A sudden bee sting can be a painful inconvenience for anybody. Whether it happens to you or one of your kids, you’ll want to stop the piercing discomfort that comes with a bee sting as quickly as possible. A bee’s stinger releases venom into its victim’s skin, causing swelling and sharp pain that radiates from the sting site. Knowing what to do and how to care for a bee or wasp sting is very important, especially if you are allergic to bee or wasp venom.
- Common Reactions to Bee And Wasp Stings
- How to Protect Yourself From Bee And Wasp Stings
- What To Do When You Have Been Stung By A Bee Or Wasp
- Step 1: Don’t Panic
- Step 2: Check for Allergic Reactions
- Step 3: Remove the Stinger
- Step 4: Thoroughly Clean the Area
- Step 5: Apply Ice to the Bee or Wasp Sting
- Step 6: Consider Over-the-Counter Medication
- When To Call a Bee and Wasp Removal Specialist
Common Reactions to Bee and Wasp Stings
When you are stung by a bee or wasp, the most common reaction is a swollen red area where the stinger entered the skin. Some people may have some itching associated with the sting area, and some people may feel like the area is very warm.
Allergic Reactions To Bee And Wasp Stings
An allergic reaction can be deadly if it is not treated. If you are stung and begin to have any of the following symptoms, call 911 and seek immediate medical care.
- Sweating or flushing of the skin
- Loss of voice or sound raspy
- Tightening in the throat or mouth area
- Wheezing or loss of breath
- Lightheadedness or feeling faint
How to Protect Yourself From Bee and Wasp Stings
Reaching out to bee removal professionals is always the best option when trying to get rid of a bee problem. If you are going to spend time outdoors in an area that is known to have bee or wasp activity, there are things that you can do that can help you avoid being stung. While these tips are not a guarantee, they greatly reduce the risks of being stung.
- Refrain from wearing perfume or cologne. Flying insects are attracted to sweet smells. Perfumes, aftershave, shampoos, some soaps, and cologne that have a flowery or sweet smell will attract bees and wasps into the area.
- Keep foods covered. If you are having a BBQ or a picnic, you should keep food sealed until it is either being cooked or eaten. Bees are also attracted to strong smells and many foods, even though they are not sweet, will attract them into the area.
- Keep trash sealed. If you are eating outdoors or camping, make sure that you keep all of your garbage sealed so that the flying insects are not attracted to the area. This also helps prevent other unwanted guest like bears or raccoons from entering campsite areas.
- Do not swat at bees or wasps. Waving your arms or swatting at bees when they are near you will make them more likely to sting. Bees and wasps at on defense and will assume that you are trying to hurt them.
- Make sure that you have an EpiPen with you at all times if you know that you have an allergy to bee or wasp stings.
What To Do In The Event Of A Swarm
If you are being chased by a swarm of bees, the best thing that you can do is run in a straight line as fast as you can. Bees will chase you, but they have a limited amount of power to go very far. Usually, after about 500 feet, the bees are too tired to continue to chase you. Never jump in water to protect yourself, the potential to drown is too great. Overall, bee and wasp stings can be painful and potentially serious. Taking a few precautions when you are outside and knowing what to do if you are stung will help make this situation a little more easy to manage.
What to Do When You Have Been Stung by a Bee or Wasp
There are several things that you should do right after you have been stung by a bee or wasp. If you find yourself or your child has been stung by a bee or wasp, here are the steps to treat the bee sting:
STEP 1: Don’t Panic
When you’re stung by a bee, you’ll know it almost immediately. The sudden pain comes on quickly and can be really disorienting, especially to young children. It’s easy to overreact and panic when you suffer a bee sting. One thing to keep in mind is that unlike bees, wasps and hornets can sting more than once.
If you or your child panics, it could aggravate the wasp or hornet even further and cause them to sting again. And if it was a bee, panicking can upset a nearby beehive and bring on an aggressive swarm. The best thing to do is remain calm and walk away from the area to avoid additional attacks from the bees.
