Common Insect Allergies: An Overview from a Pest Control Professional
As we settle into winter, the expected seasonal allergies brought on by warm weather and pollen can seem months away. However, many insects survive all year and cause their own allergies. Being aware of typical insect allergies and the symptoms of a reaction is essential at any time of the year. Follow along for more information on common insect allergies.
First, it is important to note the difference between normal and allergic reactions to insect exposure. While a normal reaction usually goes away in minutes, hours, or days, allergic reactions tend to be more severe or can last for weeks. Many familiar insects cause allergic reactions. Reactions usually occur due to direct bites and stings or simply from their presence in your home. Here are some common bugs and their consequences.
Stinging insects such as bees, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets They are very common culprits. Being stung and consequently injected with venom is not only painful, but can also cause long-lasting allergic reactions. Most people develop a red, itchy, or swollen bump in response to a bite. In a normal reaction, this discomfort will go away in hours or days. If you have an allergic reaction, your body makes antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE) that will be activated every time you bite it. When it is activated, you can have an extreme, life-threatening reaction called “anaphylaxis.” Symptoms of anaphylaxis can include hives, swelling of the throat or tongue, dizziness, nausea, and fainting. Emergency medical treatment and consultation with an allergist is recommended if you experience any of these symptoms after a sting.
Biting insects, such as bedbugs, fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, also cause a variety of reactions. In addition to the common red bumps and itching, severe reactions can include shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, rapid heartbeat, wheezing, itching, wheezing, and other symptoms similar to sting reactions. Some people are hypersensitive to an insect’s saliva, resulting in an infection. Symptoms of infection include pus, fever, and flu-like symptoms. A particularly notable bite is from the Lone Star tick, which can cause some people to develop a meat allergy. Although rare, it acts like any allergy: a long-lasting adverse reaction in the immune system.
The simple fact of living in the presence of an insect causes allergic reactions. The most common and persistent are dust mites. These insects live year-round in your home and therefore cause recurring allergies in susceptible people. Dust mites are microscopic, but their decaying bodies often form visible dust. Therefore, keeping your home clean by vacuuming, disinfecting, dusting, and general maintenance can reduce the impact of dust mites. The symptoms of a dust mite allergy often resemble hay fever or a common cold: sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion, cough. Dust mite allergies can become more severe and contribute to people with existing asthma. Some symptoms of more serious dust mite allergies include shortness of breath, chest pain, lack of sleep, or asthma attacks. If you experience any of these symptoms for more than a week, you probably have allergies. Again, it is recommended to see an allergy doctor to establish a diagnosis.
There are a number of risk factors associated with allergic reactions. Knowing the family history is very important, since allergies are often genetic. In addition, being a child/adolescent/young adult is another risk factor. Allergies often develop when you are very young or have been continually exposed to an allergen. Being proactive about your health when seeking medical advice is the best way to mitigate risk factors. To prevent allergic reactions to insects, it is also advisable to consider pest control services in your home. An experienced pest control company like Black Diamond can provide guidance and expert service, keeping you and your family as protected as possible against bugs and insects of all kinds.