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Old 05-12-2008, 07:28 AM
 
1,384 posts, read 3,945,721 times
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Hi all,
It's a given here in NH that when the weather warms up we are surrounded by bugs. I didn't think they were anything more than mildly annoying until I began having adverse reactions to bites. Three times I've received bites that have caused serious swelling & unbearable itchiness.
Twice my eye swelled up, now I have a gigantic swollen foot/ankle! This is getting ridiculous...

So I'm wondering whether any of you know a particular bug that causes this(no idea what bit me)or if it's more likely just my own allergic reaction. Does anyone else here experience this (it can't be that uncommon) and if so, how do you manage life in the spring/summer? I'm an outdoor person and will be totally bummed if i need to restrict outdoor time. I use Ben's bug spray, btw...they don't seem to care.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions. I'm trying not to generate a medical claim since we have a high deductible!
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Seacoast NH
259 posts, read 860,471 times
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I'm told if you shower with Avon's Skin-So-soft (decidedly female perfumed aroma)product it wards off mosquitos. A dob of household ammonia will alleviate itching instantly. Peppermint oil is supposed to be comforting and cooling on it too. Readers digest 1,801 ;[ISBN 0-7621-488-0]home remedies says underarm deoderant contains chemicals to help too. Tea Tree oil is also good for skin abrasions + burns (also very smelly, but effective health food store item)
Ben's is good. the experts say anything with DEET in it is good. Mayflies are always problematic, but they will subside as the leaves on the forrest floor dry out through the summer. The first spring rain followed by an near 80 degree day always kicks off "no-see-um" season. they will go away, but mosquitoes stay until they're big enough to show up on radar!

Swolen anlke sounds more like posion ivy. Maybe try the tea tree oil.....
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:43 AM
 
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When I get stung by a wasp or bee I mix a little baking soda with water and make a paste. Once applied it immediately stops the pain. (At least for me)
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:16 AM
 
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I heard the black flies can cause the swelling and itching. My boys get big lumps from mosquitoes that last for days. We have switched all our care products to ones with tea tree oil and make an at-home spray with oil of lemon eucalyptus and citronella. So far so good!
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Kensington NH
758 posts, read 2,501,326 times
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Can't help with the symptoms....

but regarding the skin so soft thing......as a person who spends tons of time outside for both work or pleasure, the only thing that slightly intimidates a bug is DEET, and even then if they really want you they'll get you. Sure deet isn't supposed to be all that great for you, and there's tons of deet free bug repellants, but the bottom line is unless it's at least 25% deet you just wated your money. I'm not sure where the whole avon thing came from but it probably wasn't from people who spend any length of time in actual buggy areas.
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:55 AM
 
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SSS works as good as any oil, even baby oil. They land and slide and don't recover.....


I have relatives from Scotland that can not tolerate the bite of the little black fly - They will even blister sometimes in addition to the swelling and the itching - it's horrid!!!

The natives (haha) seem to build a tolerance to the buggers, but the newbies suffer. I don't know if it gets better with time. My cousins never stayed more than a few weeks and complain to this day about the insects.
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:57 AM
 
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just to clarify - I absolutely agree with fishnfool - Deet IS the only thing that deters the insects.
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Old 05-12-2008, 01:18 PM
 
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My kids are very allergic to the black fly bites that are very common this time of year (little mayfly looking bugs). They swell right up. Last year my 5yr old looked like she had a cartoon sized ear from a bit and then a week later her eye swelled shut - and we are natives thru and thru. She currently has 3 on her neck and chin and we are very good about using bug spray with deet - it's just that the black flies don't give a care about deet. Works for mosquitos, but not these flies.
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:53 PM
 
Location: New Hampshire
452 posts, read 1,502,097 times
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[quote=lisa g;3739213]Hi all,
Three times I've received bites that have caused serious swelling & unbearable itchiness.
Twice my eye swelled up, now I have a gigantic swollen foot/ankle! This is getting ridiculous...

You've been bitten by a black fly. Some sensitive areas can react differently with a black fly bite.

Fishnfool is right. Products containing DEET works best. The higher the content of DEET the better. There are alternatives when it comes to bug repellent should you, for some reason, prefer to avoid Deet. However, if you wish to have a product that will fight off black flies, mosquitoes, ticks and an array of other pesky insects, you really can't beat it.
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
4,540 posts, read 11,675,015 times
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My auntie who lives in Deerfield gets the same reaction when she is bitten by a black fly, and they are horrible at her place. Several years ago she decided that enough was enough, and when she goes outside in the yard during black fly season (first few weeks of May) she wears a long piece of mosquito netting under a hat, so that she doesn't get bit. It looks silly, but works (and it's only for a few weeks anyway). Tell the neighbors you're going for a new fashion statement!
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