How to treat stings form stinging insects

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April 27, 2022

David Newfang

David Newfang, ACE

Stinging pests have a way of putting fear into people, and the dangers are real. There is a high risk to people with allergies to their stings. Fortunately, only a small percentage of the population — approximately 1 percent of children and 3 percent of adults — have acute allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) to the venom associated with stinging pests.

First aid for a sting includes monitoring the victim for allergic reactions, and washing the affected area with soap and water. If the sting is from a honey bee, remove the stinger. Apply a cold compress to relieve swelling, but do not scratch the sting site. Over-the-counter antihistamines may help. If there is any sign of distress or allergy, seek medical attention immediately.

The most common stinging insects pest management professionals encounter include honey bees, Africanized honey bees, wasps, yellowjackets and hornets. The treatments for these types of insects are usually straightforward.

Botanicals are fast-acting and highly repellent, so they can provide quick knockdown. They also make the nest undesirable for new or returning insects. We recommend either a foaming jet aerosol and/or wettable dust (in dry form). Treating either a ground nest or an enclosed hive with these types of products is usually sufficient for control.

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About the Author

David Newfang, ACE, is a technical representative at Rockwell Laboratories.

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