Stinging insects such as wasps, bees, hornets and yellow jackets can build nests around the exterior of your home or in your yard, making it hard to enjoy the outdoors during the summer months. These stinging insects can be a problem and even life-threatening for some people, which is why it is important to know how to deal with them once they become active.
When Are Stinging Insects Most Active?
Stinging insects are most active in late summer and early months of fall. While you might hear them buzzing around in spring and early summer, they usually focus on nest-building and colony-raising during that time which limits their interactions with people.
Stinging insects become more active in late summer through early fall as they start to look for food sources, making it more likely to encounter them when you’re outdoors.
Tips to Avoid Stings From Insects
Being on the receiving end of an insect sting is never a pleasant experience. When they are most active, you will likely cross paths with them, and it’s always best to be prepared. Here are a few ways to avoid insect bites and stings:
Safely store all foods and keep them covered, especially when you are outdoors.
Seal any potential entry points that insects could use to get into your home, such as cracks and crevices.
Remain calm when a stinging insect is close to you or on you — avoid swatting at it or brushing it off.
Ensure doors are closed and repair any damage on screens.
Wear shoes that cover your feet when walking on grassy areas to avoid stepping on any wasp nests in the ground.
Avoid wearing cologne, perfume or other strongly scented products as some stinging insects may be attracted to the fragrances.
Keep garbage cans and bags closed tightly, as wasps and other stinging insects are attracted to trash.
How to Treat Common Insect Bites and Stings
While you can take the necessary precautions to prevent insect bites and stings, the unfortunate incident can still occur. It is important to note that some people may experience severe reactions to being stung, which would require immediate medical attention. If you notice serious symptoms of an allergic reaction, you will need to seek medical assistance. Here are some of the steps you can take if you get stung by a bee or wasp when you’re not allergic:
If the insect leaves the stinger behind, try to remove it immediately to prevent more venom from entering your skin.
Wash the affected area with soap and clean water.
Apply an ice pack on the site to reduce swelling and pain.
Consider taking an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen to ease the pain.
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