STEP 2: Check for Allergic Reactions
Bee sting symptoms are not severe for most people. However, if you are experiencing swelling or numbness in other parts of your body, you may be having an allergic reaction to the bee sting and should seek medical care immediately. You might also feel dizzy, develop hives, have difficulty breathing, or experience vomiting if you are allergic to bee venom.
Head to the emergency room if you experience any of these symptoms. Allergic reactions to bee stings can be extremely dangerous and even life-threatening. In some cases, you may need treatment for anaphylactic shock with epinephrine to reduce the potential of a life-threatening reaction. If you know that you are in danger of anaphylactic shock from common insect stings or bites, be sure to carry any doctor-prescribed immediate-use medication such as epi-pens or inhalers with you whenever you go out.
STEP 3: Remove the Stinger
In most cases, the stinger will remain in the skin until it is removed. The venom from the stinger is what causes the pain, swelling, and irritation in the skin, so it’s essential to remove it right away. After a bee sting, you should see the end of the stinger slightly raised from the skin. To remove the stinger, you want to take a damp cloth and gently rub over the stung area in a one-way motion.
This will gently pull the stinger out of your skin. You can also carefully scrape your fingernail, a clean towel, or a piece of gauze over the stinger to dislodge it from the skin and pull it out. Although you may be tempted to squeeze or pinch the area to extract the stinger, this could actually do more harm than good. You do not want to squeeze it out or squeeze the stinger by grabbing it with tweezers. The stinger is filled with venom and if you squeeze it, more venom will enter your system. By squeezing the skin, you may release more venom and cause even more irritation.
STEP 4: Thoroughly Clean the Area
Using mild soap and warm water, gently clean the area where the bee sting is located. This will remove any venom that is on the skin and help reduce the pain. It will be tender and swollen, so be careful when helping your child or others clean the sting. If you don’t have soap handy, try to find clean water to rinse the area. The most important thing is to remove dirt that could infect the sting or lotions that could irritate the skin or attract more bees.
After washing the bee sting, use a soft, clean towel to pat the area dry. Again, it will be very sensitive to the touch, so you should not apply pressure or rub the skin when drying.
STEP 5: Apply Ice to the Bee or Wasp Sting
The cold temperature of the ice will help with a bee sting in two ways: relieving pain and reducing swelling. Apply cool compresses every 15 minutes. The cool compresses will reduce the swelling that is often associated with stings. It will help to numb the pain from the sting and bring down the initial swelling more quickly. To make a cool compress, wrap bagged ice or a freezer pack in a cloth or paper towel and gently hold it against the affected area.
However, do not apply ice directly to the skin. Ice cubes or freezer/cold packs can actually cause frostbite or ice burn by depriving skin cells of blood flow. If you have nothing to wrap the ice in, wait until you can find a clean cloth, paper towel, or even clothing to create a barrier between the ice and the skin.
STEP 6: Consider Over-The-Counter Medication
If you’re looking for additional relief, over-the-counter pain relievers or allergy medication could help soothe the symptoms of a bee sting. Taking an antihistamine can help reduce any minor reaction you may have to the bee or wasp sting, including skin reactions such as swelling and itching in the area. Pain medication, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help with the discomfort and sensitivity in the area. Always read the labels and follow all instructions when taking over-the-counter medications.
You want to make sure you have the correct dosage, especially for children. Most stings will heal within a couple of days. If you continue to have a reaction after a few days, or if the sting becomes swollen or infected, seek medical attention immediately.
When to Call a Bee and Wasp Removal Specialist
After being stung by a bee, you might discover a beehive on your property. This could potentially be dangerous, especially for young children. Our bee and wasp removal team at Fischer’s Pest Control has the experience, equipment, and knowledge needed to safely remove bees from your home or office. To learn more about our bee removal services, call our Las Vegas bee exterminators today for a free evaluation and estimate.