Getting stung by a bee or a wasp can be extremely painful, even if you're not allergic. Fortunately, if you act quickly, it's possible to dramatically reduce the severity and duration of your sting related symptoms. Keep in mind that anyone who exhibits signs of a wasp or bee allergy may need immediate medical attention, especially if they don't have an EpiPen.
1. Remove the Stinger
Depending on what stung you, there may or may not be a stinger stuck in the wound. If there is one, you'll want to make removing the stinger your first priority. According to WebMD, a credit card makes a good tool for scraping the stinger out of your skin.
2. Clean the Wound
Your next course of action needs to be thoroughly cleaning the wound. Soap and water will be sufficient, and this cleansing process will help remove some of the pain inducing venom from your body.
3. Keep the Wound Protected
After cleaning the afflicted area, it's wise to cover it with a bandage. This will help keep the wound dry and clean, which is imperative for warding off infections.
4. Use a Cold Pack
The wound may be cleaned and covered at this point, but you're still likely to be experiencing a lot of discomfort. Don't fret because you can reduce this issue by simply applying a cold pack to the sting.
5. Over the Counter Remedies for Pain and Itchiness
Unless you can sit around all day with a cold pack pressed to the wound, you'll eventually need some additional assistance managing your pain. Many over the counter medications and topical products can help. Depending on your specific health needs, you may want to use ibuprofen for pain, along with an antihistamine and calamine lotion for irritation and itchiness.
6. Update Your Tetanus Shot
Did you know some experts recommend getting a tetanus shot after a wasp sting? This is applicable to people who don't have a current booster shot in their vaccination records. The tetanus booster should be administered to adults every 10 years.
7. Multiple Stings Require Medical Care
Individuals who are allergic may need to be hospitalized after just one sting. Everyone else is usually okay with a few stings. However, if you happen to catch the attention of 10 or more angry bees or wasps, you'll need to get checked out by an emergency medical professional. In many cases, 10-20 stings will result in blood work and hospitalization.
Of course, the best way method is to avoid getting stung altogether. If you have a beehive on your property, contact Geiger's Pest Services at (800)561-5461 for removal assistance throughout the Tampa Bay area.