Wasp Sting

Wasp stings are painful and in rare cases, lethal. Wasps and bees are often confused with one another due to physical and behavioral similarities. Most bees can only sting once, where the stinger is left inside of the skin, but the wasp can sting you repeatedly. There are several precautions you can take to minimize risks associated with wasps, as well as a few treatment tips.

Red Wasp Sting vs. Black Wasp Sting

There aren’t a lot of differences between the two sets of symptoms. Both wasps can sting you multiple times and deliver excruciating pain, often accompanied by heavy swelling. It's common to hear people swear up and down that the red wasp’s sting hurts a lot more.

If you have an exceptional amount of wasp activity around your home, there could possibly be a nest in the ground, beneath your decking, in a shrub, or somewhere along the eaves. Wasps, in the summer will aggregate around pools of stagnant water, so make sure you are aware of any drainage problems related to your lawn. Locating the nesting site could reduce or eliminate the risk of being stung.

Wasp Sting Treatment

There are several ways you can treat a wasp sting, but the home remedy listed below is by far the easiest and most accessible.

  1. Wash the afflicted area with soap and water.
  2. Lightly cover with toothpaste or honey – this will help soothe the burning sensation.
  3. Over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol or Ibuprofen can also be used to supplement pain relief.
  4. Ice packs and cold pressure should be applied to the sting to help reduce swelling. Try not to itch. Because the swelling of a wasp sting is much more exaggerated, consider sticking the affected limb in cold water.
  5. Band aids aren't necessary, but they always make children feel better.

Wasp Sting Swelling

If the wasp sting swelling exceeds 4 inches in diameter, you may be having an allergic response. An allergy to wasp stings can make for a very dangerous situation. If you experience trouble breathing or excessive swelling, seek professional medical attention immediately. While fatalities are rare, stinging insects account for over 35 deaths per year. A sting in the throat and the neck can cause swelling that may obstruct air passages and there is no known antivenin to exist. If allergies exist, an allergic response should appear within the first hour where symptoms include shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, cramping and even anaphylactic shock or death.

Allergic reactions don’t always occur on the first sting. The body may increase sensitivity to the venom and develop the allergy over time, so every response to a sting can be different every time. Luckily for most of us, anaphylaxis is very rare and the mortality rate related to stinging insects is extremely rare.