill the spider that bit you safely, take it with you so doctors can see what variety it was and treat you accordingly.

Pest Prevention

You don’t have to sit around and wait to be sampled like a bug buffet; here are some steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • If you have pets that go outdoors, treat them and your entire house (all carpets and furniture) regularly with during warmer months. Keeping your carpets clean by vacuuming regularly can help, too.
  • Avoid mosquitoes by staying away from areas where they breed, like still pools or ponds or any containers or spaces that are filled with motionless water, especially during hot weather. Remove standing water from birdbaths, buckets, kid pools, etc. Try to stay inside when mosquitoes are most active (at dawn and dusk) and wear insect repellent when you’re outside.
  • If you’re camping or hiking in heavily wooded areas you need to watch out for ticks. You can do this by taking turns with friends and family checking one another for ticks every few hours. Remove any ticks you find immediately. The most important places to check are behind your ears, on your scalp, on the back of your neck, in your armpits and behind your knees. If you have a pet with you, check your pet, too! Use tick products on pets to prevent them from being bitten.
  • Use insect repellent when spending time outdoors camping, hiking or on the beach. Repellents that contain 10% to 30% DEET are approved for mosquitoes, ticks and some other bugs. Repellents that contain picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus work against mosquitoes. Always reapply insect repellent after swimming or sweating heavily.
  • When you’re in the woods tuck in your clothes and try to keep your skin covered. Wear shoes and socks when walking on grass, even it's just for a minute. Bees and wasps can sting your unprotected feet.
  • Wear gloves if you're gardening.
  • Don't disturb bee or wasp nests.
  • Don't swat at buzzing insects; they may sting you if they feel threatened or scared.
  • Be aware that spiders might be hiding in undisturbed piles of wood, storage boxes or corners behind furniture.
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Dear Dish-It in the forums

astucieuse331
astucieuse331 posted in Friends:
I've always felt the same way. My one best friend gossiped behind my back, used me, all that girl stuff. She took me for advantage and we had a bunch of fights because of her finding a new friend and completely acting as if I didn't exist, and I told her to give me at least some attention every once in a while if she can't even continue to talk to me daily. And.. I lost her. Well, she lost me. We both lost each other. But then I realized.. it's the people that you least expect to be nice to you you'll find kindness in. Why? Based on personal experience, and I'll tell you the story: For my gym class, me and my peers were supposed to make a group for a dance. This was when my best friend had found a new friend already, and the time at which we had a few fights because of that. Of course, I relied on my best friend to count me in her dance group. At lunchtime, I sat together with my best friend, and we ate our lunches in silence. All of a sudden, I brought up the dance groups and asked her straightforwardly: "Can I join your group?" No reply. "Kelly, can I join your group?" No reply. "I mean, since our class is uneven, I found it fair that there'd be a group of five, you know?" None at all. Kelly ignored me straight off the bat, leaving me speechless. My mind raced with thoughts, and I thought, maybe it's not worth having Kelly as a friend. A few days later, we were playing Dodgeball for gym. I was on Kelly's team, and overheard her talking with her new friends about who to pick for the dance group. One of her friends mentioned me, and Kelly said: "Oh no, we shouldn't pick her because _____ (I don't know what she said then)." I was shocked, but was anticipating it, so when the time came to choose groups, I saw my friend, Luke, ask two girls, Cher and Bridgette, to join their group. Surprisingly, Cher and Bridgette actually accepted him, and so I thought, "Wow, if they accepted Luke, they might accept me aswell!" and so built up the courage to ask them if I could join. Even though Cher and Bridgette were mean to me sometimes, I knew that I had to risk it and see what'd happen. Afterall, rejection is just another opportunity to find a better group. Little did I know, it'd be the best choice of my life. They were so happy, and even thanked me for joining them! I was speechless once more; I never knew that the peers that I thought I would never be friends with would actually be my friends!  So yeah, that's what I learnt, and I never regretted learning that fact. Ever since then, though, I've learnt not to trust people as much as I used to anymore. I learnt that independency is what works for me, what I was meant for in terms of socializing or working. But, other things may work for you. If you still want a friend, you can be independent and wait for the right person. However, if you still want a real friend, you can wait, but still mingle (hang out) with other people! I I'm not going to make fun of you because I know how you've felt, just as I stated in my past problem before. But you can move on from those friends, they're not worth your time and certainly don't deserve you as a friend. Trust me, if it's meant to be, you'll definitely find a true friend. But if it's not, you may become like me, finding happiness in my own way. I want to remind you though-- you don't need someone to stay happy, or keep you company. This may sound silly, but you can even have your own invisible friends! I've had one, but that's very rarely for me. It's not silly though if you see the general idea; usually these friends are made from different dimensions of your personality or just because of will. There's a lot more fish in the sea, though, so I'm sure you'll find a true friend that's meant for you  :) Take care, and I hope you'll find a true friend soon!
reply about 6 hours
ts01
ts01 posted in Friends:
im so sorry you girls feel that way.true friends are there, its just easier to find users because they are more plentiful. dont give up, you will find real friends eventually
reply about 7 hours
lolflowergirl
lolflowergirl posted in Friends:
i feel alone too
reply about 9 hours
kayme123
kayme123 posted in Friends:
i know the feeling. but i got taken off a website instead of my friends. i can assure you they probably feel the same and are missing you, BUT its not worth dwelling over it. friends come and go without any choice in life and trust me, i lost the love of my life and my two of the best friends in the world. The thing is, you have to move on, because they wouldent want you feeling sad over them right? they'd want you to be the happy person you were when you were with them! for starters, i'll be your friend so your not scared to make some new ones. To be honest, i went through the exact same thing as you did and it DOES hurt very bad. But once you find some people that are willing to make you feel better, you know you've chosen the right friends again
reply about 18 hours
Irene_love
Irene_love posted in Style:
"1.am.3m0" wrote:Hey. Im also turning 15 soon. So dont worry you arent alone hahah. Start dressing for your shape and also find whats comfortable.  Because if you wear something that is uncomfortable you wont be happy and happiness is the best look :) Most of the time I wear jeans with a graphic tshirt or singlet and a cardigan or light jacket. Hoodies are great for winter. And I wear combat boots like doc martins and converse. Hope I helped somehow! :)
reply about 19 hours

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