As a Las Vegas pest control company, we see the effects of bees and wasps all the time. When you get stung by a bee or wasp, the stinger is left in the skin and releases venom that causes pain, inflammation, and expansion of blood vessels. For most people, the effects of a bee sting amount to only that – a sudden burning pain and some swelling. However, if you’re allergic to bee stings or are experiencing extreme reactions, seek medical help from a professional immediately.
If you get stung by a bee and are facing mild symptoms, the following at-home remedies may do the trick to relieve your discomfort.
Ice is the old tried-and-true remedy when it comes to swelling. Wrap an ice pack or bagged ice cubes in a cloth and hold it against the affected area. In addition to reducing swelling, ice slows or stops the spread of the bee venom. It will also help to numb the pain caused by the bee sting.
Ironic though it may seem, one of the most common treatments for a bee sting is to use the fruit of the bee’s own labor. Numerous studies have shown a wide range of medical applications of honey, which include treatment as an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent. You can apply a small amount of honey to the sting to relieve the burning and swelling and to combat infection.
3. Aloe Vera
If you have one of these spiny green plants at home, you can break off a piece and spread the gel onto the wound. You can also purchase aloe vera gel at most pharmacies or grocery stores. Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties and is commonly used to relieve sunburns – something we’re all too familiar with here in Las Vegas. This soothing effect of the aloe can also help with the pain.
4. Essential Oils
Tea tree oil, lavender oil, and basil oil are just a few of the essential oils that have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic compounds that can reduce swelling and infection caused by bee stings. To use essential oils, dilute the drops with a carrier oil, such as olive oil, about one drop of essential oil for every four drops of carrier oil.
5. Baking Soda
Though not backed by solid science, many bee sting-sufferers claim that a paste of baking soda and water neutralizes the venom and helps ease the pain and swelling it causes. Just mix baking soda with water until thick paste forms, spread it onto the affected area, and cover it with a bandage for fifteen or more minutes. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to be cautious when trying this treatment.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Using apple cider vinegar for a bee sting has purportedly similar effects to using baking soda. The acidity of the vinegar seems to help neutralize the bee sting venom. Consider soaking a small cloth in the apple cider vinegar, then applying it with some pressure on the affected area. As with the baking soda remedy, this treatment is not recommended if you have particularly sensitive skin.
7. Meat Tenderizer
You mean the white seasoning used to break down meat? Yes, that! We know it sounds a little strange, but meat tenderizer most often contains an enzyme called papain, which may help break down the venom and reduce pain. Add water to the meat tenderizer to form a paste and rub onto the stung area like a cream.
As if meat tenderizer wasn’t strange enough! This remedy isn’t scientifically proven, but it is a popular go-to for bee stings. Many believe the alkaline toothpaste acts to neutralize the venom, much like baking soda. The appeal is obvious: application is easy (just spread a dab on the spot), and everyone has a tube of toothpaste in their bathroom cupboards.
9. Hydrocortisone Cream or Calamine Lotion
Applying a hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to the affected area will help soothe the itchiness and irritation caused by a bee sting. Resisting the urge to itch is vital. Scratching only further irritates the area and spreads the venom, increases swelling, and making the pain linger.
10. Over-the-Counter Medications
This home remedy isn’t sensational, but the list wouldn’t be complete without a quick nod to the traditional bathroom medicine cabinet. An antihistamine like Benadryl can alleviate itching or swelling, and a pain-reliever such as acetaminophen can lessen discomfort from the stinger’s venom. NSAID pain relievers are also anti-inflammatory drugs and can help reduce the swelling.
Bee stings are annoying, but most of the time, with the right at-home remedies, you can treat the symptoms and quickly jump back into your day. However, as mentioned earlier, seek immediate medical treatment from a professional if you experience an allergic reaction to the sting.
The best remedy for a painful bee sting is to avoid it altogether. If you notice an increased number of bees or wasps around your Las Vegas home or business, it’s time to contact a professional pest control expert. The last thing you want on your hands is a swarm of bees. Fischer’s Pest Control offers quick and reliable Las Vegas bee removal to eliminate the threat of a bee or wasp colony and to avoid the dangers associated with a large swarm. To learn more about our services, contact the Fischer’s Pest Control team today!