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d-minor

Wasp Stings

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A student told me this morning that she had been stung last week and immediately put on a paste of meat tenderizer (unseasoned Adolf's) and water, and that it worked very well for her. She felt the key was to get it on the wounds right away.

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Meat tenderizer immediately after the sting- cortisone otc cream after the first six or so hours, BUT- get to the hospital without delay if there is any sign of any physical changes esp. difficulty breathing, choking sensation and/or cold sweat any time in the first day after the sting.

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If meat tenderizer works, then maybe a slice of mango would too, if you have one available (they both work in the same way on meat). I've also heard that a slice of raw onion helps.

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As far as I know wasps don't sting, they bite. If you ever look closely at a wasp you will notice they have no stinger. If you were stung, it wasn't a wasp. I have been told that baking soda on a bite also helps take the itch and sting away. Just mix it with a little water to make it stick together and blob it on.

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Also, when stung (or bitten), if it's clear that there is not a severe reaction, over-the-counter antihistamines will give some relief if you're not adverse to taking medication.

I've tried all-the-above for bee stings plus tobacco soaked in a little water--but nothing has given relief as much as an antihistamine.

T.

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Not what you asked for, but a word on bee stings. As you may know, when honeybees sting, they subsequently die. This is because the venom sac (an internal piece of plumbing) remains attached to the stinger, which stays in the victim by means of a few barbs.

Lesson to the victim: when faced with a bee sting, move quickly to remove the sac. It sits above your skin throbbing away like an organic syringe. Take it away, and no venom gets under the skin. No venom, no problem.

Beekeepers typically scrape the stinger/sac away with a hive tool (or a thumbnail if necessary). I've heard that it is better to use tweezers, but there is a danger of emptying the sac by squeezing it, which defeats the purpose.

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Yes wasps do sting. Yellow Jackets are wasps and I can attest after a few years of a lawn mowing business that they bloody well do sting. Not only that but they have long stingers because I've been stung 15 times through a sock before, and it was pretty thick too.

Jonathan

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Scientifically speaking you need to apply a base (speaking in Ph terms) material to neutralize the acid in the sting. Ammonia works really well and fast. The sooner the better. It is good practice to carry any of the various available sting reliever products with you when working in a garden or out for a romp in the woods.

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Wasps sting, not bite. They do not die after they sting you because their stingers do not have barbs on them and become lodged in your skin. They may sting again. Bees have barbed stingers and the end of it's abdomen becomes open after the venom sac is pulled out with the stinger. In essence, it is eviscerated. Meat tenderizer works pretty well with a sting. When I was a kid down South in the 60s, we kept plug tobacco around and would apply a wet compress of it to the sting. It worked okay too.

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...was screaming down a hill on my LeMond last Spring and got tagged in the belly by a Tarantula Hawk. Big, nasty, black puppy with dayglo orange wings. Yeeoouch! These things take on tarantulas and almost always win.

Bees, wasps, yellow-jackets, and ants are all in the same group: Hymenoptera ("membrane-winged"). I recently found out that my brother who is allergic to bee stings also reacts to ant bites. I don't know if this holds true for everyone with this type of allergy, but, if you know that you're dangerously allergic to one of these critters, you might want to avoid the others, too.

Rat

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