Often confused with bees, yellow jackets are actually a member of the wasp family. Although they are pollinators, which is great, a summer picnic is all but ruined once they come around to check out the scene. Like most insects, they love sugar. However, they truly are scavengers as they also eat meat and fish as well as beetles, grubs, bees and caterpillars. And because they’ll eat just about anything, they can be a huge problem around your yard. Unfortunately, once aggravated, they can become hostile and unlike bees, they can sting multiple times without dying. Unless you are allergic, most remedies are already in your home. These are a few of the best yellow jacket sting treatments.
First things first: identify the insect
Due to their size and color, they are often mistaken for bees. At second glance, it’s easy to spot the differences. Yellow jackets have the same build as a wasp, except they have yellow and blacks stripes. Hence, the confusion. Once stung, the affected area will become red and slightly swollen, followed by pain, itching and inflammation. Usually the symptoms will go away in 24-72 hours. In the event that you are allergic, symptoms can include: difficulty swallowing, slurred speech, confusion, weakness, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, swelling of the tongue, vomiting and fainting. In that case, call 911 immediately.
Before treating the affected area, MAKE SURE THE STINGER IS NOT STILL IN YOUR SKIN. If left inside your skin, this can cause an immense amount of pain and can cause infection, you definitely do not want that to happen. Using a credit card or your fingernail, scrape the stinger out of your skin, you want to be sure that the tip of the stinger does not break off. After that, gently wash the area with warm water and a very small amount of anti-bacterial soap. After that, one of these remedies might help:
Try Baking Soda
Mixing 1 teaspoon of baking soda with a little water to make a paste and applying it for 5-10 minutes will help relieve pain and itching. It will also aid in reducing the swelling and inflammation. After the mixture has been on your skin, gently rinse the area with warm water. After a few hours, you can repeat the process if necessary.
Honey, Sweet Honey
Applying raw honey directly to the sting will help neutralize the venom and within minutes it will reduce pain and itching. Leave the honey on for 30 minutes and wash with warm water.
Whether you have white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, both can help reduce inflammation. Soak a cotton ball in vinegar and place it on the area. Secure it with a band aid and leave it on for 5-10 minutes. After removing the cotton ball, let it air out. you don’t want to rinse it because that would remove the vinegar.
A cold bottle of water, an ice pack or a bag of frozen veggies will do the trick here. If you don’t have any of those things, place a small washcloth or towel in a bowl of ice water and place directly on the sting. Leave the cold compress on the area for 10 minutes and repeat as much as necessary. This will help relieve pain and swelling.
Although this isn’t a common household item for most people, it can easily be found in health food stores. Mix a small amount of activated charcoal powder with water, apply it to the sting and secure with a band aid and leave it on for an hour. You can repeat this process a few times or until the pain is relieved. Charcoal helps draw the venom out of the sting and also helps with swelling and itching.
Although most people are not allergic to yellow jackets, the venom from a single sting can all but ruin your afternoon. By using these simple steps, you will be pain free in no time. the most important step in home remedies for insect stings of any kind is to make sure the stinger has been completely removed. Once that has been done, use any of these ingredients to help relieve the area.
If you have a Yellow Jacket infestation, do not hesitate to contact us. Our team of fully licensed and insured professionals will come remove your Yellow Jacket problem quickly and efficiently.