• Michael Perrino

How to Deal with Hornet Stingers



Insect stings are a common, painful occurrence. There are several species of wasps with stingers, the most widespread being yellowjackets (common wasp) and hornets. When a hornet stings a person and leaves the stinger stuck in the skin, it is essential to get rid of it as soon as possible.


So how do you deal with hornet stingers? Extract the stinger with a hard material, such as a blunt knife, a credit card or even your own fingernail. Don’t use tweezers to squeeze out the stinger because it still contains a significant amount of venom that’s detrimental to the body. If the pain is unbearable, you can take painkillers. However, if someone has an allergic reaction to wasp venom, they should seek immediate medical attention and not rely on alternative remedies alone.


What to Do When A Hornet Stings You

A hornet sting can cause someone to panic and make it even harder for them to recover from the sting. Below are a few things to keep in mind just in case you get that dreaded hornet sting:


1. Act on Your Feet

The most crucial thing is to work quickly. A stinger stuck in a person's skin may be connected to a stinger sac, which will last to release venom. This venom sac causes the swelling and pain associated with a bee sting Eliminating the stinger decreases the possibility of injecting more venom into the patient's body.


2. Be Calm and Breathe Well

The initial reaction of any person after an insect bite is to panic. However, people should try to be still, especially when extracting the stinger.Unlike bees that only sting once, wasps and hornets can sting many times because they don’t leave their stingers back. You should quickly walk away from the area where the sting occurred to prevent further attacks.


3. Practice Preventive Measures

Whatever you do, don’t swat hornets, especially when wearing light-colored clothing, and perfume or cologne.If you’re walking outside, stay away from flowering plants as well.


Methods to Remove Hornet Stingers:

Hornets possess a smooth stinger, which means they do not lose the stingers right after they sting. If you’re not sure whether the hornet left its stinger stuck in your skin, it’s best to examine the site of the sting to guarantee there is nothing left in the skin.

If you’re trying to remove a stinger in your skin, observe the following rules:

  • Stay cool and calm to prevent any additional attacks.

  • If the stinger is still attached to the skin, remove it as quickly as possible with a hard but blunt object, such as a butter knife, a credit card or gripping the stinger with your own fingernail to reduce the volume of venom injected into the body.

  • Using soap and water, wash the area where the stinger penetrated the skin. Cleansing the spot will eliminate any residual venom.

Treating Other Painful Stings



1. Fire Ant Stings

The fire ant sting usually produces pressing pain and a red, swollen area, which fades within 45 minutes. For some, the pain duration is within 5-10 minutes or 15-20 minutes. For others, it's longer. Just make sure to wash the area with soap and water and use an over-the-counter antihistamine.


2. Spider Bites

Just like hornet stings and fire ant stings, make sure to wash the area with soap and water. Then apply ice to reduce extreme swelling and intense pain. If you need to,take an over-the-counter painkiller for the brown recluse or black widow bites, because these spider bites are much more intense than others. Clean the spot immediately with rubbing alcohol, then seek medical emergency care if needed. Finally, place a gauze bandage dipped in vinegar on the spot to neutralize the alkaline sting.


Home Treatment and Aftercare


The skin will likely be puffy and reddish upon getting rid of the stinger and cleaning the area. You can attend this at home. Some home remedy methods include:

  • Taking off any tight-fitting clothing for comfort.

  • Applying a handy ice pack: a bag of ice cubes and cold packs will reduce pain and severe swelling for an individual bite.

  • Elevating a stung limb to reduce swelling.

  • Taking pain relievers/painkillers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to provide instant relief.

  • Applying an antihistamine, hydrocortisone cream, or topical cream to the actual sting area to ease the itchiness if your healthcare provider permits it. The itchiness can stretch for hours after the initial sting.)

  • Using chamomile as an alternative to anti-itch creams if your prefer natural treatments.

  • Using an epinephrine auto-injector if you have one, or if you see someone else experiencing an allergic reaction.

  • Applying baking soda to the site of sting, blending 1-2 tablespoons of water with the baking soda to offset the sting and lessen soreness.

  • Applying insect repellent for future protection.

Identifying Different Allergic Reactions


Symptoms of allergy may appear on a person stung by hornets, which are usually moderate and controllable. These usually don’t require medical attention. But if someone has a hornet sting allergy, they may have an extreme immune response. This requires urgent medical attention like taking emergency medicines.


Hornet stings among allergic people may cause anaphylaxis, a possibly fatal medical condition. This medical condition makes the immune system release a flood of chemicals, causing the person to go into shock. Blood pressure drops abruptly, and airways narrow, which then restricts breathing.


Below are signs of an allergic reaction to hornet stings:

  • nausea

  • abdominal pain

  • tingling sensations

  • wheezing

  • difficulty breathing

  • dizziness

  • swelling of the lips and tongue

  • hives(urticaria)

  • generalized itching

  • minor discomfort and soft stool

  • loss of consciousness

  • rapid heartbeat

Seek Medical Attention and Medical Care



For People

Any person who experiences a bad reaction or any of the symptoms above should call emergency services right away or visit an ambulatory emergency clinic to get help. If the swelling doesn't go down after a couple of days, you may need to see a doctor for a complete examination. Below are necessary to gauge how intense an allergic reaction to hornet stingers could be:

  • Blood and urine tests may be required to rule out organ damage.

  • In most cases, a transfusion reaction can be diagnosed based on clinical signs alone.

  • Individuals who experience a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting sometimes undergo desensitization (allergen immunotherapy) for several years to prevent future allergic reactions.

For Pets

Pets are also vulnerable to hornet stings and stingers being stuck in their skin. If you see your pet attacked by hornets and it starts drooling excessively, immediately go to the veterinary emergency clinic. Let the experts treat your pet, then consult for proper dosing of their medicines, ask the appropriate pet food for your pet at this time, as well as supplements and any more necessary things or procedures to help your pet recover. Below are tips for pet aftercare:.

  • Usually, dry food softened with water is less likely to upset the gastrointestinal tract than canned food for cats and dogs.

  • Pets that are stung in the mouth may have a hard time eating, so feed them moist food, but they need to maintain hydration and food intake.

  • You can give your pet an oatmeal bath to help soothe the pain or irritation coming from hornet stings.

Prevent Hornet Attacks with Midway Pest Management


To prevent potential threat and future insect stings that come along with aerial nests, wasp nests, and any type of insect territories that can harm you and your loved ones, get in touch with Midway Pest Management. With our team of experts, we bring fast and easy solutions for insect infestations and other pest problems. Contact us today.

Learn More: Hornet Nests vs Wasp Nests: Know the Difference

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