An entomologist by the name of Justin Schmidt claimed that he had been stung by just about everything. He said a small bee was like a “lover biting your earlobe a little too hard”, while a European wasp sting was like being “chained in the flow of an active volcano”. Many people, unfortunately, have personal experience and all agree a European wasp sting is incredibly painful.
Officially, the Victorian health department is warning that European wasp numbers are “increasing in Australia” due to our climate and advises you to expect the following from a wasp sting:
- Sharp pain or burning at the sting site
- A raised welt around the perimeter of the sting
- A tiny white mark in the middle of the welt where the stinger punctured the skin.
In most cases, the pain should drop from an 11 out of 10 to a 9 out of 10 within five minutes or so, and then continue to improve over the next few hours. But those whose bodies tend to be more sensitive to stings should also look out for extreme redness and swelling that only gets worse. In those cases, or if you’ve been stung 5 times or more in a single attack, a visit to the doctor is recommended.
Around one in 10 people who are stung by wasps can experience allergic reactions. Signs can be severe itching and burning sensations through to swelling in the throat and difficulty breathing or swallowing. The most severe allergic reaction is anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening. If you suspect anaphylaxis, don’t hesitate and call 000 immediately.
Wasp Sting Treatment
If you’re unlucky enough to be tackling a European wasp sting, the first thing to do after screaming out in pain is to return to your usual cool, calm self and head straight to the freezer for an ice pack. You can expect a few days of pain, so the quicker you can start the pain and inflammation relief program, the better. Next up, treat the sting like any other wound and clean it with warm, soapy water, and then start to monitor your reaction in case it becomes extreme and you need medical attention.
So, in the searing heat of Victoria’s summer, what else should you know about a European wasp sting?
1. There’s a nest nearby
Rest assured, European wasps aren’t evil – they simply sting in the same way that a magpie swoops. That’s right, they’re protecting their nest, so you can be sure there’s one nearby – and don’t forget, a ‘super-nest’ can house up to 100,000 wasps.
2. They’re distressed
A cool, calm European wasp is much less likely to attack you than one that is aggravated. So if you spot one – think of a bee and now make it bigger and brighter – leave it alone, because your chances of getting stung multiple times increase massively if the wasp feels distressed or provoked.
3. A sting won’t kill them
We learned in the 2007 film Bee Movie that bees die when they sting you. Unfortunately, that’s definitely not the case for European wasps, who when irritated are quite happy to keep stinging you over and over and over without ever leaving that stinger behind.
What to do if you spot a European wasp
As we warned above, if you’ve seen a European wasp or two around your place, you can assume there’s a nest somewhere nearby – where a LOT more wasps are hanging out. So rather than wage war with a single wasp that will have grand plans to sting you and call in reinforcements, instead spend your time looking for its nest. You’ll find it:
- Anywhere hidden
- In holes in the ground
- Along hedges
- In retaining walls
- In rubbish heaps or old furniture and items
- In compost heaps or piles of grass clippings
- In roofs, walls and sheltered parts of buildings.
Once you locate it, fight your urge to go to war with an army of angry European wasps and instead call in professional pest technicians for wasp nest removal.
Only a trained, licensed, knowledgeable and highly experienced Melbourne pest control services like Cannon Pest Management can save you the pain and suffering of a battle with a European wasp nest thanks to our specialised knowledge, techniques products & equipment. Need to get rid of your European wasp problem today? Give us a call right now.