Home Remedies for Wasp Stings

home remedies for wasp stings

Accidentally disturb a wasp while enjoying the great outdoors and you’ll increase your chances of receiving a sharp reminder why it’s not nice to cross paths with an angry insect. Getting stung is no picnic, especially if you’re allergic. With more than 25,000 species of wasps existing in the world today, it’s in your best interest to become familiar with home remedies for wasp stings.

Identifying a Wasp

Wasps belong to the order Hymenoptera, suborder Apocrita, which represents yellow jackets, bees, hornets, and even ants. They dwell in all 50 states. Some of the most common wasps are the yellow jacket and hornet, which live in groups, colonies, and in temperate climates. But, not all wasps live in groups. There are solitary species, like the mud wasp, which builds a nest in the crevices of windows and paralyzes smaller insects they bring back to their nest.

Hornets are usually black with some yellow marking found on the head and thorax. They use trees, bushes and buildings for the construction of their paper-like homes. Yellow jackets display black and yellow stripes on the abdomen. They choose to live underground in nests built during the springtime [1]. Especially beware of the yellow jacket, which is known to aggressively attack.

Wasp on Flower

Causes and Symptoms

Wasps typically sting people and animals when they feel threatened or their nest (or territory) is disturbed. During the months that provide mild or warm temperatures, the risk of being stung by a wasp increases. The disturbance of a nest is greater at this time, as you clean up your yard, rake the leaves, trim bushes, and clean windows. Disrupting a hidden nest can lead to multiple wasp stings as the insects attempt to defend their territory. Other risk factors for wasp stings include:

• Wearing perfume, hairspray, soaps, deodorants, and sunscreen with a scent
• Bright colors, especially floral designs
• Rotting fruit from trees
• Open garbage pails
• Isolated settings, like partially closed wooden sheds

If stung, mild irritation and pain usually set in. Swelling, redness, itching, a local infection, and skin hives are also common responses to a wasp sting. However, extreme reactions indicate an allergy. It is important to monitor your symptoms. Sadly, wasp stings are responsible for 90 to 100 deaths per year.

Wasp Sting Home Remedies

Treating a wasp sting at home is an easy task with plenty of remedies found in your kitchen cabinet, medicine chest and refrigerator. However, if you experience excessive pain, nausea or vomiting after a sting, seeking medical attention is a must. When no severe reactions are present, make sure to periodically sterilize the sting site with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide after trying out one of the following home remedies for wasp stings:

a) Butter Knife:

One of the first things you must do in order to treat a wasp sting is remove the stinger. A dull butter knife can come in handy. Simply scrape it against your skin in the opposite direction that the stinger entered your skin.

b) Apple Cider Vinegar:

Use the acid found in apple cider vinegar to neutralize the venom of a wasp sting. Soak a cotton pad with the vinegar and place on the sting site until the pain fades.

c) Ice:

After removing the stinger, reduce swelling by placing two to three ice cubes in a washcloth and pressing over the sting site. Apply ice packs to the skin for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.

d) Tylenol or Aspirin: [2]

Ease the pain of a sting by taking an over-the-counter product that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

e) Penny:

An old wives tale? It is said that the copper found in a penny has the power to counteract the sting of a wasp. Tape a penny to the skin and wait 15 minutes before removing.

f) Meat Tenderizer:

Treat a wasp sting with a paste made out of meat tenderizer and water. Make sure that the tenderizer used is unseasoned.

g) Basil:

Release the natural oils of basil by crushing a fresh leaf or two. Directly press to the sting site and hold in place for five minutes.

h) Tweezers:

Make sure to remove all remnants of a wasp stinger from your skin by using a pair of slant tip tweezers.

i) Aloe Vera Gel:

Speed up the healing process and enjoy soothing relief by applying aloe vera gel.

j) Hydrocortisone Cream:

To lessen the threat of suffering an allergic reaction, reach into your medicine cabinet for a topical hydrocortisone cream[3].

k) Baking Soda:

Soothe an irritated sting site by applying baking soda. Another option is to mix equal parts of baking soda and vinegar to create a paste for the skin.

l) Lemon:

The acid of lemons neutralizes the venom of wasp stings. Apply a few drops of lemon juice or hold a fresh slice of lemon over the sting site to eradicate pain.

m) Garlic:

Treat a wasp sting by crushing a fresh clove of garlic and applying to the sting site. Cover with a Band-Aid and allow the natural healing effects to take place.

n) Cucumber:

Fight the pain of a wasp sting by placing a freshly sliced piece of cucumber over the sting site and hold in place until relief comes to the rescue.

o) Potato:

Slice a potato and place the cut side of one half directly on your wasp sting. Hold the potato in place to enjoy instant pain relief.

p) Onion:

After removing the stinger, cut an onion in half and gently rub on the sting site. Within five minutes, the swelling, redness and pain should subside. The onion also contains helpful antibacterial properties.

q) Mud:

Have you ever heard that you can treat the irritation of a wasp sting by applying mud to the skin?

r) Preparation-H:

Treat the itchiness of a wasp sting with Preparation-H.

s) Olive Oil:

To increase the rate of healing and gain pain relief, rub olive oil on a wasp sting.


[1] http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/169324-overview

[2] http://www.tylenol.com/

[3] http://www.aveeno.com/product/aveeno-+1-+hydrocortisone+anti-itch+cream+.do