Yellow jacket stings are the leading cause of death from venomous animals all over the world. In most fatal cases though, the person is extremely allergic to the yellow jacket venom. Nearly half of the deaths caused, occur in victims stung for the very first time.In this guide, we will study some of the best natural yellow jacket sting treatment options and remedies. We will also cover remedies for bee and wasp stings. We will also cover ways to prevent these stings in the first place.
1. Avoid disturbing the yellowjacket nest
The number one cause of yellow jacket stings is disturbing their nest. The moment these insects feel there is a danger to their nest, they will sting the perpetrator. If you accidentally step on yellowjacket nests in shrub or building or come close to a building where the nest has been disturbed then there isn’t much you can do. Avoid vibrations on the ground where the yellowjacket nests is. Typically, in the summer months, vibrations can occur due to lawnmowers etc. If you are aware there is a nest around, then do have it removed by professional exterminators or avoid using the lawn mower to prevent the nest from getting disturbed.
2. Do not run
If you happen to have disturbed a nest of yellowjackets then your first instinct would be to run. However, this is not the right solution. What you must do instead is back slowly until the wasps stop biting.
3. Educate children about wasps and their benefits
You might have already educated kids about the dangers of getting bitten by wasps. But also educate them about their benefits (such as helping in pollination and also that they feed on caterpillars which destroy plants). Summer and early fall months are common seasons that show an increase in wasp activity. Tell children to be careful around the yellow jacket nests. Avoiding quick jerky movements is essential to prevent vibrations that tend to disturb the nest. If an insect lands on you, slowly brush it off or allow it to fly away. Do not swat it or it might sting.
4. Be careful during picnics
Yellowjackets are attracted to sweet sugary beverages. So, in case you are picnicking outdoors, inspect your soda/beverage glasses before taking a sip. This is one of the best preventive measures to help you avoid bees, wasps and yellowjcket stings this summer. In peak season, avoid eating outdoors. If you must, place the drink in a covered cup and drink using a straw.
5. Yellow jacket sting treatment
If you are stung by bees, wasps or yellow jackets:
- Remove the stingers from the skin if they are still present. You can scrape the stingers out with a hard object. If possible, use a clean object. However, it is more important to remove the stingers quickly instead of worrying about sterilizing the object.
- Wash the skin with soap and water. You can apply antibiotic ointment to the bitten area.
- Apply ice pack to minimize swelling. You can use the ice pack and press down firmly on the bitten region. Repeat every 20 minutes. You can place a clean cloth between the skin and ice to avoid freezing the skin.
- Apply baking soda and meat tenderizer paste in water to the bitten area. This will quickly reduce pain, swelling and itching.
- Take Benadryl to curb further allergic reaction. If Benadryl causes drowsiness which you wish to avoid, you could take Claritin to get rid of the itching.
- If you experience severe pain, take an Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen.
- The bites inside the mouth throat, around the lips and eyes are most dangerous. Seek prompt medical treatment in case of these.
- If it has been more than 10 years since your Tetanus shot, you could consider getting one in the next few days after being stung.
6. Avoiding further stings
If you have to remain outdoors after having been stung, you must prevent further stings by wearing protective clothing. You can also use insect repellent sprays to repel bees, wasps and yellowjackets.
7. Keep the part that was stung elevated
Keep the part that was stung elevated above the heart level. This is one of the best remedies for bee, wasps and yellowjacket stings and for preventing the venom from spreading.
8. Most stings do not need medical attention
As stated above, only if the stings are near sensitive areas, then you must seek prompt medical help. Otherwise, simple bed rest is adequate. If, however, you experience dizziness, rash, trouble breathing, choking etc, then do call 911. The paramedics/emergency personnel can administer some steroids to reduce these symptoms. In some cases, epinephrine (adrenaline) injection could be administered. If you feel better, you will be sent home immediately. In case you are allergic, then you may be asked to stay at the hospital for observation.
9. Natural bee stings remedies
Yellowjacket sting treatment and natural bee and wasp sting remedies are not much different. You can use all of the above remedies for bee stings as well. Additionally, apply some crushed garlic to the site since garlic is antibacterial and can help stop pain and swelling.
10. Use essential oils
Some varieties of essential oils like lavender and sandalwood are soothing on insect bites. Apply a small amount of diluted oil (use coconut oil for diluting it in 1:1 ratio).
11. Use activated charcoal
If you are wondering how to treat wasp stings, you could use activated charcoal on the bitten area to draw out the venom. This will stop pain and prevent the healthy areas from getting infected with the venom.
12. Homeopathic remedies for insect bites and stings
Following homeopathic remedies must be kept on hand always and can help with many insect bites/stings symptoms:
- Echinacea extract– This helps stop the venom from spreading to healthy tissues.
- Apis– Use Apis remedy in conjugation with wet tobacco leaves and apply to the bitten area.
- Apply meat tenderizer with papaya extract to draw out the venom.
- Use poultice of charcoal on the stung region of the skin. This remedy is beneficial for treating yellow jacket, bees, hornets and wasps stings.
If you are stung in the eyes, please see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. Also stings inside the oral cavity need evaluation and observation for a few days. In case of multiple yellowjacket stings, it is best to check into the hospital for treatment.