Yellow Jacket Sting Swelling: First Aid for Yellow Jacket Wasp Sting

Yellow jackets can look like the common honey bee minus the fuzz. Unlike the honey bee which uses their stingers as a last resort, the yellow jacket can sting even without provocation. What’s more is that the yellow jacket can sting multiple times and can bite as well. It is dangerous to encounter a yellow jacket so it is important to know how to deliver first aid treatment especially when stung.

Yellow Jacket Sting Swelling

  • Yellow jackets not only sting, it can bite as well.
  • Yellow jacket stingers are not barbed and so it can sting numerous times.
  • With each sting, more venom is injected into the human body.
  • When the stinger is left in place, the pain and the swelling will not subside.
  • Persons allergic to wasp venoms are at risk of experiencing an anaphylactic reaction.

Yellow Jacket Sting Symptoms

Local reactions:

  • Pain – severe and lasts for 1 to 2 hours.
  • Itching – follows after pain.
  • Swelling – can increase after 24 hours following a sting and can last for seven days.
  • Redness – lasts for 3 days.

Anaphylactic reactions:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chest tightness
  • Tongue Swelling
  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Slurred Speech

Yellow Jacket Sting First Aid

  • Move the patient to a safe area far from the reach of the yellow jackets as possible.
  • Remove the stinger. Do not pull it out because squeezing the stinger can cause more venom to be injected into the body.
  • When removing the stinger, use a dull knife and scrape it in the opposite direction of the stinger.
  • Apply an ice pack over the site to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Apply hydrocortisone cream over the site.
  • Administer antihistamines.
  • For anaphylactic cases:
    • Check if the person is carrying any medications or kit.
    • Administer antihistamines.
    • Place the person on a trendelenburg position where the feet are higher than the head.
    • Loosen any tight clothing.
    • To prevent aspiration, turn the patient to the side.
    • Initiate CPR when indicated.
    • If an epinephrine pen is available, administer it as indicated.

Yellow Jacket Sting Swelling Home Treatment

  • Make a baking soda paste and apply to the site to relieve swelling and associated symptoms.
  • Apply ice pack over the site to relieve swelling.
  • Take a bath with Epson salts to help reduce swelling.
  • Apply meat tenderizer to help neutralize venom.
  • Apply mudpack as this helps draw out the venom.
  • Apply salt paste over the area to draw out the venom.

2 thoughts on “Yellow Jacket Sting Swelling: First Aid for Yellow Jacket Wasp Sting

  • September 25, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    I am a disabled female. For about the last three weeks I hear a buzzing noise in the kitchen. I always find at least one yellow jacket behind the curtains. For the life of me, I can’t find a nest. I also have two small dogs and I’m afraid they might get stung as well as me. Any suggestions?

    • September 27, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      • Store your pet food as well as other food in secured place which is not accessible to yellow jacket.
      • Do not put sugar or any sweet substance without proper covering.
      • Cucumber is a natural wasp repellent. It has acidic nature and wasps do not like it.
      • Hang a crumpled paper bag and hang it near the door and window. Give it a feeling that it is a nest. Yellow jackets and other wasps are territorial and they do not usually enter in each other’s territory. The crumpled bag gives a feeling of nest of other wasp and thus yellow jacket will avoid entering your house.


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