So you were outside minding your own business when suddenly—OUCH! You feel an intense pain somewhere on your body, and realize you just got stung by a bee or wasp! Bee and wasp stings typically cause sharp, burning pain, followed by a red welt at the sting site with a small circle in the middle. In most cases, the swelling and pain should resolve after a few hours. But that doesn’t mean you can’t try some home remedies for bee stings to soothe the pain in the meantime!
When shouldn’t you use home remedies for bee stings?
It’s crucial to know that some people– approximately 3% of the population–will have an extreme allergic reaction to bee stings, known as anaphylaxis. These symptoms can include rashes or hives, nausea, shortness of breath, swelling in the throat, and loss of consciousness. Those with allergies need to seek immediate medical attention after a bee or wasp sting.
First thing’s first, remove the stinger!
If you were stung by a honey bee, chances are the stinger dislodged and may have ended up stuck in your skin! Try scraping or brushing the area with your fingernail to remove the stinger if it’s still in your skin. Don’t use tweezers– they can squeeze more venom out of the stinger and make the sting even more painful!
Wasps, yellowjackets and hornets don’t lose their stingers when they sting, but this means they could sting you multiple times!
What Home Remedies for Bee Stings Can You Try?
Be sure to wash the area with clean soapy water before doing anything else. Over-the-counter pain relievers can alleviate some of the pain, and an antihistamine, such as Benadryl, can help with the swelling. If you’re looking for some organic home remedies for bee stings, you can try the following:
Honey: honey might help with the pain and itching. Apply a small amount to the affected area (do this indoors, don’t attract more bees!)
Baking soda: A baking soda paste can help neutralize the venom in the sting, try applying a thick layer to the affected area, then cover with a bandage.
Apple cider vinegar: this may also help neutralize the venom. Dab onto the skin with a cotton ball.
Aloe Vera: Aloe vera gel is known for soothing the skin and relieving pain.
Witch Hazel: Many people swear by witch hazel, which can reduce inflammation, pain or swelling at a sting site.
Remember, be sure to seek out medical attention after a sting if you have bee allergies or suspect your sting has become infected. Try some of our bee and wasp prevention tips to help avoid being stung at all. Call us at 413-566-8222 or contact us with any questions or if you are experiencing a pest problem. We have the knowledge and service necessary to help keep your home and workplace pest-free!