Wasp/Hornet/Yellow Jacket sting?

Options
westrich20940
westrich20940 Posts: 889 Member
Hey - random I know...but I have not been stung by anything since my childhood (and I'm pretty sure that was some kind of wasp that came from the ground and stung my ankle. And I don't remember my symptoms really other than that it hurt).

On Friday ~5pm I got stung by something --- I don't have a picture of it, and the only body I was able to find was of one my neighbor (who thankfully was handing out in his driveway as this happened) stepped on...so it didn't look great. I got stung in my ear, which immediately was very painful (like a radiating pain)...and then got really beet red/swollen. The swelling was pretty local to the sting area, I did not feel a stinger stuck in me or anything. The lobe of my ear seemed unaffected by redness or swelling...but the rest of my ear was swollen. I washed the stinged area, put ice on it for a bit and took a 25mg Benadryl.

As far as I can tell I didn't have any type of serious reaction --- everything seems normal so far....but my ear yesterday (Sunday) was still a bit swollen, red, and a bit warm and starting to itch. It could be more red/irritated bc I was itching it...but it's definitely still a bit warm too (this is the thing that I worry most about).

So I took more Benadryl last night before bed (Benadryl makes me feel basically high...lol so not a daytime thing I can do). I looked what I could up on the internet but I want to know when I should consider going to a doctor to make sure I don't have cellulitis or some other sort of complication. I've seen that the symptoms of a wasp sting can last a couple days to a week....a week seems wild to me to be itchy/red/swollen/warm from a sting. But maybe that's just the way it is, lol.

I'll give you what info I can about the insect --- it was only slightly larger than a honey bee, it had yellow and black on it's back part (not super pronounced yellow though so I don't think it's a yellow jacket, at least based on pictures of those I've seen...they seem to have a lot of yellow). And after I was stung I tried to go back to my front door thinking it was just a wasp hanging around the shudders and that it was gone...but then I basically got dive-bombed again...and ran like a crazy person around my front yard, haha. That happened twice until I stood and looked hard and saw 2 of these insects on the railing of the stairs that lead to the porch/front door. It's just a crappy little metal railing but the nuts/bolts are able to be put in on any side...so there are 4 holes that are unused, leaving the pole open and it's hollow on the inside. My neighbor came over with some wasp spray and saw that they were inside the poll, apparently trying to set up shop so he sprayed what he could into the hole...but it's a very small hole and I don't think you can really get too much exactly into it (I'd love to empty a can inside there but that's not really possible unless I could attach a tube to stick in there or something). Anyway he tried to tell me they were bees...but I know they weren't. Some flew out at him as he sprayed (he seemed not bothered, lol)...and I assume that the spray is the kind where the residue still kills whatever touches it. The next day, I slowly walked out, pounded on the railing to see if anything flew out and they all seem dead/gone now. So we will need to plug up the holes or the whole railing so they don't come back...and also a friend of mine told us to fill a brown paper bag with other stuff (like plastic bags) and tie it up/hang it near our front porch to discourage any other wasps from deciding it's a good home for them.

Anyway - the itching is getting pretty bad now and my ear is still swollen, red, and (most worrying to me) warm/hot ---- is this normal and I'm just getting worried over nothing?

Replies

  • OpheliaCooter
    OpheliaCooter Posts: 1,635 Member
    Options
    I’m not a doctor or any medical person but unless you think it got infected it’s probably just a sensitive part of the body. I would imagine the ear to not take well to a sting. Hope you get it sorted out and do what’s best for you! I alway throw tea tree oil in everything so that’s what I’d do, a nobody.
  • callsitlikeiseeit
    callsitlikeiseeit Posts: 8,627 Member
    Options
    sounds like a wasp.

    you sound like you are fine (as far as the physical reaction goes) lol

    we live on a farm and the trick with the brown bag stuffed with other bags (crinkle it up so it looks all ... well, crinkled up) and hung with twine WORKS. probably better than any other wasp deterrent out there. at least on our farm it does. I have them in all our barns, sheds, and under our deck. For us, they last a few years, depending on how wet they get- the one under the deck is exposed to more rain, obviously, so I can get about 2 years out of that one.

    topical benadryl cream may help, too.
  • westrich20940
    westrich20940 Posts: 889 Member
    Options
    sounds like a wasp.

    you sound like you are fine (as far as the physical reaction goes) lol

    we live on a farm and the trick with the brown bag stuffed with other bags (crinkle it up so it looks all ... well, crinkled up) and hung with twine WORKS. probably better than any other wasp deterrent out there. at least on our farm it does. I have them in all our barns, sheds, and under our deck. For us, they last a few years, depending on how wet they get- the one under the deck is exposed to more rain, obviously, so I can get about 2 years out of that one.

    topical benadryl cream may help, too.

