How to Treat a Bee Sting
In our last blog post, we discussed the signs that you met a stinging insect, and it won — you suffered an insect sting, most likely from a bee. In this blog post, we’ll discuss treatment options for your insect sting. PestLock offers both residential and commercial pest control services to help you get rid of ants, bed bugs, rodents, termites and more. When you’re home or business is suffering a pest infestation, give us a call!
HOW TO TREAT A BEE STING
Remove the stinger if it is still present.
As most people know, bees can only sting one time and then they die. This is because, unlike a wasp or a yellowjacket, its stinger is barbed. It can’t remove the stinger from your skin or any animal’s skin once it stings. The bee knows this. Hence, most bees only sting when their hive is threatened. It’s very rare to get stung while the bee is out and about, unless you happen to scare it or step on it. Fun fact: worker bees (the ones that will sting you) can’t reproduce. Hence, they ensure the continuation of their species by protecting their hives (which is where the queen bee, the one who can reproduce, lives). PestLock advises that you remove the stinger as soon as possible because the venom releases slowly, so you’ll mitigate its effects by reducing the amount of venom it releases into your body.
Clean the area with soap and water.
Anytime you have a wound, no matter how small, you’ll want to clean it. This is to prevent any bacteria that is on your skin or any that may be injected at the site of your wound from getting into your body and causing more harm.
Apply a hydrocortisone cream.
Hydrocortisone cream will help decrease your body’s reaction to the bee’s venom, treating symptoms such as swelling, itchiness, and redness.
Ice reduces swelling, which is caused by your body’s immune system as it fights off the bee’s venom.
Take an antihistamine.
Histamine is a substance released by your immune system that helps to increase blood flow and white blood cells to the area of your bee sting to fight off the venom. Histamine also causes itchiness, so taking an antihistamine helps fight that itchy sensation at its source.
Try a home remedy.
There are many home remedies that work on bee stings as well. Some include applying honey to the afflicted area, making a paste of baking soda and water to help neutralize the bee venom, or using your aloe vera plant to ease the pain and itching.
SIGNS OF SEVERE ALLERGIC REACTION
Many people are allergic to the venom from a bee sting, some severely so. Those who are allergic to bee stings can experience anaphylaxis, which can cause multiple systems in your body to shut down. Anaphylaxis can be fatal. Although rare, if you experience vomiting, nausea, dizziness, wheezing, diarrhea, or notice hives, you should consult a healthcare provider right away.
WHY WE NEED HONEY BEES
The majority of stinging insects lead their lives and don’t cause humans harm. Because the majority of them feed on nectar from flowers, they are responsible for pollinating millions of plants each and every year. According to the American Beekeeping Federation, honey bees contribute almost $20 billion to the value of U.S. crops, and they are almost exclusively responsible for the pollination of many plants, including almonds, blueberries, and cherries. Every third bite we eat is the result of bee pollination.
Yet, honey bees are in decline for various reasons that researchers think are due to parasites, poor nutrition, pathogens, and pesticides. The problem has gotten so bad that a whole black market of bee rustlers has developed, whereby, in the dead of night, they sneak in and steal whole hives, only to rent them out to farmers who need these bees for their crops. So, next time you’re stung, remember that it’s a small price to pay for many of the delicious foods we enjoy, and the bee likely feel like it had no choice but to protect its hive.
PESTLOCK AND STINGING INSECTS
PestLock uses eco-friendly products whenever possible. While we aim to rid you of your pest control problem, that doesn’t mean we aim to kill everything we come across. If it’s possible to safely move a hive, we’ll advise you to call in a honey bee removal expert.
In most cases, it’s the other stinging insects (wasps, yellowjackets, and hornets) that are the subject of PestLock’s insect control services. These insects can be aggressive, and their nests tend to be closer to your home or business, which can keep potential customers away. Because honey bees are the only stinging insect that dies when it stings, wasps, yellowjackets and hornets can continue to sting you — something no one wants.
PestLock has been serving the Pacific Northwest with wasp removal services for more than 30 years. We care about our community and always put the customer first. If you think you may have a stinging insect problem, give us a call!