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Wasp Stings – Symptoms and Treatment

The summer months can bring pest problems such as wasp and bee stings. This news article focuses on the symptoms and treatments of wasp stings. Vespula Vulgaris, better known as the common black and stripy yellow jacket wasp, has earned itself the reputation of being Britain’s number one picnic pest. Whilst wasps can be useful generalist controllers of other pests such as aphids and flies, that provides little solace to homeowners and residents who find a nest on their property.

If you are being harassed by the occupants of a wasp nest in your home or garden, Avon Pest Control strongly recommend contacting a professional pest control company.  Removing a wasp next can be very difficult, dangerous, potentially painful, and at worst, fatal.

A yellow jacket or European wasp

A yellow jacket or European wasp

A Sting in the Tail

Not only can wasps be a real nuisance, they also carry a sting for protection.  Wasp venom can cause significant pain and irritation, and as wasps do not die after stinging like bees do, they can sting multiple times during an attack.  The NHS website explains wasp stings cause a sharp, sudden pain. After this, a red swollen mark may appear on the skin which can last several hours and can be painful or itchy.  Sometimes the reaction can be more pronounced; a larger area around the sting site can become very painful, red, and swollen for a week. This is known as a minor allergic reaction, and whilst painful, is not usually anything to cause major concern.

On occasion, people can experience a serious allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis. This is when the body’s natural defence system overacts to a trigger, in this case, the wasp sting. Symptoms include:

  • Breathing difficulties, e.g. fast, shallow breathing, and wheezing
  • A fast heartbeat
  • Dizziness, feeling lightheaded or faint
  • Swollen face or mouth
  • Clammy skin
  • Confusion and anxiety
  • Collapsing or loss of consciousness


If you or your family/friends have been stung and present with any of these symptoms, dial 999 for an ambulance immediately – during the call, ensure you mention you think the person has anaphylaxis.

General advice in a few doodles as to what you can do if you are stung by a bee or wasp.

What To Do if You have been Stung

If you have been stung and are not presenting with the above serious allergic reaction symptoms, the sting can be treated at home.  The NHS website, recommend you take the following actions:

  • Wash the affected area with soap and water
  • Apply a cold compress, such as a cold water-soaked flannel or ice pack to the swollen area for a minimum of 10 minutes
  • Elevate the affected area as much as possible to reduce the swelling
  • Whilst stings can cause an itchy irritation, try not to scratch the area, as this will reduce the risk of infection

Over the counter antihistamine medication can reduce discomfort – always read the label!

WARNING: Never attempt DIY wasp control if you are allergic or think you may be allergic to wasp stings.

If wasps are threatening the safety of you and your family, call Avon Pest Control today on 01926 632 929 or 01789 293 463 or click here for more contact information.

Our qualified, responsible technicians will happily discuss your pest problem and provide friendly, expert advice.

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