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BEE & WASP STINGS

Stinging insects kill 25 people per year in the U.S. Half the deaths are from honeybee stings, the remainder from yellow jackets or wasps. Social bees and wasps are more likely to sting in defense of their nests or hives than are solitary wasps which sting to paralyze prey.

The Sawyer Extractor Pump has been scientifically proven to remove bee venom. The Sawyer Extractor Pump Kit contains the Extractor Pump, 4 Suction Cups, The Bite Book, Safety Razor, Bandages and Antiseptic. The Pump's powerful suction is designed to remove venom from the body by sucking it out the same cavity through which it was injected.

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 Bees, wasps, hornets and yellow jackets all insert peptides when they sting, causing immediate, intense pain and swelling. Though peptides have no long-term effect, other chemicals in the venom induce a reaction from the victim's immune system, increasing potential for more severe reactions from future bites. Only the females sting, as the stinger is a modified egg-laying apparatus. Worker bees are all female.

Every time a person is stung, he or she builds both a greater tolerance and a greater intolerance for the next sting. The tolerance dissipates in roughly six months, but the intolerance continues to build throughout one's lifetime. If you are stung frequently, your tolerance level remains high and overpowers your increasing intolerance. For this reason beekeepers, who may be stung often, do not have severe reactions to the stings. If, like most people, you are stung infrequently, your reactions to the stings are likely to be increasingly severe. Only the Honeybee leaves a stinger in the victim.



Bee
Stinger

The stinger of a bee is barbed and stays in the skin, and the bee dies once it has stung in defense of its hive or nest. The stinger has a venom pack attached which continues to pump venom into the victim for several minutes, so it is important to remove the stinger promptly. It is best to use a credit card, the blunt side of a knife or other non-sharp object to flick the stinger out sideways, to reduce the possibility of squeezing more venom into the wound which may happen if you use fingers or tweezers. However, some recent studies have shown the importance of removing the stinger speedily so you should not delay too long locating an implement; if a credit card or knife is readily available then use it, otherwise use your finger and thumb to remove the stinger without squeezing hard. Get the stinger out within the first minute of being stung, or less if possible.



Wasp
Stinger

Wasps, yellow jackets and hornets can sting repeatedly. Some solitary wasps such as Spider Wasps give quite painful stings, and yellow jackets and others may swarm aggressively and sting many times, especially when their nest is threatened.


 

In conjunction with immediate removal of the stinger, early use of the Extractor Kit can greatly reduce the amount of venom left in the victim, thereby lessening the pain and risk of serious reaction. Keep the Sawyer Extractor Pump on the sting area for up to two minutes while seeking help.


Seek emergency medical help immediately if the victim has a history of serious reactions to stings or if a serious reaction seems to be developing. While less than three persons out of a thousand are allergic or hypersensitive to bee or wasp stings (or fire ants), those who are may develop a life threatening reaction such as dizziness, shock, difficulty breathing or swelling of the throat. These reactions, known as anaphylaxis, may appear immediately after the sting or up to an hour later and require immediate medical attention. Less severe reactions include swelling, hives, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and headache. Any sting in the mouth or on the neck requires caution, as swelling in those areas may cause suffocation.


A Note About Fire Ants

The Extractor can be equally effective on ant stings as on bee and wasp stings on an individual basis. However, often ten, fifteen, twenty or more fire ant stings occur at once, epecially if a victim steps or falls into a nest of these critters. We therefore feel a topical treatment would be more applicable as First Aid under these circumstances, to treat all the stings at once. So we do not advertise the Extractor for use on Fire Ant stings even though it does work on them singly. As a follow up to topical treatment and pain relief, the Extractor can be useful to relieve the pain, swelling and itching of a manageable number of fire ant stings.


Bee or Wasp Sting Treatment

Individuals who know they are allergic to bee or wasp stings should carry an epinephrine syringe or auto-injector whenever they may be exposed to these insects. Epinephrine (adrenalin) is available by prescription from a physician.
Use the
Extractor Pump to remove the venom. By pulling out venom, you can relieve pain, itching and swelling and reduce the risk of future reactions.
Seek relief of immediate pain. Topical anesthetic such as benzocaine can give fast relief. Use hydrocortisone to relieve itching.
Don't put meat tenderizer on a sting. Though this may provide temporary relief from itching and swelling, there are better methods available. Meat tenderizer contains enzymes designed to dissolve the fiber structure of muscle tissue and may permanently damage nerve tissue, resulting in loss of sensation if used repeatedly in one area.


Bee & Wasp Sting Prevention

  • Be aware of surroundings. Listen for buzzing and look for nests or hives. Check long grass before mowing, especially in late summer when yellow jackets are most aggressive.
  • Wear light-colored clothing. Dark blue and black seem to attract attack.
  • Do not go barefoot on lawns with flowering plants nearby, or wear open toed sandals, as you risk a painful sting on the foot
  • Escape into a body of water if needed when attacked by a swarm of flying insects. Remain submerged, moving away from the insects if possible, until they leave.
  • Carry protection. Use a flying insect killer with a long-range spray only when necessary, as injured insects send out pheronomes which attract others to their defense. Though repellents aren't effective against bees or wasps, the continuous flow of air from an aerosol spray can may confuse them, giving you time to escape.
  • If attacked, place your hands and forearms across your head to protect your eyes, throat and neck. Take care NOT to crush an insect and risk being stung in an area you're trying to protect. Brush insects off the skin with a sideways motion. Move away quickly and quietly, as agitated movement and noise can irritate the insects and evoke further attacks. If spotted, move away from any nest they are trying to protect.
  • Remove and destroy nests, if necessary, at night when the insects are not active. If doing so, use flying insect killer liberally to soak the nest before you start and during the removal. Do not stand below a nest you are removing, with or without flying insect killer use. Either way, injured insects may fall out of the nest, ready to sting anything they come into contact with. They may not be able to fly, but they can still give a painful sting to the first thing they contact, especially an upturned face.
  • Don't wear strong perfumes or cosmetics, particularly floral-scented ones, which can attract bees and wasps.
  • Don't leave opened cans of sweet drinks or beer standing around. Always check before drinking from an open container, even if it contains only water.
   
 

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