Angry bee season is upon us in CT, and AFC Urgent Care Norwalk is ready with tips on how to prevent bee stings and how to treat them.
Just so you know, late summer and early fall is the height of "angry bee" season. When bees and wasps are near the end of their life cycle, they become increasingly aggressive. Being stung by a bee, wasp, hornet, or yellow jacket can be both painful and scary, especially for those who have serious or even life-threatening allergic reactions to bee stings. It requires a quick treatment.
So, brace yourselves and follow these tips to avoid bee attacks and stings.
What can I do to avoid getting stung by a bee?
First and foremost, it is important to know that bees release a chemical when they sting, which may attract other bees. So, it’s really important to avoid bee stings altogether. The CDC suggests these tips that you can do to avoid attracting bees:
- Avoid colorful and flower-print clothing to help keep bees away, as well as fragrances or cosmetics with floral scents.
- Be careful with food and sweet drinks (ex. soda). Bees will often fly into the drink and sting the drinker when he or she takes a sip.
- Wear long pants, long socks, and closed toe shoes if going to a field where there will likely be bees. Don't run and don't swat them. If they are around you or on you, standing still will keep the bees calm and, most likely, they will fly away.
- Keep garbage in sealed receptacles. When out at a public park or playground, keep away from open or full garbage bins.
- If you’re in your backyard or walking outside and a bee “bumps” into you, take that as a sign to run the other way. Bees do this on purpose because you are near their hive. So, run like the wind before they all come after you!
- If you notice a hive or wasp nest on your property it is best to contact a pest professional and avoid taking out the hive yourself.
How to treat a bee sting if I’m not allergic to bees
Scrape the stinger out as soon as possible. We highly suggest that you DO NOT pull or squeeze the stinger out with a tweezer. Doing so may release more venom. Clean the sting site with soap and water to prevent infection.
How to alleviate a bee sting
Try these highly effective home remedies to reduce itching, swelling and pain:
Ice: Ice reduces swelling by constricting vessels and minimizes the flow of venom in the blood. Also, the numbing effect soothes pain and itching.
Baking soda: Create a paste of baking soda and water to apply on the sting site. The alkaline nature of the baking soda helps to neutralize the acidity in the venom. You can also mix in some meat tenderizer which contains a naturally occurring enzyme (papain, from papaya) that helps to break down the protein in the venom.
Vinegar: Vinegar is the soother of choice when getting stung by a wasp. Use this trick to remember: Baking soda for bees (both at the beginning of the alphabet), vinegar for wasps (both at the end of the alphabet).
Toothpaste!: This is a great remedy which works on the same alkaline/acidity premise as baking soda. Small amounts of glycerin in toothpaste may also add to its soothing properties. A small tube of toothpaste is handy to pack in a travel first aid kit or picnic basket.
I just got stung by a bee, and I know I’m allergic. What should I do?
If you or someone is allergic, you should always carry a bee sting kit. This includes a bronchodilator epinephrine shot (Epipen) or inhaler, which will dilate the airways and allow you or your child to breathe. If the person gets an allergic reaction, call 911 or bring them in to us as soon as possible. They will need to be treated immediately.
Bee stings and treatment at AFC Urgent Care Norwalk
If you can’t seem to avoid angry bees and their stings this season, you can come to AFC Urgent Care Norwalk for treatment. We are already starting to see people for bee stings and treatment. You can also expect this to last for another couple of weeks until the bees die off.
AFC Urgent Care Norwalk is open 7 days a week with extended hours on the weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm and we have weekend hours from 8 am to 5 pm. There is no appointment needed when visiting our center. We accept most insurances.