With increased temperatures comes increased number of wasps, bumblebees, hornets, and yellow jackets. Many individuals fear these flying insects and rightfully so, however these fears can be eased when an individual knows how to avoid as well as treat a sting.
- When eating outside make sure your food and drink are completely covered.
- Avoid bright colors whether it be wearing bright colors, sitting by bright flowers, or even standing by a bright colored car.
- Make sure lids are placed on all garbage cans.
- Simply avoid places where swarming insects may be.
- If you are by a flying insect hold still. Do not swat at it. Some flying insects have the tendency of being aggressive when they feel threatened.
REMOVAL OF A FLYING INSECT STING
If the flying insect does sting you remove the stinger as soon as possible, using a thin, flat object, like a credit card. to flick it out. The longer it is left in the skin the more venom will go in your body. DO NOT USE TWEEZERS, as this can cause more venom to be excreted from the stinger. Elevate the site of the sting and if possible apply ice. This will help with the swelling. Cleanse the site where it stung. This will help reduce the possibility of infection. If you believe it is infected you should seek medical attention immediately. The individual may consider taking an antihistamine such as Zyrtec, Allegra, or Claritin and/or applying Hydrocortisone to the site to help relieve the itchiness. The antihistamine will also help with the swelling.
An average reaction will consist of a white bump with redness around it. This is typical and is not an allergic reaction. When someone is allergic to a flying insect and is stung they can develop symptoms that are life threatening like trouble breathing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and/or throat closing off. They may also experience diarrhea, abdominal pain, dizziness, passing out, and/or substantial swelling away from the site of the sting. Other symptoms outside of the ones listed here may also occur.
ALLERGIC TO FLYING INSECTS
Individuals who are allergic to insects and are aware of it should have an injectable epinephrine device. This should be injected into the outside of the victims thigh immediately and taken to the ER or urgent care. If they are unsure if they are allergic, but are developing anaphylactic symptoms take them to the ER immediately. Giving them injectable epinephrine and taking them to the ER will save their lives.
There is a treatment for individuals who are allergic to flying insects. It is called venom immunotherapy. It consists of venom actually being administered through an injection at very small dilute doses. Over time your immune system accepts to venom as ordinary instead of foreign. Venom Immunotherapy is safe and very effective.
If you have question regarding venom immunotherapy please contact Rocky Mountain Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology at 801-775-9800 or you can visit their website at rockymountainallergy.com.