How to treat a wasp hornet or yellow jacket sting?

Wash away the pain

Treat a wasp, hornet, or yellow jacket with care. If you get stung, leave the area and wash with soap and water as soon as you can. Applying a cold compress can help reduce swelling. Although we are bug experts, we aren’t medical experts, so if your symptoms are worse than mild pain and swelling seek medical attention ASAP!

Know Your Enemy

Paper wasps often don’t sting unless their nests are disturbed, but when they do, they can be very aggressive. On the other hand, yellow jackets and hornets can sting without being provoked at all, especially in the late summer and early fall.

Don’t Get Stung, Get Smart

  1. Keep food covered if eating outside.
  2. Seal trash cans tightly.
  3. If a foraging wasp is bothering you, don’t swat at it. Just move away slowly.
  4. Keep garbage cans away from eating areas.
Not One and Done

Honeybees (beneficial bugs necessary for pollination) normally die after stinging, but wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets often survive and can sting again. It’s important to leave the area immediately to avoid being stung more than once. Once a yellow jacket stings its victim, it releases an “attack pheromone” that excites nearby yellow jackets to attack as well.

Shut ‘Em Out

To keep wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets out of the house, be sure that it’s sealed properly. Keep doors and windows closed, screens in tip top shape, and caulk any cracks leading into your home. They’re most likely to enter during the spring, when the queen is looking for a place to nest, or the late summer and early fall when they’re looking for sugary foods.

Avoid Surprise Stings

Be sure to cover up your drinks while outside. Wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets are attracted to the sugary goodness found in some beverages and often crawl inside to get a taste.