Dealing with red wasp sting

A red wasp sting is less poisonous than the sting of a bee but cause severe pain. They are not aggressive but will sting if they are threatened and sting multiple times. They are attracted to very strong smells or bright colored clothes. The wasp releases a chemical called pheromones to attract nearby wasps to help in the attack.

The red wasp injects venom into the skin and cause a small, painful and itchy swelling that has a white in the center and surrounded by a red ring. Some people develop an allergic reaction to the sting and needs to be treated immediately.

Symptoms of a red wasp sting


Itching, hives or flushing of the affected area.

  • Itching, hives or flushing of the affected area
  • Swollen face, lips and mouth or tongue
  • Tickling sensations or itchiness of the mouth or throat
  • Cough, wheezing, shortness of breath or chest tightness
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting


  • Remove the stinger using clean tweezers
  • Wash the affected area to lessen the possibility of developing infections. Another alternative if soap and water is not available is to wipe the area using antibacterial wipes, hand towelette or hand sanitizer.
  • Apply an ice pack on the sting site for at least 10-15 minutes to cool it down, lessen the pain and the itchiness. The coldness will lessen the swelling of the wound. After 15 minutes of application, allow the skin to rewarm and reapply again as needed.
  • Rest and elevate the affected area to minimize the spread of the venom and swelling especially if stinged multiple times. Another alternative is elevating the area while applying an ice pack.
  • Make a paste by mixing Epsom salt with a few drops of water. Mix well until it becomes a paste and apply to the stinged area to eliminate erythema and swelling caused by red wasp sting. Erythema is the redness of the skin or mucous membrane due to an increase in the flow of blood.
  • Apply calamine lotion to lessen the itchiness of the affected area.
  • In a bathtub filled with warm water, add a cup of colloidal oatmeal and mix until totally dissolved and soak the affected area in the solution to lessen the pain and the itchiness of the site. Another alternative is using the prescribed anesthetic spray or cream containing benzocaine or lidocaine to lessen the pain and the itchiness.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter oral antihistamines to lessen the discomfort due to a red wasp sting.


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