How to Treat Bee Stings

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Spending more time outside during the warmer months increases your risk for bee stings. Bee stings are painful and can be deadly, depending if the individual is allergic. The best way to reduce any reaction to bee venom is to remove the bee stinger as quickly as possible. If a bee sting victim has had any allergic reactions to bee stings in the past, consider the possibility of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction.

Hornets and wasps stings are related to bees and their venom as it often causes anaphylaxis in people allergic to bee venom. Treatment of hornet and wasp stings is the same as for bee stings, except that hornets and wasps don't leave their stingers behind and each insect can sting multiple times.

  • Get away from the bee. Bees release a scent when in danger to attract other bees. If you're still around when reinforcements get there, they'll sting you.
  • Remove any stingers immediately! No need to scrape off bee stingers, just remove them.The longer bee stingers are allowed to remain in the body, the more severe the reaction will be.
  • If the victim is allergic to bees, check to see if the victim is carrying an EpiPen. If so, help the victim use the EpiPen. If the victim is supposed to carry an EpiPen and does not have it, call 911 immediately! Do not wait for symptoms to appear.

Watch any victim closely for signs of anaphylaxis: Itching, Redness, Shortness of Breath, Hives (raised welts)

If there is any concern that the victim may be developing anaphylaxis, call 911 immediately. Antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benedryl), can slow an anaphylactic reaction, but will not stop it.

  • Non-allergic victims will almost always develop local reactions to bee stings. Redness, swelling, and pain are all common at the site of the bee sting. The pain will usually go away pretty quickly, but swelling may last for more than a day. Use an ice pack to reduce swelling at the site. It's common to develop some itching at the bee sting site. Antihistamines or calamine lotion should help.
  • Take the victim to the emergency department if the victim was stung more than 10 times, or if there are bee stings inside the nose, mouth, or throat. Swelling from these stings can cause shortness of breath, even in non-allergic victims.
  • Wash the sting site with soap and water. Use ibuprofen or acetaminophen for minor pain relief. You can also use an ice pack to help with swelling. Put a cloth towel between the ice and the skin and do not let the ice stay on the skin for longer than 20 minutes. Letting ice sit directly on the skin or keeping ice on too long can result in frostbite from the ice pack.

Getting rid of bees and other stinging insects can be difficult. Do it yourself control methods are not always effective to get rid of bees especially if you experience a bee sting. Thomas Pest Services offers effective pest control services in Ballston Spa NY and surrounding areas to get rid of bees, ants and other general crawling/flying insects. Thomas Pest Services’ provides services to resolve and prevent bees from being a nuisance with their trained and licensed pest professionals.

Nothing makes stinging insects’ like bees and yellow jackets angrier than when someone disturbs or destroys its home. Throughout the spring, summer months in the Capital Region battling pests of all kinds will keep the professionals at Thomas Pest Services busy. When you contact our office, we will arrange a free inspection to identify areas of concerns and provide recommendations, treatment options and pricing for those bee services. Prevent bee stings from harming you, your family or pets. Contact Thomas Pest Services for a proactive and green approach to solving your bee problems.


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