Spider bites, flea bites, mosquito bites and bee stings
Danny T. Siegenthaler
Australia seems to have some of the most venomous critters in the world. There are deadly spiders, such as the Sydney Funnel Web and the Red Back spider, there are numerous snakes and of course then there are all the biting insects ranging from Mosquitoes to fleas as well as ants, Honey Bees and of course the European wasp, just to mention a few.
In this article, we will not focus on the deadly bites from spiders or insects, rather, we will focus on bites from various insects and spiders that can be painful and cause skin irritations. These include, but are not limited to, various ants, fleas, mosquitoes, some spiders, the European honey bee and of course the European wasp.
Mosquitoes, fleas and ants can give you nasty bites...
Bites from spiders, fleas, mosquitos and bee stings are common and every body gets stung or bitten by some ‘bug’ sooner or later. Mostly it’s mosquitoes or fleabites, ants or some other sting or bite from an insect or small spider and most of the time these bites will irritate the skin and little more, unless you have a particular allergy. Allergies to stings from the European honey bee for example have been known to cause death, however, this is not very common and usually the sting results in pain, redness and swelling around the area of the sting.
Apart from the very nasty critters that have too much poison for our good, most mosquito bites and similar stings are for the most part just very irritating and can be addressed with some very simple, yet potent essential oils.
Spider bites for example can be treated by applying 2-3 drops of Basil oil onto a bandaid and applying this directly on to the bite. Replace the band-aid 2-3 times per day. You should notice a considerable improvement over the first 24 hours. Basil oil has been reported to be able to neutralise many toxins from spider bites and other insects, and has many therapeutic properties including: analgesic, antidepressant, antispasmodic, anti-venomous, carminative, cephalic, diaphoretic, digestive, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, insecticide, nervine, stomachic, sudorific, tonic and stimulant.
In addition, some people may have a mild to moderately severe allergic reaction to bites from fleas or mosquitoes and again essential oils come to the rescue.
Apart from Basil oil, you can use Lavender oil for example to sooth irritated skin very quickly and disinfect the area at the same time. Lavender is well known for it’s wound healing and antiseptic properties, which makes it an ideal first aid treatment from minor bites and stings. Some of Lavender’s therapeutic properties include: antiseptic, analgesic, anti-convulsant, anti-depressant, anti-rheumatic, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, bactericide, carminative, cholagogue, decongestant, deodorant, diuretic, hypotensive, and sedative, to mention a few.
Similarly, Aloe Vera gel, will quickly sooth the irritated skin and help in the healing process. Aloe vera is well known for its wound healing effects and should not be underestimated in its effectiveness. Once you’ve applied the essential oils to the bite site, gently rub some Aloe vera gel over it to provide that extra relief.
To help keep away those irritating insects and avoid being bitten by Mosquitoes when you are sitting on the beach or in your backyard, use Citronella oil to keep the critters away. Citronella oil contains a natural pyrethrin and thus is excellent in repelling insects. It is reported to have many therapeutic properties including: antiseptic, bactericidal, deodorant, insecticide, parasitic, tonic and stimulant.
You can use it together with Pennyroyal on the coat of dogs and cats to keep fleas and flea bites to a minimum. But, be Warned - Do not use Pennyroyal on female dogs and cats if you are trying to bread them or if they are pregnant; Pennyroyal is a known abortifactant. You can also use an oil evaporator, you know, where you have a few drops of essential oils in a few millilitres of water in a small dish, which sits over a burning candle.
Tea tree oil - is a traditional Aboriginal remedy from Australia, which has become well known for its healing and antiseptic properties. Other therapeutic properties of Tee tree oil include: antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, balsamic, bactericide, expectorant, fungicide, insecticide and stimulant. Research has demonstrated that it acts on the micro-organisms that cause common skin infections such as acne, canker sores, herpes, insect bites and nail fungus.
If these first aid treatments do not seem to be effective or symptoms get worse, you must consult a medical practitioner or better still, go to hospital as soon as possible. Try to identify the insect or spider that bit you and if possible put it into a jar and take it with you. Many antivenins are specific to a particular poison and work extremely well on a specific type of bite, however they may not be effective if the wrong poison is being treated. If you can take the animal with you, the medical staff will be able to more easily identify it and prescribe the correct antivenom for you.
However, most bites are more or less harmless and you will get great relief from using essential oils and herbs like Aloe vera. Make sure you drink lots of fluids and rest until the symptoms have improved and you are feeling getter.
So don’t let those mosquito bites, fleabites, bee stings etc., get you down, take some preventative steps and use essential oils if you do get bitten.
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