Getting stung by a bee or a wasp can quickly spoil your enjoyment of a nice day in the garden, but depending on what attacks you, it could turn into something more serious, unless you get the right treatment as quickly as possible.
You can learn more here about pest control services if you have something like a hornet’s nest to dispose of, but if you have been stung by something, here is a look at how to work out who the culprit was and what home treatment might help.
Beware the yellow jacket
The yellow jacket is often misidentified as a honeybee, but they are slightly smaller in size and they are a more vibrant yellow in color than a honeybee.
These scavengers enjoy eating meat and sweet foods, so any food left around will often encourage them to come visiting if they pick up the scent. The issue with the yellow jacket is that they will defend their nest aggressively, so it is best not to try and deal with it yourself.
If you do get bitten by a yellow jacket, it has an acidic venom, which can often be neutralized using a baking powder solution. Add a bit of water to the baking powder so that it makes a paste and is easier to apply.
You might also want to try applying a wet chamomile tea bag to a sting, which will soothe the pain, after you have treated the sting with the baking powder solution.
Bad reaction to a sting
It should be noted at this point that the home remedies will be ok if you only experience a mild reaction to being stung, but if the reaction is more severe, you should consider seeking emergency medical care.
If you or the person who has been stung, experiences difficulty with their breathing or other symptoms such as tightness in the throat, dizziness, or nausea and a swollen tongue, it is very important that you get emergency medical attention.
Unwise to disturb a hornet’s nest
It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish the difference between a yellow jacket and a hornet, as some species look very similar.
You should find that hornets are marginally less aggressive in comparison to yellow jackets , but just like most wasps, hornets can sting you multiple times, with what is a strong and distinctly painful sting.
Not only do they deliver a painful sting, it is not a good idea to try and remove a hornet’s nest yourself, if you notice one in your garden or in your attic.
Other wasps to be aware of is the pollen wasp, which also looks like a yellow jacket, but has a larger clubbed antenna as a distinguishing feature, and the paper wasp, of which there are many different species in the U.S, and they tend to attack when aggravated.
It often pays to have a bit of knowledge about the different species of wasp and bees around, so that you know what to deal with in, and also how to treat a sting.
Robert Kunst is the president of Fischer Environmental Services. A valued member of the community, he teaches a class in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) at Louisiana State University, has chaired over 60 committees on Pest Control topics and is a globally recognized speaker in both technical and managerial subjects.