    Yes, I'm going to stop by the store to get a topical antihistamine cream too. And will definitely try the paper bag thing. I didn't really want to kill them - but I had to get back into my house, so that'll be a good alternative.
  • callsitlikeiseeit
    callsitlikeiseeit Posts: 8,627 Member
    Options
    the bags also keep carpenter bees away, if thats an issue in your area. those are harmless to people but can do serious damage to wood.
  • ReenieHJ
    ReenieHJ Posts: 9,724 Member
    Options
    the bags also keep carpenter bees away, if thats an issue in your area. those are harmless to people but can do serious damage to wood.

    Hmmm, never heard of the bag trick; how does that deter the bees?
    And are carpenter bees really big? Guess I'll have to google them. We've got some huge hornet thingies in our backyard some times and they're really nasty looking.

    OP, hope your bee sting gets better soon. Some stings/bites can take quite awhile to settle down and disappear. I had a tick bite this spring(I know you can't really compare the two :))that itched like crazy and felt warm for 2 weeks. Drove me absolutely crazy. :(
  • callsitlikeiseeit
    callsitlikeiseeit Posts: 8,627 Member
    edited August 2021
    Options
    ReenieHJ wrote: »
    the bags also keep carpenter bees away, if thats an issue in your area. those are harmless to people but can do serious damage to wood.

    Hmmm, never heard of the bag trick; how does that deter the bees?
    And are carpenter bees really big? Guess I'll have to google them. We've got some huge hornet thingies in our backyard some times and they're really nasty looking.

    They think it's another colony. Since they are territorial, they stay away from established colonies. They may buzz around a bit, but they're not very bright, won't figure out it's not real, and will wander off.

    carpenter bees are big and fat, kind of like super big jumbo bumble bees. VERY loud. but not interested in flowers or plants. just wood. They bore into it to lay their eggs.
  • jruch23
    jruch23 Posts: 1,069 Member
    edited September 2021
    Options
    I had an encounter with yellow jackets about a month ago. I was out mowing my grass and got stung twice on my ankle and the back of my other leg. I looked down and saw a couple clinging to my leg and quickly brushed them off and ran. The sting swelled up and was very painful. I finished the yard and looked for the nest but couldn't find it. The swelling lasted about 2 days. Well a week later I was mowing my grass again and looked around for any activity and didn't see anything. But sure enough, the same spot in my yard I got stung again on my ankle and this time it hurt even more. And the swelling lasted about 5 days this time. As it turns out, yellow jackets also can make nests under ground and I found their nest. I waited until night until all of them were back in the nest and emptied a whole can of foaming insecticide in the hole. Next day, didn't see any swarming around the hole. I got em!! Yellow jackets inject venom in their sting and can sting you or bite. They can also inject more venom than the first time if they choose to. Nasty things! I feel your pain. I iced it as much as I could and used Neosporin.
  • IFJagain
    IFJagain Posts: 96 Member
    edited September 2021
    Options
    I got stung on my wrist last Thursday while mowing the lawn. It's the first time in years since I've been stung and I didn't think much of it. In fact, my reaction was to swipe what was on my wrist at the time, thinking it was a horsefly and keep mowing.. I never got to see what stung me.

    When I realized I had been stung, I checked the spot, which was a little bit swollen but apparently the stinger did not stay in my wrist. By the evening, my forearm started to swell and was sore. By late evening, my armpit started to swell (oddly, my bicep was fine) so I went to the store and bought some Benadryl.

    Over the next couple of days, the swelling reduced and the pain subsided but the itching was still there. It has been about a week now and my arm is finally back to normal.