Wasps have a very effective defence mechanism where they inject venom into their perpetrators skin, also known as a wasp sting. This causes a painful and itchy, red, raised mark on the skin. This can be an upsetting experiencing, particularly for children. Some people have an allergy to the poison in the stings, which means a sting could potentially be life threatening, particularly if you have been stung previously.
Preventing Wasp Stings
- Wear neutral colours – Wasps are attracted to bright colours that are similar to flower colours, though they are blind to red.
- Do not kill wasps – Wasps emit a signal when they die to attract other wasps to attack. This is especially dangerous if you are near a nest.
- Avoid strong smelling perfumes and colognes – Unfortunately smelling like a flower attracts wasps.
- Do not panic – A wasp is more likely to get bored and fly away if you don’t run and swat violently at it. Calmly walk away using gentle gestures, sudden movements makes them more aggressive.
- Monitor food and drink – Make sure not to leave food and drink (especially sweet drinks) laying around as wasps are attracted to these.
Treatment for wasp stings
Non-allergic reactions to wasp stings can be treated easily at home. Firstly, wash the sting with soap and water in order to try to remove some of the venom. In order to reduce pain and swelling, apply a cold pack. Dry the area and cover with a bandage. Avoid itching as this may cause infection, re-apply cold packs to relieve desire to itch. Baking soda or hydrocortisone cream also helps with itching. Panadol or ibuprofen can be taken for pain relief, antihistamines also help.