With sports in full swing, orange slices, fruit snacks, juice boxes and sports drinks are bound to be plentiful on sidelines across the board. Which means prime time feasting for bees and wasps. While the presence of bees and wasps can’t be avoided, there are some helpful tips to make it less likely you’ll be stung.
Simple Dos and Don’ts
DO: Keep lids on drinks, and treats sealed in a plastic bag or container.
DO: Ignore the bee or wasp.
DO: Stay calm and still. (If a child is involved, the “Stand Like A Statue” game is a good idea!)
DO: Wear a hat! Bees are in a heightened state of awareness near hair or fur.
DON’T: Leave beverages open or unattended. Bees and wasps will crawl right in!
DON’T: Swat or flail extremities.
DON’T: Wear brightly colored clothing (more specifically floral patterns).
DON’T: Wear scented lotion or hairspray.
Of course, these are not foolproof ways to avoid being stung. If you find yourself in a situation where you or someone around you has been stung, read on for some things to look out for.
Three Types of Reactions to Stings
A normal reaction will result in pain, swelling, and redness around the sting site.
A local reaction will result in swelling that extends beyond the sting site. For example, a person stung on the ankle may notice their entire leg swell. While it often looks alarming, it is generally not more serious than a normal reaction.
The most serious reaction to an insect sting is an allergic reaction. This condition requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction may include one or more of the following: difficulty breathing, hives (red, itchy rash that spreads to areas beyond the sting), swelling of the face, throat or mouth, wheezing or difficulty swallowing, rapid heartbeat, dizziness.
You are likely aware if you or a member of your family suffer from an allergy to insect stings. If someone whose history you are unfamiliar with gets stung, you should immediately ask if they have an allergy. Although uncommon, severe allergic reactions can lead to shock, unconsciousness or cardiac arrest in less than 10 minutes. Time is of the utmost importance, as this type of reaction presents itself within minutes and has the potential to be fatal. If you are ever unsure please seek medical attention immediately.
Couldn’t avoid the sting? Here are your next steps:
Scrape the area with the edge of a credit card, or another hard-edge surface. You can also use your fingernail if need be. This will remove the stinger if you’re stung by a bee. (If a wasp stings you, this is not necessary, as they do not leave a stinger behind). Avoid the urge to use tweezers or pinch your skin to extract the stinger. This does nothing but inject more venom from the stinger into your body.
If you get stung on the hand and are wearing jewelry remove it right away, as swelling can cause a major problem if you’re wearing rings or bracelets. Apply ice to the affected area immediately after removing the stinger. If you’re able, elevate the extremity that was stung.
If pain persists, you can take acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Please use as directed. For itchiness, any antihistamine will do. A mixture of baking soda and water applied to the area will also calm your skin.
In addition to fall sports, the autumn season welcomes us with many joys like apple picking, foliage viewing, and nature walks. It also brings with it the increase of the bee and wasp populations. Do your best to avoid being stung but, if you can’t, keep these handy tips in mind! If you have a problem with a bee or wasp population at your home, contact us to schedule your free inspection. Happy Fall!