Stinging insects can affect people differently. Some people may have a small reaction while others may experience one that is much more severe. There are a number of different type of insects that can sting, although some people don't even know they are allergic until they are stung. Read on for the most common stinging insects and reactions you should watch out for.
These are more common stinging insects that you may or may not have any reaction to at all. Some may have a very minor reaction, but someone that is allergic may have a much more severe reaction to the sting. Some of these insects include:
- Wasps and hornets
- Fire ants
- Harvest ants
You may have seen these insects in your yard, at the park or elsewhere. If you spot a nest from one of these stinging insects, it's best to leave the nest alone. Don't try to get close to it or disturb it in any way. You'll only upset the insects and may cause them to sting as a way to protect themselves and their nest.
Reactions To Watch For
Reactions will differ, which means how they are treated will also differ.
- Small reaction. A small reaction may result in localized swelling and pain, as well as discomfort and redness. A small reaction should be treated with a cold compress or ice and an over-the-counter pain reliever to help with any pain.
- Large reaction. A larger reaction may result in swelling and redness that may get larger gradually, peaking after 48 hours. Treatment for a large reaction includes over-the-counter pain reliever, a cold compress, keeping the sting elevated to reduce swelling and the use of an antihistamine if the sting has caused itchiness.
- Severe reaction. Severe reactions may result in swelling in the face, neck, or throat. It may also cause breathing difficulties, nausea, vomiting, cramping with or without diarrhea, dizziness, and possibly even itchiness or hives. A severe reaction such as this requires medical attention; 9-1-1 should be called immediately. If an EpiPen is on hand, it should be used, and the medics that arrive should be told that an epinephrine was administered. If one is not available, an antihistamine can be given—again, be sure to tell the medics that arrive what medication has been given.
Stinging insects should always be left alone, as should their nests. If you are stung by a stinging insect and have a severe reaction, be sure to call 9-1-1 immediately. If you're unsure if you have an allergy, contact offices like Oak Brook Allergists to find out what testing you can get.