How to Treat a Bee Sting

 

Getting stung by a bee is never fun. In fact, it can be painful or even dangerous. And if bees find their way into your walls, they can damage the structure of your home. You might find any of a large variety of stinging insects in California. But whatever stings you, it’s crucial that you deal with it as quickly as possible. An experienced California pest control company like A-1 Bonded Termite can help you avoid stings by removing the bees from your property. But the first thing you need to know is how to treat a bee sting. Here are what to do right away and the next steps to take.

a bee sting on a human hand hurt

Remove Stinger and Wash Area

As soon as you can, remove the bee’s stinger from your skin. The University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management site says if you remove that stinger within 15 seconds, you can significantly reduce your reaction to it. You can remove a stinger by running a fingernail under one end and gently lifting it out. But don’t get carried away! Never dig down below the surface of the skin to try to remove a stinger. Once the stinger is out, wash the area where it was with mild soap and water.

 

Assess Symptoms

Before you go any further, you need to be sure this isn’t an emergency. The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends you seek immediate treatment if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Feeling like your throat is closing
  • Swollen face, tongue, or lips
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • You have multiple stings

Most bee stings don’t require attention from a doctor. However, you need to seek help immediately if you were swarmed and stung by many bees. This is especially true for small children, considering that the lethal dose of bee venom depends on the bodyweight of the person who was stung.

Deal with Swelling, Itching, and Pain

If you don’t have any severe symptoms, you can proceed with self-care. Start by reducing the swelling. Apply cold compresses. If you were stung on an arm or leg, elevate it. And use calamine lotion or cortisone cream. You can also take an oral antihistamine to reduce itching and swelling. If the pain bothers you, take an OTC pain reliever. And whatever you do, don’t scratch the area where you were stung. That will only make it itch and swell more and may cause an infection.

Medical Treatments

If you end up in the ER or your doctor’s office, they may treat your sting reaction in one or more of the following ways:

  • Give a shot of epinephrine (adrenaline) to minimize your reaction
  • Give oxygen to help with breathing difficulty
  • Use albuterol or another beta-agonist for breathing problems
  • Give strong antihistamines and cortisone

Medical Treatments

If you end up in the ER or your doctor’s office, they may treat your sting reaction in one or more of the following ways:

  • Give a shot of epinephrine (adrenaline) to minimize your reaction
  • Give oxygen to help with breathing difficulty
  • Use albuterol or another beta-agonist for breathing problems
  • Give strong antihistamines and cortisone
bee hive removal needed

How You Can Avoid Bee Stings

Of course, the best way to deal with bee stings is to avoid them altogether. There are several things you can do to make yourself less attractive to bees. Try avoiding the following:

  • Walking barefoot outside
  • Wearing bright or highly patterned clothing
  • Wearing perfume or cologne
  • Panicking or swatting if a bee lands on you

Removing Beehives

If you want to get to the root of the problem, though, the best thing you can do is to have hives removed from your property. A qualified pest management company can do this job for you. And if you’re concerned about the impact on the environment, don’t worry. A-1 Bonded Termite uses the most eco-friendly pest control methods available to eliminate bees from your property.

Getting help with bee removal is the safest, most effective long-term solution to bee stings. A professional pest management company will take care of it, whether you have “killer bees” or other stinging insects on your property. Then, once the bees are gone, you can feel more relaxed as you enjoy your patio or watch your children play.