Bug bites and stings are usually minor nuisances and pose no danger. However, there are occasions when they can cause infection that warrant treatment, as well as allergic reactions that can be life threatening.
Entomologist Chito Medina, Ph.D. and pediatrician Cindy Raki-in, M.D. help us identify the different types of common house bugs and what we should know about them.
Mosquitoes Breeding areas: Open water containers; tree holes; flood waters; canals Bite signs and effects: Localized pain, redness, swelling, or itching First aid: Wash the area with soap and water, then swab with alcohol or calamine lotion Diseases carried: Malaria; Dengue; Encephalitides; Yellow fever; Filariasis Management and prevention: Get rid of mosquito breeding places; apply insect repellant; use mosquito nets
Cockroaches Breeding areas: Dark cabinet corners, under furniture, and behind walls Bite signs and effects: Localized pain, redness, swelling, or itching First aid: Wash the bitten area with soap and water; apply an ice pack or a wet, cold washcloth Diseases carried: Exposure (not bites) to cockroach remains and feces poses a greater health threat, such as increased incidence of asthma; cockroaches are also possible carriers that transmit viral and bacterial diseases Management and prevention: Observe proper sanitation in the home; use registered pesticides