Does a Wasp Bite or Sting?

Wasps only sting people in self-defense and they bite only when building their nests and when they catch prey. When stung, act quickly to avoid serious issue.

Wasps are individuals from the order Hymenoptera, which additionally incorporates ants, bees and sawflies. Numerous individuals confuse wasps and bees. It's really simple to differentiate the two, because bees look entirely bushy and wasps don't. Wasps are known to have biting mouthparts and antennae with 12 or 13 portions. They have wings as well and their abdomens are connected to their thorax by a thin petiole, or a "waist". Many people argue about the way wasps attack human being.

Do Wasps Sting or Bite People?

The question has confused many people. Wasp just sting, and repeated stings can be caused by the Yellow jacket wasps.

Female bees and wasps are the only insects that can sting. Males do not have the egg-laying ovipositor that is altered into a stinger as in female insects. Different from bees, some female wasps can sting an objective various times because their stinger does not tumble off after use.

Do Wasps Bite?

Sometimes wasp stings are confused to be a wasp bite. A wasp does bite indeed, however, it only bites when catching a prey or utilizing their mouths when making their nests; a wasp does not bite people when attacking. Wasps use sting as a way of defending themselves from creatures that may pose threat to them.

What Happens When a Wasp Stings?

Wasp stings are commonly experienced, particularly during the warmer months when people spend a lot of time outside. Wasp stings can be uncomfortable, however, a great number of people recuperate rapidly and without complications.                                   

Local reactions or systematic (body-wide) allergic reactions are results of bee and wasp stings. Common reactions to a sting are localized pain, redness, and swelling.

How to Treat Wasp Stings

Do wasps sting or bite? They only sting, and you should then know the ways to treat wasp sting.

Mild to Moderate Reactions

Moderate and mild reactions to wasp stings can be dealt with at home, by washing the affected area with soap and water to reduce the effect of the venom.

  • Application of the cold pack is done on the wounded part to reduce pain and swelling.
  • The wound must be kept clean and if possible covered with bandage to prevent further infection.
  • In case the itching and skin irritation persists, hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion can be used to prevent this.
  • Colloidal oatmeal and baking soda can also be used to soothe the skin and their application should be done during bathing or they can be mixed with the medicated skin creams.
  • Wasp stings pains can be managed by using over the counter pain relievers like ibuprofen. Itching can also be reduced by using antihistamine drugs, such as diphenhydramine and chlorpheniramine. To avert any possible side effects, such as irritation in the stomach or drowsiness, all medications should be administered as prescribed.

What If There's Stinger in Skin?

First note that a wasp will not leave their stingers behind unless they have been swatted and the stinger breaks off. The first thing to do if a stinger from the wasp is still lodged in the skin is to remove it. A blunt, flat object like a butter knife, a credit card, or your fingernail is the ideal thing to use when dislodging a stinger. It is advisable not to squeeze the stinger because this may release more venom.

It is recommended to not use tweezers while removing stinger. They are only applicable where other methods have failed. In such cases, a lot of care has to be taken to avoid squeezing of the venom sac further.

Severe Reactions/ Anaphylactic Reaction

Extreme allergic reactions to wasp stings need quick medical attention. While waiting for the doctor’s arrival, one should take the following steps in the meantime:

  • Enquire from the victim whether they are carrying with them an epinephrine auto injector EpiPen or Auvi-Q, for the allergic treatment. Or if you are stung and have EpiPen, inject in the correct manner by yourself.
  • If they request for your assistance to use an autoinjector, do so by using the correct procedure. Press the autoinjector against the thigh of the victim and ensure it remains held in place for a while.
  • Do not allow them to ingest or drink anything while administering the treatment. Instead, cover them with a blanket and remove the tight clothing if any.
  • In case the person is vomiting or bleeding from the mouth, turn them on the side to avoid choking.
  • If the victim exhibits any signs of reduced circulation, such as difficulties in breathing, or coughing, immediately begin the CPR.

Emergency medical staff may commence treatment at the scene and proceed with the treatment in the hospital. Ways to treat extreme allergic reactions to wasp stings can include:

  • Supplementary epinephrine to cool your immune system
  • Application of intravenous cortisone to reduce swelling
  • CPR should be done when someone experience difficulty in breathing
  • Antihistamine medications and steroids are some of the emergency treatments
  • Breathing tube insertion is also one of the emergency treatments to enhance oxygen supply
  • Intravenous liquids and medicines to reinforce the functionality of cardiovascular is sometimes a necessity.

Doctors may do prescriptions of an allergy kit that contains self-administered epinephrine or Epipen to persons vulnerable to extreme allergic reaction. This also includes persons with wasp or bee stings allergy. The treatments have proven in many instances to be lifesaving. It is advisable, therefore, to possess these kits always in immediate environments like homes, cars and at the office, as well as understanding the mechanism to operate them.

Persons with past records of extreme reactions to wasp stings should apply Immunotherapy as the best treatment. Immunotherapy is a sequence of shots commonly known as allergy shots that are made to give exposure at low dose to sting poison. This kind of treatment is known to significantly lower the chances of imminent severe allergic reactions. 

When to See a Doctor

The following are the symptoms that require immediate call of emergency number for help:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Inflammation/swelling of the lips, eyelids or throat
  • Confusion or dizziness
  • Faster heartbeat
  • Hives
  • Exhibition of cramps, nausea, or vomiting

More Facts: What Are the Types of Wasps?

Do wasps sting or bite? They do sting but don't bite. The population of wasp species is recorded to be over 25,000 in the world. Among these, the most common ones are hornet and yellow jacket.

  • These wasps live in colonies or groups and are commonly found in temperate climates.
  • Yellow jackets have yellow and black stripes in their abdomen and they normally form their nests underground.
  • Hornets have black markings on their head and thorax with some yellow markings as well. Their nests are paper like and are attached to trees, shrubs or sometimes buildings.



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