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What You Need to Know About Wasp Stings

Wasps can ruin a beautiful summer day but they can also be deadly. While ants finding your patio dinner is a nuisance, wasps are a much more serious problem, particularly for those who are allergic to their sting.


get rid of wasp stings

Wasps typically live in wasp nestsin trees and other protected areas. Wasp nests are also found in close proximity to people: under eaves, inside the cracks of buildings — anywhere where they can be protected from the elements, making it hard to get rid of wasps.

Wasps and bees use their stinger, a sharp, pointed organ at the rear of the insect, for self-defense. While wasps that live in Canada have a tiny stinger compared with their tropical cousins, the sting contains venom, which can be severely painful to humans and deadly for those who are allergic to their toxins. Below we’ve included some facts you need to know about wasps stings and wasp removal.

Reacting to Mild Wasp Stings

Most people will experience moderate to severe pain from a wasp sting. The area where the stinger has penetrated the skin may swell, turn red and become itchy. For most people this is a normal reaction.

  • Removing the stinger if possible (do not squeeze the stinger as it could release more venom)
  • Icing the area
  • Removing jewelry if it constricts the swollen area
  • Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for the pain
  • Keep the infected area clean

Reacting to Severe Wasp Stings

For people who are allergic to the wasp sting, contact with the venom can cause anaphylaxis, a severe reaction that can be fatal without immediate treatment. Symptoms can include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Tightness in the throat
  • Hoarseness or trouble speaking
  • Nausea, abdominal pain, or vomiting
  • Fast heartbeat or pulse
  • Skin that severely itches, tingles, swells
  • Anxiety or dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness

If a person has any of these symptoms after a wasp sting, they likely need to be treated with epinephrine injections — or an EpiPen — and seek emergency treatment. If a person has these symptoms but there is no epinephrine available, call 911.

Getting Rid of Wasps With Professional Wasp Removal

Wasps are attracted to sweet smells, which they relate to flowers or fruit. In this way they are drawn to food and drinks that are served up for outdoor meals — especially alcohol and fruit juices.

Wasps become more of a pest in the late summer when wasp nests stop producing new worker wasps and the existing wasps have more time to hunt for sugary food such as fallen fruit or your apple pie.

Preventing an infiltration of wasps must begin when wasps are first detected or when you see a wasp nest on your property. However, attempting to remove the wasp nest yourself can result in a disaster. Not only will you be prone to attacks from a swarm of wasps if their hive is disturbed and they feel threatened, but you probably don’t want to be at the top of a ladder when you are dealing with angry, stinging insects.

In addition, extreme care should be taken if you attempt to use pesticides near your home to get rid of wasps, particularly if children live nearby.

Need help with Pest Control or Extermination? Magical Pest Control is based in Toronto, but services Southern Ontario, from Niagara Falls to Ottawa. If you have a problem with wasps or hornets please contact us for immediate assistance.

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