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The weather keeps getting warmer and with it comes flying insects. Bees and wasps seem to have a bad reputation and are mostly known for being stinging insects. Bees and wasps are considered to be dangerous because of their ability to sting and cause allergic reactions.

Bees, Wasps, Hornets, and Yellow Jackets

Bees are typically hairy, while wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets are not. Bee species have a barbed stinger and can only sting a victim once and then die. Africanized bees, the so-called killer bees, most often attack together in great numbers. Wasps, including hornets and yellow jackets and other species have a smooth stinger allowing them to sting a victim multiple times. Hornets and yellow jackets have very powerful stings and are aggressive when defending their colonies. They like to hang out where people are and therefore have confrontations with their human neighbors. Yellow jackets cause the greatest number of allergic reactions.

Allergic Reactions to Bee & Wasp Stings

The venom from a bee or wasp is potent enough to cause a severe allergic reaction. Some people will require immediate medical attention as a reaction can happen in minutes and be fatal. Seek medical attention if one or more of the following develop after the sting; a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), a toxic reaction, a large skin reaction that spreads away from the site of the sting, signs of a skin infection, or serum sickness that is characterized by a skin rash, joint stiffness, and fever. Call 911 if someone you are with experiences chest pain, face or mouth swelling, difficulty swallowing, trouble breathing, or goes into shock.

Prevention & Treatment of a Bee or Wasp Sting

To prevent a sting you should avoid provoking insects, avoid rapid, jerky movements around hives or nests and avoid perfumes and floral-pattered or dark clothing. Use insect repellent and wear protective clothing. Use caution when eating outdoors as sweetened beverages or areas around garbage cans will often attract bees. For those who have a serious allergy to stings, carry emergency epinephrine and make sure friends and family know how to administer it in case of a reaction. If you happen to get stung, you should remove the stinger if it’s still there by scraping it with a credit card across the stinger. Do not use tweezers! This can squeeze more venom into the sting site. Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. Apply ice wrapped in a cloth to the site for 10 minutes and off for 10 and repeat as needed. Apply an antihistamine cream or take orally if necessary and watch for signs of infection over the next few days.

Stinging Insect Control in Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn & Staten Island as well as Nassau & Suffolk Counties, New York

The best thing to do is to remove a hive or nest as soon as it appears so it doesn’t turn into a bigger problem. Doing regular inspections of your yard will help you notice them early. Bees and wasps like to build homes underground, under roof awnings and eaves, on hanging tree branches, fence posts, hollow tree trunks and play sets. Call a professional at Rest Easy Pest Control to have bee hives and wasps nests properly removed away from your loved ones.