A yellow jacket is a type of wasp similar to the size of a house fly. It is named after the black and yellow stripes on its abdomen and they form their nests in the ground and become dangerous if their nests are disturbed. Yellow jacket wasps can remove their stingers from the skin of the victim, so they can sting repeatedly. Take note that their sting can cause minor irritation or can result to death if the individual develops an allergic reaction.
A wasp stings a person when there is an alleged threat to the colony. Other factors that can force the insect to sting include loud noises, bright colors or strong perfumes. Many wasps will deliver a sting if provoked.
A yellow jacket stinger is smooth and can be easily withdrawn from the skin of the victim. They can sting several times and a sting contains toxins and chemicals that can start a natural immune response which can range from inflammation of the affected area to an anaphylactic shock.
Symptoms of a yellow jacket sting
- The sting becomes red and swollen and can itch and warm to touch. For a large localized reaction, the swelling can spread and the affected person can experience nausea and fatigue. These symptoms are normal and not considered as an allergy.
- Sometimes, the body will produce antibodies called IgE against the yellow jacket venom and this antibody will cause allergic reactions in the future stings. The symptoms can be mild while the skin is flushed or they can become a serious problem.
- A person who accidentally disturbs the nest may be stung for several times and will result in rashes or hives. The affected person will have fever, headaches, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, convulsion and fainting.
- Delayed reactions of the yellow jacket sting will produce symptoms such as rash, itching, fever, joint pain, fatigue and swelling of the lymph nodes.
Treatment and home remedies of a yellow jacket sting
- Wash the sting area using warm and soapy water.
- Apply ice or cold compress directly to the affected areas in order to minimize swelling. Rub an ice cube over the affected area at least 10 minutes if there is persistent pain. If you want to learn more about cold therapy, click here.
- Minimize the stinging using an aluminum deodorant, meat tenderizer, water or a thick paste made out of baking soda. Apply with a cotton ball in order to minimize swelling and counteract the venom.
- Use Epsom salt and ammonia to minimize the itchiness.
- Using mud can help reduce the itchiness caused by the sting and help draw out the venom from the skin.
- Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen in order to minimize the pain.
- Apply hydrocortisone cream to the affected area at least three times a day.
- If there is difficulty in breathing and swallowing, excessive swelling of the arms and legs, fainting and dizziness, seek medical help immediately.