Wasp stings (or yellow jacket stings) are a cause of concern for many, especially during the Summer months.
Here is some guidance on what to do to treat a wasp sting, and also preventing stings in the future - most of these tips are very simple measures you can take.
At the end of this post, I also include a short review of some of the (deet-free) products available out there to help repel wasps and other stinging and biting insects, and a link to a further page for repelling wasps in specific situations.
wasp stings is very similar to treating bee stings. However, there is
no sting to remove, as is the case should a sting be caused by a honey
Also, the composition of the venom is slightly
different between wasps, bees and hornets, and so reactions to a
stinging incident can be different, even though wasp sting first aid is
similar to that for bee stings.
1. Wash the area with cool water.
2. Apply an ice cube or ice pack to reduce swelling or cold flannel.
3. If the sting is very painful or very itchy, apply a soothing lotion, such as calamine lotion, or a suitable cream or ointment containing an antihistamine or local anaesthetic. Ensure you read the label and only apply products that are appropriate for you.
You could also try a venom extractor kit - this is something you would have to have at home already, in case of stings.
4. An analgesic,
such as paracetamol or aspirin, may also be taken if appropriate.
Always read the label and remember there are restrictions for the taking
of medicines in children, dependent upon age. Do not exceed the
5. If you are concerned, or if symptoms persist (for example, with major swelling), consult a health care professional.
6. If the sting has occurred in a sensitive area, such as close to the eye, nostril, ear, or in the mouth, consult your doctor immediately, or go to hospital.
7. If you begin to have difficulty breathing or swallowing, or find yourself wheezing or feeling dizzy call an ambulance or go to the hospital immediately. As with bees, a wasp sting reaction can be very serious. Although anaphylactic shock is rare, it is important to recognise that it can nevertheless occur. Likewise, should you experience any other symptoms soon after a sting, such as nausea and vomiting, stomach ache, diarrhoea, seek assistance immediately.
8. Note: If you find some-one experiencing anaphylactic shock
following a wasp or other insect sting or bite (including mosquitoes or
tick bites), check to see whether they are carrying an Epi-pen - they
may need your assistance to administer the Epi-pen injection immediately, and then seek medical attention.
If you are aware that you have an allergy to bee and/or wasp stings, ensure you carry an epi-pen with you at all times, and you could consider carrying a charm or pendant such as the one featured on the left, to alert people that you have an allergy.
A wasp sting is sometimes presumed to be a wasp bite. Wasps do bite, however, they do so when:
Stings are the means of defence, and wasps will sting (rather than bite) when they perceive a threat.
You may be tempted to splat or squash a wasp, but it is far better not to kill wasps because it you may only attract more
of them. But why?
On death, wasps release pheromones that act as a warning of threat to other wasps, hence you will risk provoking further attack.
See the information below and the link to my new page about preventing wasp stings.
How can you ensure you are not stung by a wasp in the future?
Below are a few tips for repelling and deterring wasps, with a link to further information - my new page concerning specific scenarios and more advice.
But anyway, it obviously makes sense to avoid or prevent stings in the first place, rather than having to apply first aid measures, especially where young children are concerned.
Here are my tips:
This is especially important for children, and if going on a picnic.
This set is available from Amazon USA and again, is highly rated:
Waspinators work by fooling the territorial wasp into thinking there is already a wasp nest present. Be sure to hang it in from the eaves of your house (or wherever you think they are likely to nest) early - before wasp nest season starts in your area. You can also take them with you on picnics.
I do not recommend the paper versions which cost slightly less but are not so durable.
I prefer to recommend natural products, but mostly, I'm keen that they should be Deet-free.
Here is a review of some of my favourites available:
In the event that you are stung, you might like to try a Venom Extractor Kit - this is obviously something you would need to have in your first aid kit as a precaution, and in advance of the stinging event occurring.
Go from Wasp Sting Treatment And Wasp Sting First Aid to
Wasp Nests (Yellow Jacket Nests)
Go from Wasp Sting Treatment And Wasp Sting First Aid to this page of advice explaining what to do if you need to get rid of an existing wasp nest.
Wasp Sting Remedy – Natural and Home Wasp Sting Treatments
Although this page is about natural and home remedies for bee stings, they can also be used in Wasp Sting First Aid too.
Anaphylaxis & Bee Sting Reactions
Go from Wasp Sting Treatment And Wasp Sting First Aid to this page about about bee and wasp sting reactions.
Wasp Life Cycle
Go from Wasp Sting Treatment And Wasp Sting First Aid to information about the life cycle of the wasp. The humble yellow jacket wasp is an excellent pollinator and controller of aphids and other insects known to eat garden crops. It has a short life cycle, similar to the bumblebee or solitary bee, depending on the type of wasp.
Go from Wasp Sting Treatment And Wasp Sting First Aid to information about bee stings.
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