Bees and Wasps Safety Toolbox Talk

August 23, 2021
By N. Nicholas, ASP

The most important factors in avoiding an allergic reaction to bee or wasp sting is knowing what type of insect you are dealing with and how one should act when they get stung.

Bees have barbed stingers that remain in the skin after they sting.

This barbed stinger does not allow the bee to pull away from its target once it has been attached.

Bees are attracted to scents and sweet foods. This is how they find their way into homes in search of food or water. Wasps, on the other hand, have smooth stingers that come out when they pinch a victim with their jaws and then inject venom .

Once a wasp is done attacking something or someone, it can be safely removed as it comes out fairly easily without leaving a stinger behind in the skin.

What To Do If You Get Stung

When you get stung by either type of insect, the first thing you should do is remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible so that you will not get stung again.

Stings from both bees and wasps can be followed by more stings if they are not removed quickly; you want to avoid that at all cost.

Once the offending insect has been removed, it is best practice to remove any stingers left behind in the skin. If there is no stinger or only a small amount of venom left in the wound, then you can apply ice on top of it for instant relief.

If there is still a stinger in your skin with some form of poison or venom attached to it, then you should remove all jewelry away from the area before attempting to remove the sting itself.

Running cold water over the entry point will stimulate nerves around the wound and cause circulation near the area so that the poisons can be pushed out of the area quicker. If you do not have icy cold water available, then running warm or hot water over it is better than nothing.

The safest thing to do when dealing with any insect sting is to seek professional medical attention right away; no matter how minor it may seem to you at that moment in time.

If you have a history of severe reaction to bee stings or if there are signs of a severe reaction right away, such as difficulty breathing, swelling in your throat and tongue or anxiety attacks, then call 911 immediately for an ambulance to take you to the hospital for further treatment.

Prevention is always better

With proper care and treatment, most people will recover from this type of injury without any issues after experiencing pain and discomfort for a few days.

A great way to avoid getting stung at all is to call up your local pest control company and ask them for their services for preventing insect invasions into homes or buildings in the first place.

With their help, you can keep bees and wasps from entering areas that they are not wanted without ever having to worry about being attacked by an unwanted guest again.

As with any type of injury, prevention is always better than treatment. If you have had an allergic reaction in the past due to bee or wasp stings, then there must be some form of knowledge-base stored away in your head on how best to deal with one should it happen again. To ensure safety and minimize the chances of having another painful experience, keep it fresh in your mind.

Realize how you can protect yourself better than before with the proper knowledge and treatment methods for bee or wasp stings (or any other insect sting).

All of the information listed above is meant to help guide you on a path towards being able appreciate and enjoy this outdoor experience more than ever before. Being aware of what lies ahead and knowing how best to deal with said situations will allow you to have safer moments outside from here on out.

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