Now that summer has arrived, and people are slowly getting back outside, bee stings and tick bites are bound to happen. While bee stings are pretty unfortunate and tick bites relatively harmless, improper care of either can lead to infection and possibly disease. Read on to learn more about how to remove ticks and stingers properly:

Removing a Bee Sting

Bees are everywhere, and bee stings are just as common, especially on the feet. Since the stingers themselves are attached to the bee’s thorax and venom sac, a bee sting will likely kill the bee shortly after. While this venom isn’t particularly deadly, it can hurt and itch enough to make anyone want to stay away from bees for a while!

When a bee stings you, its venom sac may remain on the stinger. It will look like a little balloon or the head of a turkey baster. To prevent the excess poison from entering your body, avoid squeezing the stinger to pull it out. Instead, scrape over it with your fingernail, some gauze, or even a credit card.

Bee Sting Treatment

After removing the stinger, it’s time to disinfect the stung area with soap and water. Then, you can treat the sting similar to how you’d treat a wound-- bandage it lightly, use an ice pack to reduce swelling, and take ibuprofen to manage pain. Most people experience mild symptoms when recovering from a bee sting. Swelling and redness around the sting are common, as well as a sharp pain right after being stung. In some cases, the area that had been stung will itch while healing.

For people allergic to bees, watch for signs of anaphylaxis: skin reactions like hives or redness, a swollen tongue, difficulty breathing, nausea, dizziness, and a weak but rapid heart rate are all serious symptoms that require immediate care.

How to Remove a Tick

Ticks, much like bee stings, are mostly harmless, but some ticks may carry bloodborne illnesses like Lyme disease. When improperly removed, tick bites may also cause infections. To remove a tick, you’ll need tweezers. Using your tweezers to grasp the tick firmly, get as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Then, pull the tick upward in a steady, smooth motion. Twisting or jerking the tick may increase the chances of its head breaking off. If the head or parts of the mouth separate from the body and stay in the skin, remove as much as you can without drawing blood and leave your skin to heal. To dispose of the tick, flush it down the toilet or soak it in alcohol.

Treatment

You can treat tick bites the same as a bee sting-- with soap and water to clean the area and a bandage if desired. Unlike bee stings, tick bites do not tend to produce symptoms. However, for someone allergic to ticks, symptoms may include pain, burning sensation or swelling at the bite, a rash, blisters, and difficulty breathing.

 About a week after your tick bite, always check for a rash or fever (common signs of illness). If signs of illness show up a few weeks after the tick bite, contact your doctor immediately. When you speak with your doctor, explain when you got bitten, what time of day it was, and where you most likely picked up the tick.

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