There are so many great things to enjoy about being outdoors, especially during those warmer months in the spring and summer. However, it’s not all sunshine and daisies. The warm weather also brings insects like bees, wasps, and hornets! While these pests play an important part of our ecosystem (especially the bees), they are a huge nuisance and can even be harmful.
Those unfortunate enough to have experienced a sting from any of these insects know that they can hurt and need to be treated with care. The specific treatment will depend on the severity of the sting, such as whether it was one or multiple, the type of insect, and if there’s an allergic reaction or potential for one. Here’s everything to know about how to care for a bee, wasp, and hornet sting…
Symptoms of a Bee, Wasp, or Hornet Sting
The symptoms of a bee, wasp, and hornet sting are somewhat similar, and unfortunately, they’re quite common, particularly in the summer months as people spend more time outside. Typically, they aren’t life threatening, but they are painful. And for those who are allergic, it can be life-threatening.
Medical News Today explains that when a bee or wasp stings it typically leads to sharp pain and a puncture wound. Their stinger has a sac of venom attached to it which causes a local toxic reaction at the site of the wound. Normal reactions are pain that is sharp, burning, and usually lasts a few seconds. It can also become red and swollen, potentially itchy and painful. You might have some swelling and hives that peak at 48-hours and last up to 1 week, says the source.
There are also what is known as large local reactions which can lead to redness and swelling that spans 12-inches across the site of the wound. Medical News Today says an entire limb can swell for a few days, and in the case of multiple stings there may be a rash, fever, nausea, and headache. And in rare cases there might be swelling in joints for several days afterwards.