The summer months not only bring warmer weather but more insects – spiders, mosquitoes, ants and bees – also creating insect-related death and injury. Among 83 fatal occupational injuries from 2003 to 2010, bees were involved in 52 of them.
A distant second were wasps (including yellow jackets), which were involved in killing 11 workers, followed by seven workers for spiders and four for ants, according to the United States Labor Department.
Stinging insects can also cause allergic reactions, which can require immediate medical attention and care.
If someone is stung:
- Wash the site with soap and water
- Remove the stinger using gauze wiped over the area but never squeeze or use tweezers
- Apply ice to reduce swelling
- Do not scratch the sting
Dangerous symptoms include the following:
- Itching or severe swelling
- Face, throat or tongue swelling
- Trouble breathing
- Stomach cramps
- Nausea or diarrhea
Fire ants bite and sting as well. Antihistamines may help but seek medical attention if reactions are severe.
Mosquitoes are attracted to gases that are released in the system. They are also attracted to sweat. Mosquitoes also possess visual sensors that allow them to sense any moving living organism. Finally, they have heat sensors that enable the discovery of any warm-blooded organism in the surrounding areas.
However, generally not dangerous, a majority of the symptoms associated with mosquito bites tend to fade away within hours or in a maximum of one day.
How do you protect yourself from insects?
- Wear light-colored, smooth-finished clothing
- Avoid perfumed soaps, shampoos, and deodorants
- Avoid wearing cologne or perfume
- Wear clean clothing
- Wear clothing to cover as much of the body as possible
- Stay away from flowering plants
- Keep work areas clean
- Remain calm and still if a single stinging insect is flying around. Do not swat at it.
- If attacked by several stinging insects, run to get away (Bees release a chemical when they sting, which attracts other bees)
- Shaded areas are better than open areas
Insects at the workplace can create injury-related problems, so check out the following link to CDC for more information.