A wasp sting can be very painful, but in most cases it is harmless. A burning pain is felt immediately after the sting, and the skin around the puncture site swells and becomes red. The itching follows relatively quickly. As a rule, both swelling and itching subside on their own after about 3-4 days. The itching is a normal reaction of the body to the venom of the wasp. However, the situation is different for allergy sufferers. A single sting can quickly become life-threatening. As a result, a doctor should be consulted at the first sign of an allergic reaction. Anyone who knowingly suffers from a wasp allergy usually has an appropriate emergency kit, which can possibly save their life.

First aid immediately after a wasp sting

For quick first aid after a wasp sting, there is usually the right thing in every household. Unlike a bee sting, a wasp stinger does not get stuck in the skin. Accordingly, one should first make sure whether a bee or a wasp has stung and, in the case of a bee, remove the stinger.

The most important thing after a sting is to cool the puncture site, for example with cold compresses or ice cubes, which you can put in a washcloth and then apply. If you use cold packs from the refrigerator, they should never be placed directly on the skin, but wrapped in a cloth beforehand.

The cooling causes the blood vessels to contract, which reduces the swelling. A traditional lemon or onion cut in half and rubbed into the puncture site can also relieve the burning pain and counteract the swelling, as can cottage cheese pads. In addition, the onion has a disinfecting and anti-inflammatory effect.

Further treatment of the swelling

After the first aid has been provided, the puncture site can be treated with cold vinegar compresses or acetic clay, also in the form of a compress, to counteract the swelling and relieve the itching. Various anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic ointments or cooling gels from the pharmacy can also be helpful.

Ribwort plantain could help those who rely on natural resources. To do this, ribwort plantain leaves are rubbed between the hands and then the whole thing is distributed over the puncture site. A saturated salt solution that is dabbed on the affected area of ​​the skin is also said to be particularly effective. To prepare a suitable solution, fill a small container, for example a small bottle, halfway with salt and then fill the whole thing up with warm water.

Applying tea tree, lavender, clove, or eucalyptus oil to the puncture site is said to help reduce swelling after a sting. These essential oils also have a cooling effect.

Since wasps can also transmit pathogens through a sting, it is an advantage if appropriate tetanus protection is in place. The last tetanus vaccination should not be more than 10 years ago.

What to do in the event of a sting in the mouth or throat?

If you are careless and, for example, leave drinks or drinks bottles outside in the summer, wasps can quickly get into your mouth or throat. The swelling from a wasp sting can reach a diameter of more than 10 cm. Accordingly, a doctor should be consulted or an ambulance called as soon as possible, especially in the event of a sting in the mouth or throat, because the airways could swell relatively quickly, which in the worst case can lead to death.

Until the doctor arrives, try not to panic. Then, if possible, apply cold compresses and/or suck on ice cubes to counteract the swelling as much as possible. In the case of a sting in the mouth or throat area, the homeopathic antihistamine ‘Apis mellifica Globuli’, which ironically is obtained from the venom of the honey bee (Apis mellifica), is said to do a good job, provided you have it on hand or in your medicine chest.

Wasp allergy/allergic shock

While a wasp sting is usually uncomfortable but harmless for everyone else, it can be life-threatening for people who are allergic to it. In the worst case, allergy sufferers can die from a single sting. Unfortunately, you can only find out whether you are allergic to wasp stings when a corresponding allergic reaction actually occurs, i.e. after a sting.

An allergy to wasp stings usually develops suddenly. It usually never shows up after the very first wasp sting, but only after another sting or renewed contact with the insect venom of a wasp. A particularly violent reaction after a sting can already indicate a corresponding allergy. A repeated sting of an insect of the same species, i.e. a wasp, can lead to life-threatening shock reactions, a so-called anaphylactic shock.

One usually speaks of an allergic reaction to a wasp sting if the diameter of the swelling is greater than 10 cm and the entire body reacts. Clear signs of a shock reaction are swelling, redness and wheals both at the injection site and on the face, a sudden cold, itching and burning of the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet and in the mouth and throat, cold sweat, dizziness, nausea sometimes to the point of vomiting, a rapid drop in blood pressure and difficulty breathing.

If an allergic reaction occurs, an ambulance should be called as soon as possible. Anyone who knows that they are allergic to wasp stings, for example, should always carry a so-called emergency kit with them. In addition to a cortisone preparation, this emergency kit contains a fast-acting antihistamine, adrenaline spray, an outdoor poison suction device and a suction pad. The poison can be sucked out of the wound with these poison pumps or suction plungers, provided it is used immediately after the sting. The adrenaline spray is used for shortness of breath and circulatory problems and when the tongue swells.

There are now ways to significantly reduce or even heal a wasp allergy, for example through immunotherapy, a so-called hyposensitization. Wasp poison is administered to the person concerned over a long period of time and at certain intervals, which means that over time a habituation effect occurs and the body ultimately hardly reacts to a wasp sting. After about three years, a hundred percent healing can occur at best.

How to protect yourself from wasp stings

  • Hectic and jerky movements in the vicinity of wasps should be avoided if possible.
  • You shouldn’t hit the animals either.
  • If the wasp feels attacked, it emits odorous substances that then attract other wasps.
  • Sweet drinks outdoors should definitely be covered and drunk with a straw if possible.
  • The same applies to sweet foods such as cakes or jam, which should also be covered outdoors.
  • Wasps are also attracted to human sweat.
  • Accordingly, shower if possible, especially after physical activity.
  • The proximity to garbage cans and waste baskets should be avoided.
  • Brightly colored clothing is also attractive to wasps.
  • The same applies to fragrances in creams and perfumes.
  • Even if it is healthy, you should not walk barefoot across the meadow.
  • Water on the go is better than fruit juice, for example.
  • Strollers can be well protected with a mosquito net in the vicinity of wasps.
  • Under no circumstances should you blow for wasps.
  • The animals would react aggressively to the carbon dioxide in human breath.
  • Wasps are much more irritable than bees.
  • The smell of tea tree, citronella, or cedar oil can keep wasps away.

Danger from wasp nests

Sometimes it can happen that the wasps have built their nest in a particularly unfavorable and possibly dangerous place for humans, for example at an entrance or a window. In that case, you should never try to remove it yourself, but hire either the fire brigade or a beekeeper to do it.

However, if the nest does not pose a direct threat, it should be left in place, as the nesting sites are usually abandoned by the animals between late summer and autumn anyway. Only the queen survives, the rest of the colony perishes. In addition, a wasp nest is never moved into again, so that it can then be removed without any problems.

Distinguishing between wasps and bees

Wasps and bees differ, for example, in colour, body shape and stinging behaviour. While bees have brown and almost cream-colored stripes and are very hairy, wasps have bright black and yellow stripes and have a little hairy and shiny body. The body of the wasp is also rather elongated and that of the bee is more rounded and stocky.

A major difference between the two insects is their stinging behavior. While the wasp can sting multiple times, the bee can only sting once and lose its stinger in the process. This remains in the person’s skin and must be pulled out.

Although a wasp sting is very painful, in most cases it is harmless and unproblematic. However, it can be dangerous for allergy sufferers. If possible, they should always have an appropriate emergency kit with them or, if necessary, make friends with a hyposensitization treatment, which in the best case can cure a corresponding allergy. Despite the prevailing fear of a wasp sting, these animals are very valuable and, above all, useful insects that take over the pollination of plants and also devour numerous harmful insects such as aphids or various moths.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *