An itching sensation often follows the painful sting of a wasp. The skin around the sting may become red and swollen.
Wasp stings can be very serious for some people, particularly those with allergies or asthma. If you have a severe reaction to a wasp sting, seek immediate medical attention.
The toxic fluid injected by wasps contains a complex protein. The main ingredients are histamine and hyaluronidase, which cause pain, swelling and redness around the sting site. The toxin also stimulates the release of other chemicals that cause additional reactions and symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
What happens after a wasp sting?
Not everyone reacts negatively to wasp stings: some people may not even feel any immediate pain or discomfort. Others experience mild reactions such as swelling or mild itchiness around the sting site, lasting several hours to days after the initial sting. In some cases, there may be no reaction from a single sting from one of these insects, but multiple stings may lead to severe reactions in some people (i.e., anaphylaxis).
Some people do not experience pain and seldom bother about wasp stings; others feel severe pain and inflammation in the stung area. Some people are allergic to wasp stings and may experience anaphylactic shock if prompt treatment is not provided.
A painful sting is not only an irritant but can be a life-threatening danger. Female wasps inflict their stings, particularly in the late summer months. Male wasps are harmless and cannot sting.
The main difference between bee and wasp stings lies in the different body structures of both insects. Bees have barbed stingers lodged in human flesh, while wasps have smooth stingers that do not get stuck when they inject venom into their victims’ skin or eyes. Wasps also have shorter antennae than bees, making them easier to identify without a close examination of their bodies or wings during the time of year when they are most active outdoors.
The female wasp’s stinger is a sharp, narrow tubular structure resembling a hypodermic needle with an outer sheath like a cannula. The organ holds venom inside a sac at its bottom and doubles as an egg-laying organ.
The stinger is connected to a venom gland in the wasp’s abdomen. When the female wasp is ready to lay her eggs, she uses her stinger to inject venom into the host insect or other animal she has paralysed with her sting.
If you look closely at the tip of a female wasp’s stinger, you’ll see that it looks like a hypodermic needle with an outer sheath like a cannula. The organ holds venom inside a sac at its bottom and doubles as an egg-laying organ.
All wasps are carnivores. They hunt, kill and eat other insects. Wasps can benefit humans, as they help control the number of harmful insects around us.
Wasps are social creatures that live in colonies or nests. In the spring and summer, wasps are especially active, and most people will have a run-in with them at some point.
A wasp’s stinger is an ovipositor — an organ used for laying eggs. If a wasp stings you, it will leave behind more than its stinger; its abdomen will disintegrate as it delivers its sting. The buzzing predator’s end is also its beginning, as both ends of a wasp meet again as one in death.
The needle-like inner part of a wasp sting moves forward to inject venom and/or an egg. The muscles that facilitate this movement also assist in squeezing the venom from the sac at the base of the string down the central shaft into its victim.
When stung by a wasp, don’t panic. Find the bite and remove the stinger. Wash the area with soap and water. Optional ingredients are ice or a mixture of water, baking soda, and vinegar to help ease the swelling and pain before seeing a doctor.
Wasp stings can cause a potentially deadly allergic reaction. The only sane advice is to leave wasps alone and not needlessly provoke them into stinging you. Remember that wasp venom contains a pheromone that will attract other wasps nearby. There are several effective home remedies for wasp stings, but if the pain and swelling persist or worsen, you must seek medical advice.
Wasp stings hurt, but wasps greatly benefit plant life and pollination. The wasp helps control the spread of arthropod pests like -flies, caterpillars, bugs, spiders, etc.- by preying on them. Their sting can be painful to humans, but a wasps sting is a defence against possible threats.
Some pest removal companies offer wasp removal and help you get rid of wasps, wasp removal by a certified company can ensure it will not be a problem if they return.
How do you know you have a wasp sting?
You know you’re in trouble when you’re stung by a wasp. The pain is immediate, intense and often lasts for several hours. It’s also quite different from the pain of a bee sting. Wasps are known to be aggressive and their stings can be more painful than those of bees.
A bee’s stinger is attached to its abdomen, so when it stings, it leaves behind its barbed stinger that has been forced into your skin. This makes it difficult for the bee to fly away after delivering its payload of venom. A wasp’s stinger is attached to its thorax and therefore easily comes out when it uses its abdomen as a lever to get away from you after delivering its own venomous payload.
Wasp stings typically cause more localized pain than those caused by bees. This is because the venom injected by wasps is mostly meant for paralysing their prey. In contrast, bees use venom that contains additional components designed to make you bleed more so that they can feed on your blood (which contains hemolymph). While some people might not experience any symptoms at all after being stung, others can show signs of an allergic reaction including swelling, itching or hives around the area where they were bitten; difficulty breathing and dizziness.
How many hours does a wasp sting last?
The average wasp sting lasts around 30 minutes, although some people can be affected for up to 24 hours. The pain of a wasp sting will usually start within 15 minutes and continue until your body’s immune system has neutralised the venom.
For most people, this will be within a few hours, but it can be longer for those who are allergic to wasp stings or who have had a previous reaction. The severity of the pain and swelling caused by a wasp sting will depend on several factors:
How big the wasp is – larger species tend to deliver more venom than smaller ones. Whether you’re allergic to wasps – some people have an allergy that causes their immune system to overreact when they come into contact with the venom. This causes an increase in swelling and redness around the site of the sting and increases pain levels. Whether you’ve been stung before – if so, your body may react less strongly to future stings.
What to do if you are stung by a wasp?
If you are stung by a wasp, it is important to remove the stinger as quickly as possible. If left in place, the venom sac can continue to pump out more venom.
The best way to remove the stinger is with a credit card or other flat object. Pressing on the stinger with your fingers actually pushes the venom sac further into your skin and increases the amount of venom injected into your body.
After removing the stinger, treat the site of the sting by rinsing with soap and water if there are no signs of infection (redness, swelling). If there are signs of infection (redness, swelling), consult your doctor immediately.
When should I worry about a wasp sting?
If you are allergic to wasp stings, you should always seek medical attention for any reaction. The most common allergic reactions to the venom include mild symptoms such as swelling, itching and pain at the site of the sting. In rare cases, people may experience anaphylaxis, which is a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction that requires immediate medical attention.
How do I treat a wasp sting?
If you have been stung by a wasp, wash the area with soap and water as soon as possible. If there is no discomfort or swelling, you don’t need to do anything else. However, if you notice swelling or redness developing in the area around the sting site within 30 minutes of being stung, this could be an allergic reaction requiring treatment with an antihistamine tablet or cream. If your symptoms persist for more than 48 hours after the stinger has been removed, seek medical attention immediately.
Do wasp stings get worse the next day?
The main reason is that the body’s reaction to a sting is two-pronged: there’s the immediate reaction and then there’s the delayed allergic reaction. The immediate reaction is what you feel when you’re stung — pain, swelling, redness, itching and so on. The delayed allergic reaction is what happens when your immune system starts producing histamines in response to the venom (histamines are responsible for many of the symptoms of hay fever).
The more venom that’s injected into you, the worse both reactions will be. If you have multiple stings at once, if one or more of them breaks through your skin or if it’s a particularly big wasp (which tend to have more venom) then you’ll probably experience a bad reaction.
If you’ve been stung by a wasp and had an allergic reaction but aren’t sure if it’s still sore now or if it’s something else entirely, see your doctor as soon as possible.
If you need help managing any of the common pests above, give Eliminate Ltd a call. We offer wasp nest removal throughout the UK and are highly trained to eradicate nests in commercial and domestic properties. If you need effective wasp removal in Lancashire, call us today.