Las Vegas is known for warm, sunny days that bring visitors from all over the world. Unfortunately, this heat also creates an ideal environment for bees, hornets and wasps. If you happen to be stung by a wasp while enjoying the outdoors, it can be a sudden and painful experience! Here are some of the things you should know about wasps and how you can relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of a wasp sting.
What is the difference between wasps and bees?
Some people often mistake wasps and bees. Although they are both members of the Hymenoptera family of insects, they are actually different. Wasps have smooth, shiny bodies with a very narrow waist. Bees, on the other hand, have hairy bodies that are thicker than wasps. Colors also vary when it comes to bees, while wasps all have bright yellow and deep black patterns. Wasps also have smaller colonies than bees, generally hibernate during cold winter months and do NOT produce honey. Another major difference between honey bees and wasps is that bees can only sting once and die soon after. Alternatively, wasps are able to sting their victims multiple times, which can prove very dangerous for vulnerable groups.
What Does a Wasp Sting Look Like?
Reactions to a wasp sting can differ from person to person. But, in general, a wasp sting will cause localized redness and swelling. Most people will develop a large raised welt around the sting site as a reaction to the wasp venom. You may also notice a small white mark where the wasp’s stinger actually punctured the skin. This will be more pronounced while the welt is swollen. More severe symptoms of a wasp string could be a sign you are having an allergic reaction and should see a medical professional as soon as possible. These symptoms may include:
- Swelling in the face and lips
- Developing hives all over the body
- Wheezing and sudden difficulty breathing
- Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting
- Change in blood pressure or pulse
- Vomiting or sudden nausea
Anaphylactic shock is an allergic reaction to bee or wasp venom and is considered a medical emergency. If you recognized these symptoms after a wasp sting, seek medical help immediately.
What Does a Wasp Sting Feel Like?
Wasp stings can cause a painful burning sensation under the skin that some have described as almost “electric” in nature. This feeling is due to the wasp’s needle-like stinger sending venom into the victim’s skin with each sting. The pain duration is usually about 5-10 minutes before the discomfort starts to subside. Again, a wasp sting could vary for different people.
Some may experience extensive localized pain, while others feel mild irritation. The type of wasp can also make a difference in how the string feels. Overall, it is an unpleasant feeling you should try to avoid.
What Wasp Sting Treatments Can Help?
How to treat a wasp sting is similar to treating a bee sting. You’ll want to follow these steps to clean the area, alleviate the pain and help the skin to heal after a sting:
- Wash the sting area. Use mild soap and water to clean the string and area surrounding the welt. You want to make sure there is no dirt, lotions, or anything else on the skin that could further irritate the sting. The water will also help to wash away some of the venom. Just be careful not to rub or press on the area while washing.
- Apply a cold pack or ice. Gently apply a wrapped cold pack or bag of ice on the sting itself. The cooling effect will help with the pain and reduce swelling.
- Use hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion. Both of these ointments can help with itching and irritation. Although you don’t have to apply these creams, it can help if you’re experiencing these bothersome symptoms.
- Take an antihistamine. You may also want to consider taking an antihistamine to help with minor allergic symptoms.
- Keep the area clean and dry. Do your best in the days to follow to keep the sting site clean and dry. This will prevent irritation or infections.
- Apply a bandage over the area. It could be beneficial to apply a bandage over the sting, depending on the location and if the area could become irritated if left exposed.
In addition to these steps, you could also consider using apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, baking soda or aloe vera to treat the wasp sting. Some swear by these at-home remedies after being stung by a wasp.
How to Protect Yourself From Wasp Stings
The best way to treat a wasp sting is to avoid it altogether. There are some things you and your loved ones can do to protect yourself from being stung by a wasp:
- Avoid panicking or swatting at the wasp. Remember, wasps can sting more than once! You don’t want to aggravate it even further.
- Avoid sweet-smelling lotions, shampoo or fragrances. Wasps are attracted to these scents, which can put you at higher risk for a sting.
- Cover your food and drinks when outside. If left out in the open, your snacks or beverages can draw wasps to your area.
- Avoid floral patterns. Wasps are attracted to bright colors and floral prints.
- Call professional wasp removal specialists if you see a hive or swarm near your property.
If you have a wasp problem in your home or office, don’t deal with it on your own. It could be dangerous if you don’t have the proper tools and knowledge to get rid of wasps. The experienced wasp control technicians at Fischer's Pest Control can help you remove the wasps safely with as little disruption to your property as possible. Contact our friendly team today for a free estimate!