Redness, slight swelling, and possibly some itching
Reaction to the sting can sometimes be more pronounced: hoarseness, labored breathing, confusion, difficult swallowing, and severe swelling.Sometimes the reaction can be severe: possible closing of the airway and perhaps shock (cyanosis and a drop in blood pressure).
Certain stinging insects in North America can cause reactions (honeybees, bumble bees, African bees, hornets, scorpions, fire ants, yellow jackets, wasps, spiders, centipedes, and ants). Of these, the honeybee, yellow jacket, and African bee are the most dangerous.Bee venom contains formaldehyde.
Note: Each year, bee stings cause more deaths in America than snake bites.
TREATMENT HOME REMEDIES
- Pull out the stinger, if any remains. (Honeybees leave their stinger in the wound. It must be pulled out immediately, for it keeps pulsating venom into the skin.) Avoid removing the stinger with your fingers; use a knife blade to scrape it out, to avoid squeezing in more poison.
- Apply a paste of baking soda and water on the area or a compress that is wet with ammonia water (more useful for scorpion stings).
- Wet a little calcium gluconate and put it on the area.
- Crush a charcoal tablet and place in the area, and cover with cloth. This will reduce pain and swelling. Put some wet powdered charcoal in an cloth and tie it on for 3-4 hours.
- Charcoal has an amazing absorptive (not absorptive) ability to pull into itself toxins and poisons, thus neutralizing them. This is due to its large chemical surface and the fact that charcoal is pure carbon. The carbon molecules are eager to unite with other substances.
- Clay or mud can also be used, especially if you are out in the woods. Put some mud on it as soon as possible and leave it on for a half hour. Try to select the mud from a clean place, not from a mud hole, where animals may have polluted it. If pain persists, apply charcoal.
- An enzyme-based meat tenderizer breaks down the proteins that make up insect venom, but you have to use it right away for it to be effective.
- To avoid infection, do not scratch the area.
- Also helpful are calcium chloride, hydrochloric acid, or ammonium chloride on the area.
- Apply poultice of white oak bark and leaves, comfrey, and slippery elm.
- Pain gels, DMSO, or Caladryl lotions can be applied.
- Calamine lotion often reduces the itching.
- Drink as much yellow dock tea as you can or take echinacea (tea or in capsule form).
- Ironically, either hot or cold will lessen the pain.
- A lengthy hot tub bath will help relieve abdominal pain that often develops after a bite.
- A cold pack or ice pack on the area will help relieve pain.
- Those sensitive to stings should avoid situations in which they might get stung. If they have to be in such localities, they are wise to carry adrenalin (epinephrine) with them and be accompanied by a friend who can go for help. Reactions can occur within minutes or hours. Contact a physician. Death can result if treatment is not sought.
- If you have a known allergy to a certain venom, you can have a physician prescribe an emergency treatment kit which you can keep with you.
- Purchase a small venom extractor and keep it with you.
- Squashing a yellow jacket releases a chemical that causes other yellow jackets to attack. When one stings, that also causes the others to become excited. If bit, run. Go indoors or jump into water. Insects have a hard time following a person through a thicket of woods.
- Insects are repelled by the odor of turpentine.
- Stinging insects prefer dark colors. So wear white or light-colored clothing.
- Do not wear perfumes of any kind.
- Insects are attracted to people who are deficient in zinc. Take at least 60 mg a day.
- Sometimes brewer’s yeast or garlic rubbed on the skin deters insects.
- Drinking alcohol or eating an excess of sugar attracts biting, and other, insects.
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