Spring is in the air; unfortunately, that means wasps are, too. Wasps are frightening insects, not only because of their size and due to the fact that they fly, but because unlike bees, they do not die after stinging you once.
No, wasps can sting you again and again if they so desire – and god help you if you get attacked by a swarm of them! Fortunately wasps don’t tend to attack in swarms too often, unless they view you as posing a threat to their hive (which typically means you should knock off harassing wasp nests if you’re the type of person who gets their jollies that way.)
If you do happen to get stung by a wasp, it can be unpleasant to say the least – but fortunately there are some tried and true methods that will help take the “sting” out of your wasp sting.
1. Soak the Affected Area in Cold Water with Baking Soda
If you’ve been stung by a wasp, soaking the affected area in a tub of cold water can do wonders. Add in a tablespoon of baking soda for every quart of water that is used. The mixture of cold water and baking soda helps alleviate the swelling.
This method can also be used if you’ve suffered multiple wasp stings. You can also make a paste from baking soda and water and apply to the affected area. Try to keep the affected area immobile and below the level of your heart (if possible) – this will help reduce circulation of the venom.
2. Ice It.
Placing ice on the area in which you’ve been stung will help reduce swelling as well as any pain or itching that being stung by a wasp may cause. Use an ice cube or an ice pack – but be sure to place a cloth rag or paper towel between the ice and your skin, to avoid freezing your skin.
3. Neutralize the Venom with Acid
The acid content in certain household items neutralizes the venom a wasp inserts in you with its sting. Simply dab a liquid with a high acid content on the affected area using a cotton ball or gauze pad. Apple cider vinegar, regular vinegar, lemon juice, or lemon slices may be used to neutralize the venom from a wasp sting.
4. Place a Penny on the Sting
For some unknown reason, placing a penny over a wasp sting neutralizes the venom due to the chemical reaction your skin has to the copper in the penny. Simply place a penny directly over your wasp sting, and tape it in place.
5. Rub Vegetables on It.
It may sound crazy, but rubbing crushed garlic, sliced onion, cucumber, or uncooked potato slices on the affected area can bring relief to a wasp sting. You can also make a poultice from garlic and salt to apply to your wound.
These are just a few do-it-yourself suggestions for treating a wasp sting. Whether you’re the one who’s been stung or someone else has been, it’s always important to keep an eye out for signs of an allergic reaction.
If the person who’s been stung starts feeling sick, is experiencing extreme swelling (especially of the tongue), get them to the ER as soon as possible. Wasp stings can be fatal if you experience an allergic reaction to the venom released from the stinger. In most cases, a little rest and the application of a home-remedy relieves the pain and reduces the swelling, but you can never be too careful.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Stacy is a blogger for a New Jersy pest control website.