As the seasons change and the days get warmer, we spend more and more of our time outdoors. But with every passing moment spent outside, a new threat comes with it.
That threat comes from wasps. They are the loud, aggressive counterpart to those sweet little bumblebees we see flying flower to flower. Of course, we don’t want to get stung by them either, but we have always been taught that those wasp stings really get you.
Today we are sharing all the information you need to understand wasps and how they act. We also want to make sure you know how to protect yourself and your loved ones from getting stung and what to do in case it happens.
All About Wasps
If you perceive wasps to be the meaner cousin to the honey bee, you’re not entirely wrong. Wasps are more aggressive by nature. They are predators to many insects and other pests that reside around our homes.
While we may not want them in front of our house, it’s helpful to have them close. They are the most beneficial to farmers and gardening enthusiasts. Their natural food source is the pests that are harmful to crops.
Wasps will also consume human food, so if you notice a few extra visitors at your next family picnic, you’re not imagining things.
Wasps Can Really Spread
In one season, a wasp colony can grow to up to 50,000 members. By the time Fall comes around, the entire colony will die, and the next year the queen will start over.
Wasp hives don’t look like those made by bees, either. Wasp nests are actually made out of a thin paper-like material that they make by chewing up tree bark.
It’s also important to know that wasps can bite multiple times. Unlike bees that can only sting once, wasps are able to sting over and over again.
Why Do We Care About Wasp Stings?
Bee and wasp stings will go away on their own, but we still need to monitor them. Allergic reactions to these types of stings are common. So if you or one of your littles gets stung, watch it closely.
Common symptoms can still cause discomfort to you or your children. While these reactions will subside on their own, you may still have to find some remedies to relieve symptoms faster.
Common symptoms of wasp stings include:
- Swelling around the sting
- Red bump where the sting occurred
- A red dot at the exact site of the sting
- Itchiness and irritation
Again, these symptoms will fade slowly, but we all know that kids don’t necessarily appreciate that. If it itches, they will scratch it. If it causes pain, they will probably whine and cry until it goes away.
We don’t want to see our kids in pain, ever, so having steps in place to alleviate these symptoms is crucial to getting your kids back to normal quicker.
Common Symptoms of Serious Reaction
There are common and tell-tale signs of serious reactions to look out for if you or your kids were recently stung by a wasp. A severe allergic reaction will cause the traditional symptoms of a wasp sting as well as more serious symptoms.
Difficulty breathing will occur; breathing could become labored, and it feels impossible to take a deep breath. Additionally, your blood pressure might also drastically lower.
Next, intense swelling will happen. This swelling will happen everywhere, not just around the sting. You may also experience hives or serious rashes if you are hypersensitive or allergic to wasp stings, and these will require further medical attention.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it is vital to get help right away. Get a hold of your healthcare provider as fast as possible.
How To Treat Wasp Stings
Whether you are stung by a honey bee or yellow jacket, our bodies react to the venom they leave behind. When a wasp stings, it flies away, leaving behind only the venom.
However, a bee will leave behind its stinger. In this instance, you will need to remove the stinger safely to ensure the venom stops. Do not use tweezers or fingernails, as you may apply extra pressure to the stinger and inject more wasp venom into your body.
Instead, use a credit card or something flat to push it off the skin in a swift motion.
Regardless of what stings you, even without a serious reaction, you may still need some sort of medical intervention. Simple remedies and products are available that will relieve symptoms for you and your littles with ease. For those with an insect sting allergy (0.8 percent of children and 3% of adults), you may need emergency medicine).
Certain OTC (over-the-counter) medications may be needed if you or your kids experience uncomfortable swelling.
Swelling will happen around the sting site, but it may be uncomfortable, even without serious swelling. Especially if the sting is on the hands or feet, walking or everyday chores may be slightly painful.
If this happens, OTC medicines that contain epinephrine/antihistamine (Benadryl), Acetaminophen (Tylenol), or Ibuprofen will help to relieve the pain. These pain relievers will work for a few hours at a time but might require a few doses over the course of 24-48 hours to keep symptoms at a minimum.
A baking soda paste is another remedy you can use quickly to relieve symptoms. It will help reduce swelling and irritation and is easy to make.
Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a bit of water to form a paste. Then spread the paste over the sting area. You can also use this in conjunction with an ice pack or cold compress to reduce swelling and relieve pain.
You need to leave it on the site for a while to help relieve symptoms. The downside here is that kids will have a hard time leaving this in place. You’ll apply and find it mashed in your carpet a few minutes later, which means relief isn’t happening.
Lotions and Sprays
Other common remedies are calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream, which soothe itching and irritation. These sprays and creams are applied directly to the sting and start to relieve symptoms fast.
While they work, there is a downside to these remedies. Creams and sprays rub off very easily. Many kids don’t like the sensation of products like these being applied to their skin. Furthermore, if they are bitten in sensitive areas or anywhere on the face, these products can’t be used, which means there isn’t any relief in sight.
Even if your kiddos are okay with these products on their skin, active children will wipe away the products naturally and unintentionally. If this happens through play, kids won’t notice, and the irritation and itch will come back. This could lead to skin infections or other issues that you’re not ready for.
Try Something Better
Our scientifically-engineered grid technology (originally formulated for mosquito bites) is perfect for reducing the itching and irritation that comes with stings and bites.
When a wasp stings you, it releases venom into your body. If this happens to an insect, it will cause paralysis that will help the wasp eat. For us, it causes irritation and an itching sensation.
The grid technology works by pulling the venom up from below our skin’s surface to relieve symptoms fast. These patches are applied directly to the affected area, are waterproof, and last up to seven days, so you will have relief until symptoms subside.
Plus, these patches are safe for kids and can be used anywhere as they don’t use any products that could cause further irritation in sensitive areas.
For Serious Reactions
In cases of serious reactions, like trouble breathing or anaphylaxis, prescriptions will be required. Medical grade antihistamines can be kept on hand and used whenever you’re stung.
In the most extreme situations, you may find yourself highly allergic to the venom left behind by a bee, hornet, or wasp. For this, an EpiPen will be necessary. You will have to carry it with you at all times and may even want to wear a medical ID bracelet as a precaution. This way, if you are ever stung, you will receive the care you need immediately.
How To Prevent Wasp Stings
There are steps you can take that will also help to prevent or reduce your chances of being stung.
First, perfumes should be worn at a minimum. The floral scents present in many perfumes and colognes will attract wasps and bees, leaving you with increased chances of a wasp or bee sting.
Second, brightly colored clothing will attract these stinging insects, so be mindful of your attire. Be mindful if you’re spending the day in the garden. If you look like a flower and you’re among the flowers, you’re making yourself a huge target.
Lastly, keep your trash contained. As we said before, wasps will eat human food, so make sure that the areas where you discard food are kept clean and tidy.
Bug Bites, Stings, and Other Things
These tips, tricks, and information are everything you need to prepare yourself in case of wasp stings.
We are confident that our patches will be the most effective against the typical stings that can ruin your summer fun adventures. Keeping you and your family safe is our top priority!