It is always best to avoid unnecessary stings. Should a yellowjacket wasp fly near you or land on your body, never swing or strike at it or run rapidly away since quick movements often provoke attack and painful stings.
When a wasp is near you, slowly raise your hands to protect your face remaining calm and stationary for a while and then move very slowly (avoid stepping on the ground nest), backing out through bushes or moving indoors to escape.
Wasps and honey bees can fly about six to seven miles per hour so humans can outrun them. However, by the time one begins running, there could rapidly be a dozen or so painful stings caused by the rapid movement.
There’s an old saying that “one who stands still and shoots an aerial nest with a shotgun need not fear, instead it’s the person that quickly runs away who gets all the stings.”
Be sure to don’t ever strike, swing or crush a wasp or bee against your body since it might incite nearby yellowjackets into a frenzied attack. Wasp venom contains a chemical “alarm pheromone,” released into the air, signaling guard wasps to come and sting whomever and whatever gets in their way.
Regrettably, many serious accidents have resulted when one runs away from attacking wasps and into the path of automobiles. When a bee or wasp gets into a moving car, remain calm. They nearly never sting when in enclosed spaces as a automobile or house. Instead, they fly against windows. Slowly and safely pull over off the road, open the windows and allow the escape.
Be certain to be cautious not to cut weeds or run the lawnmower over a ground nest nor disturb a nest in a tree or eaves of the home. Any noise and disturbance will sometimes infuriate and provoke painful stinging. Restrain children from throwing rocks or spraying water on nests.
When consuming food outside, make sure to keep food covered until eaten, especially ripe fruit and soft drinks. Any scent of food caused by outdoor cooking, eating, feeding pets or garbage cans will attract many honey bees and wasps (especially yellowjackets in late summer and early autumn).
Make absolutely certain to keep garbage in tightly sealed containers with tight-fitting trash can lids. Cleaning of dumpsters and garbage containers daily could be required at certain times of the year. (Good sanitation is most important.)
Be sure to pick fruits as soon as they ripen. Clean up and dispose of any fallen fruit rotting on the ground. (Overripe pears and apples on the ground attract many yellowjackets.)
Person should avoid attracting insects by not wearing perfume, hair spray, hair tonic, suntan lotion, aftershave lotions, heavy-scented soaps, shampoos and other cosmetics when visiting areas where honey bees and wasps are prevalent.
Make certain to avoid shiny buckles, earrings and jewelry, bright, colored, flowery prints (in particular bright yellow, light blue, orange, fluorescent red), black, wool, and loose-fitting clothing that may trap stinging insects.
Beekeepers wear light-colored (white or light tan) cotton clothing, bee gloves, bee veil, long sleeves and coveralls to reduce unnecessary multiple stings. Wear a hat and closed shoes (not sandals or barefoot). There are no jackets (clothing) impregnated with chemicals repellent to yellowjackets.
Hypersensitive persons should never be alone when hiking, boating, swimming, golfing, fishing or participating in any outdoor activity since help might be needed to begin prompt emergency treatment measures if stung.
It’s wise to carry or have an identification bracelet or necklace, such as “Medic Alert,” to alert others when sudden shock-like (anaphylactic) symptoms or unconsciousness (fainting) occurs after one or more stings. Medic Alert tags may be purchased from Medic Alert Foundation, Box 1009, Turlock, California 95380 (Telephone 209-668-3333).
Yellowjacket Sting Treatment
After being stung, immediately apply a poultice of a meat tenderizer to the wound. When the sting is not deep, this will break down the components of the sting fluid, decling pain. Moreover, a commercial prescription preparation like ANA Emergency Insect Sting Kit and Insect Sting Kit could be used.
Antihistamine ointments and tablets, taken orally, appear effective in lowering reactions to stings. However, individuals who are highly sensitive to stings ought to consider a desensitization program in an allergy clinic.
Contact a physician about medical kits like Epipen, which contains chlortrimeton (antihistamine) tablets and aqueous epinephrine (adrenalin) ready for injection, a tourniquet and sterile alcohol swabs for cleaning the injection site.