Charles W. Bryant,
HOW STUFF WORKS, Bugs. There aren't many things on the planet that can hamper outdoor fun like flies, mosquitoes, bees and ticks. Getting bitten or stung can ruin a picnic or pleasant patio time in a flash. But in a worst-case survival scenario, these bites and stings can put you in danger. If you're allergic to bee stings and you're caught without your remedy, you can even die. Ticks and mosquitoes spread diseases like malaria, yellow and dengue fevers, and Lyme disease. In fact, mosquito-borne disease kills more people around the world than anything else. When you add the spiders and scorpions that live in the wild, it becomes clear that size doesn't matter in a survival scenario.
It's important to give your body and scalp a good once-over a couple of times a day and before you go to sleep. If you locate a tick, and it's burrowed into your skin, cut off its air supply by covering it with Vaseline or tree sap. You can also burn it with a hot match or ember, causing it to release its hold. Use tweezers if you have them; make sure you remove the entire tick and immediately wash the area with soap and water.
If you're nailed by a bee or wasp, get the stinger and venom sac out as quickly as you can by scraping it with a clean knife blade. Then wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. If you have a cigarette, open it up and put some wet tobacco on the sting to help neutralize the pain.
Buzzing mosquitoes are more than annoying -- they can be deadly. If you know you're traveling to a jungle area, get immunized against malaria and any other mosquito-spread diseases before you go, and take along some DEET insect repellent for good measure. When you get bitten by the mosquito -- and it will happen -- try not to scratch the area to avoid infection. A good trick to reduce the itch: cover the bite with some mud and let it dry.
Venomous spider bites may not hurt much initially, but local pain will develop and then spread over your entire body. You'll likely encounter stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting, weakness, tremors and sweating. If you're bitten, clean the area immediately and try to identify the culprit. Or even better, capture the spider for identification. Knowing what kind of venom you have in your blood can help save your life.