Summer Bites and Stings and Home Remedies

Saturday, August 10, 2013

It's that time of year again - when everything I love is in full bloom and thriving.  And, although that can include Blue Crabs, Red Drum, and Tomatoes, it also means that the ocean is at is warmest, and everything in the yard is at it's peak - even the jellyfish, and the ants.


Beautiful, but cruel.

Last weekend a friend of mine and I were swimming in the ocean, and some sort of jellyfish swiped him at his ankle.  We couldn't tell what kind of jellyfish, and as we got out of the ocean, you couldn't even see where the sting had happened.  But, it was obvious the next day.  You must treat the jellyfish sting area immediately.  Jellyfish sting you through nematocysts (really big word), which are released from their tentacles, (I know, gross, right?).  But, if you don't treat it, these nematocysts will stay in the skin and continue to release venom.

Here's what to do:

  • Immediately rinse off the area (or assumed area if the skin isn't reacting yet) with salt water from wherever you were swimming.
  • Vinegar - rinse the area in vinegar, and soak area in vinegar.  If that's not possible soak a paper towel or rag in the vinegar and tape it around the area.  
  • You can also make a salt water and baking soda paste and rub that on the area.  
  • Shave the paste off and clean, adding vinegar and more paste as needed.
  • Hydrocortizone Cream can be added to avoid itching.
  • Periodically add antibiotic ointment for the next few days.


Wish it had been a straw and not my foot.

Don't you love when you are in the yard, maybe your are gardening, or maybe you are staring off to space, when you realize that your left foot is sitting smack dab on top of a ant hill.  Mother....

That just happened to me today, and I am allergic to ants.  Thankfully, they weren't fire ants, BUT they felt like it.  All I wanted to do what cut my foot off from the sting and the itch.  I was about to jump out of my skin.  

There is an easier remedy.  LEMON!

Simply squeeze lemon on all the parts that sting if you can get to them before the sting whelp up.  If your lemons are stored in the refrigerator, even better.  The cold lemon made me feel like a super hero to those measly ant stings.  I did this for about 5 minutes, and now my foot feels almost like a million dollars.

BUT, as we all know who have ever had the pleasure of being stung by ants, the pain is bearable, the itch not so much.  I went online to see if there was something that could help here, and you wouldn't believe what I found, tried, and now practice daily.  It works.  Before I say anything though, I am not a doctor of anything, and I do not recommend you burning yourself or using a hairdryer in water.  So, I have no liability for what you do after you read this.

Heat directly to the stings takes the itch away.  I used a hair dryer, maybe for a couple a minutes, taking it off the skin when it hurt (lets be safe here), and none of the ant bites have itched all day.  Amazing!  I found this tip from this blog.  I am so looking forward to finally getting some sleep tonight!

I hope that you will not need to use any home remedies, and I hope the rest of the summer crawls by.  But, believe me, as a coastal outdoor hunter and gatherer, these have worked better than anything I've tried.

Good luck out there, be safe, and have fun!


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