Yellow jacket stings are wounds caused by the sting of yellow jackets. These wasps tend to attack without provocation. They are usually mistaken for bees but are capable of stinging multiple times.
Yellow jackets build their nests on the ground, under porches or steps, around railroad ties, cracks on sidewalk and at the base of trees. Sometimes, they also build aerial nest in low-hanging branches, bushes, manmade structures and corners of buildings.
Yellow jacket stings are painful and each insect can deliver multiple stings. They are equipped with lance-like stingers with tiny barbs which make them capable of stinging repeatedly. The stings can cause severe allergic reactions in some people.
Symptoms of yellow jacket stings
- Burning sensation and severe pain in the affected area
- Swelling, redness and itchiness
- A raised welt around the sting site with small white marks in the middle of the welt
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulties in breathing such as wheezing or gasping
- Nausea and vomiting
- Development of hives or itchiness in other areas of the body not affected by the sting
- Severe swelling of the face, throat and lips
- Loss of consciousness
- Low blood pressure
- The first step is removing the stinger from the area. If a stinger is broken off, remove it by using an object with a flat-edged surface such as credit card. Avoid using tweezers since it might squeeze more venom into the affected area.
- Apply a cold compress to lessen the itchiness and pain. It will also numb the nerves to prevent inflammation and swelling. In a bowl filled with cold water, soak a face cloth into the water and wring out the excess water. Apply the cool washcloth on the affected area for at least 10 minutes at 2-3 times every day.
- After the cold compress, apply apple cider vinegar into the sting site to lessen the swelling, inflammation, itching and pain.
- Mix baking soda with a few drops of water. Mix well until it becomes a paste. Apply the paste on the skin for at least 5 minutes and wash it off using water. Repeat the process 2-3 times every day to eliminate the discomfort.
- Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medication such as abuprofen or acetaminophen to lessen the inflammation and pain.
- Soak in a bathtub filled with warm water and mix Epsom salts to lessen the swelling, pain and itching.