How to Treat Bug Bites
Symptoms: The most obvious is the tick on your skin; it can be as small as one millimeter in diameter. However, sometimes the tick falls off before you notice it. Other symptoms can include redness, itching, and burning.
How to treat: If a tick is present, use tweezers (clean them with alcohol first) to grasp as close to the skin as possible, then apply gentle pressure as you pull the tick straight out. Avoid squashing the body; you could get the tick’s blood and saliva inside the wound, which may increase your risk of disease. Place the tick in a small container filled with rubbing alcohol to kill it. Finally, clean the bite area with soap and water.
Good to know: Ticks can transmit illnesses, such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, so keep a close eye on the bite. If you develop an expanding red area in the shape of a bull’s-eye (it can grow by about one centimeter a day, says Norris) or have flulike symptoms (fever, headache, aches and pains, chills), see a doctor. If possible, bring the tick with you. Although it may sound extreme, some experts recommend keeping the tick in alcohol for up to three months, the normal amount of time it takes for complications to develop. And whenever you’ve been in tick-prone areas, like woods or transitional zones (the edge of a backyard that spills into woods or fencing that’s not kept trimmed), do a full-body check for ticks when you go indoors.