Being stung by a wasp is obviously not a fun experience to have to endure. Knowing what to do when you or someone you know is stung by a wasp is important since, for some, wasp stings can lead to dangerous allergic reactions that require emergency medical treatment. Even if you are not allergic to wasp stings, dealing with one properly minimizes the painful symptoms you'll experience. If you or someone you know is stung by a wasp, follow these steps:
Watch for signs of an allergic reaction.
If the sting victim has a known allergy to bees or another type of insect, it is best to assume that person is also allergic to wasps. If the victim has an EpiPen for such occurrences, you'll need to administer it by plunging the injection into the upper thigh. (Follow the instructions on the EpiPen closely). Then, call for emergency medical assistance right away.
If the person does not have a known insect allergy, you should still keep an eye out for allergy symptoms. These include intense itching at the sting site, rapid swelling and severe redness. If you spot these signs of an allergic reaction, head to the emergency room or call an ambulance if the emergency room is more than a few minutes away. While these allergy symptoms are not particularly concerning in and of themselves, they might progress, eventually causing respiratory failure if the person is not treated. If the person begins experiencing difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, or hives at any point, call emergency services immediately.
Treat the sting site.
As long as the person does not begin to display allergy symptoms, you can proceed in treating the sting at home. Start by looking at the area closely. If you see a stinger emerging from the skin, use a pair of tweezers to carefully pull it out. Note that not all types of wasps leave behind their stingers when they sting; you may not see one.
Once the stinger has been removed, apply an ice pack to the sting area. This will help reduce swelling and pain. If the area is particularly painful, give the sting victim a dose or ibuprofen or aspirin. Not all wasps have overly painful stings, so the medication may not always be necessary,
In the days following the sting, keep the area clean by washing it with antibacterial soap several times per day. It is best not to apply a bandage, and allowing the sting to breathe will help it heal.
If you are being stung by wasps often in a certain area of your home or yard, this might indicate the presence of a nest. Talk to a pest control company about wasp removal services (such as Anthony's Bee Removal Co.). Don't attempt to remove a nest of wasps yourself, especially if you are allergic.