What You Need To Know About Stinging Pests

If you spend any time outside in the summer, you are at risk of being stung by a bee or wasp. These are two very different insects, however many people that are allergic to one type of sting may also have sensitivity to the other. Know what to do if you are stung, as well as some signs that you might be allergic to these stinging pests.

There are some thing you need to know about these pests, even though it may sting a bit:

Their sting.

The sting from bees and wasps hurts, and often feels like a burning sensation. Bees release their stinger and venom when attacking, while wasps actually release much less venom and keep their stingers. As mentioned, some people are sensitive to both types of stings, while some may only be allergic to one or the other.

Allergic symptoms.

Be wary and keep an eye out for symptoms that may mean that you have an allergy or sensitivity to stings. Some people can suffer fatal allergic reactions that essentially shut off their oxygen supply and cause respiratory distress. Some other signs of a reaction are the following:

  • Swelling and redness.
  • Itching and inflammation.
  • Sharp or burning pain.

Sting treatment.

Severe allergic reactions are often treated with medication, primarily epinephrine, to alleviate symptoms and restore oxygen supply. If medical aid isn't needed, the person should try to remove the stinger carefully and wash the site of the sting with soap and water. Ice can help with subsequent swelling, and aspirin may help with the temporary discomfort.

Medical emergencies.

There are some more serious side-effects and symptoms that warrant immediate medical attention. Typically, these symptoms can worsen quickly, so prompt reaction is essential when you are stung. This could indicate that the individual has an allergy to stings and that you should call 911 or proceed to an emergency room for treatment.

These symptoms often include the following:

  • Respiratory distress or difficulty breathing.
  • Dizziness, fainting, or loss of consciousness.
  • Light-headedness or feelings of nausea.
  • Swelling of the tongue, lips, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe.

Avoid being stung by covering up exposed areas with light-colored clothing; since these insects are attracted to smells, avoid heavily-scented soaps, deodorants, or perfumes when working outdoors. These pests also gravitate toward the scent of body odor, so be sure to wear clean clothing when outside. Know the signs of an allergic reaction to a sting and seek medical attention as needed.