When summer rolls around, there’s nothing better than sitting out on your porch with a refreshing glass of iced tea. That is, until wasps start buzzing around. Wasp stings are super painful and can result in swelling, redness and discomfort in the sting area. Wasps can also sting several times, leaving you with multiple wounds. In case you get stung by a wasp this summer, we’ve compiled 9 wasp sting remedies to reduce pain and swelling. Plus, we’re letting you know what to look out for incase you have an allergic reaction to wasp stings and when to seek medical attention.
Wasp Sting Versus Bee Sting: What’s the Difference?
There isn’t a huge difference between bee and wasp stings, other than one main detail. Bees have a barbed stinger they leave behind in the wound, while wasps have a smooth stinger they can use more than once. Wasps are more aggressive than bees and usually sting multiple times in a short period of time. Wasps inject a significantly smaller amount of venom than bees do (2 to 15 micrograms versus 50 micrograms in a single sting).
What Does a Wasp Sting Look Like?
Wasp stings typically result in a raised welt around the sting site. You may also notice a tiny white mark in the middle of the welt where the stinger punctured your skin. Pain and swelling will typically subside within several hours of being stung.
3 Warning Signs You’re Allergic to Wasp Stings
1. Extreme redness and swelling that increases for 2 or 3 days after the sting
These symptoms are signs of a large local reaction. They should subside on their own over a week or so.
When to See a Doctor
If you notice any signs of anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction and shock), call an ambulance right away. Most people who go into shock after a wasp sting do so very quickly. These symptoms include:
1. Difficulty breathing
2. Severe inflammation or swelling of the lips, face or throat
3. Hives or itching in areas of the body not affected by the sting
6. Lightheadedness or passing out
7. Low blood pressure
8. Elevated heart rate
You should also consult your doctor if you have a large local reaction after a wasp sting. They may direct you to take an over the counter antihistamine medication such as Benadryl.
9 Wasp Sting Remedies That Work
1. Wash the Area with Soap and Water
If you have a mild to moderate reaction to a wasp sting, you can treat it at home. It’s important to wash the sting area with soap and water to remove as much of the venom as possible. Make sure to keep the wound clean and dry to prevent infection. You can cover it with a bandage if desired.
2. Use a Cold Compress
Use a cold compress on the sting site to reduce pain and swelling. Wrap ice or frozen vegetables in a cloth so you’re not putting it directly against your skin. Hold the compress on the area for 10 minutes, remove for 10 minutes and repeat for 30 to 60 minutes.
3. Apply An Antihistamine
Itchiness can increase in the hours after the sting. To relieve it, apply an antihistamine, corticosteroid, or calamine cream to the entire red and swollen area. This will also help relieve any pain from the wasp sting,
It’s believed that the acidity of vinegar can neutralize the alkalinity of wasp stings. Soak a cotton ball with apple cider vinegar or white vinegar and place it on the affected area of skin. Use slight pressure to help reduce pain and inflammation. You can leave the cotton ball on top of the skin for several minutes.
5. Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is an excellent home remedy for wasp stings. It’s loaded with antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties so is effective as a sting treatment. It does double duty by reducing itchiness and redness, while also preventing infection.
Basil is one of the best ways to flavour your home cooking, but it also has anti-inflammation properties that make it ideal for taking the swelling and irritation out of a wasp sting. Crush a handful of basil leaves until you have a paste. Place the paste directly on the sting and leave it there for 30 minutes. Rinse it off gently with warm water and repeat as needed.
Calendula is a marigold plant that not only beautifies to your garden, it also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. You can make a calendula compress by taking a handful of calendula flowers and putting them in a pan with filtered water. Bring the water to a boil and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Allow it to cool, then soak a cloth in the water and apply it directly to the sting. Repeat 3 to 4 times a day as needed. You can also buy calendula cream.
Papaya contains papain, an enzyme that helps with digestion, but also has antiseptic properties and can break down the venom in wasp stings. You can apply it directly to your sting wound. Mix up some papaya and apply it as a paste to the sting, or you can hold a slice or papaya directly on the sting.
Turmeric is a super spice known for its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Make a paste with turmeric powder and filtered water (it should be thick, not runny), and apply it to your wound. Leave it for 30 minutes, then gently rinse it off with warm water. Reapply every 3 to 4 hours as needed.
If you’re stung by a wasp this summer, try these remedies to relieve itching, swelling and pain and make sure you know the warnings of anaphylactic shock so you can seek immediate care if needed.
This post contains affiliate links.
Did you find this post on wasp sting remedies useful? We’d love it if you shared it on Pinterest!
Looking for more helpful remedies? Make sure to follow our Home Remedies Board on Pinterest!