Home remedies for yellow jacket stings: In case you are wondering, yellow jackets are NOT bees, even though they are very often mistaken to be. This might have a little something to do with their similarities in size and general appearance. Yellow jackets, however, are a lot more dangerous than bees can ever be- when they decide to sting. They are wasps that have black and yellow stripes on their bodies. They do not sting unless threatened physically, much like other bees. Also, if they find that their nests are being compromised, they may defend it by attacking people around them.
The Sting of a Yellow Jacket: Painful or Not?
Before we move on to the list of home remedies for yellow jacket stings, here is what you should know about them. Do stings of yellow jackets hurt? Of course, they do! They are also capable of delivering many stings. A mild sting can cause swelling, itching sensation, pain and even inflammation in some cases. Thankfully, mild stings can be easily treated at home with either first aid or some natural ingredients from your kitchen pantry.
Things are not always as dandy, however; some people may develop serious allergic reactions to the sting of a yellow jacket, and experience slurred speech, weakness in the body, breathing difficulties, chest tightness, tongue swelling, vomiting, fainting, confusion, and headaches. If you experience any of these symptoms, rush to your doctor immediately. Post-treatment, the symptoms should subdue in a day or two.
What if the stinger remains on my skin?
This may come across as a horrific scenario, but the important thing is to stay calm and remove it from your skin as soon as possible. Scoop it out with a pair of tweezers and wash the area with cold water. Do not squeeze it out because this will only release more venom into your body, worsening the situation. Post-removal, you may try some of the home remedies for yellow jacket stings which we have enlisted in this article to get rid of the pain:
7 Home Remedies for Yellow Jacket Stings Gathered from Your Kitchen
1. Cold Compress
Needless to say, this is the first step that needs to be taken after any bee sting. Use a cold compress. You may apply cold compresses on the affected area before trying out anything else on it. This will not only help bring down possible swelling or inflammation but will also numb the nerves, so the pain does not feel as intense. Studies have shown that cold compresses, combined with lidocaine or corticosteroid lotions are very effective in managing the stings of a yellow jacket. The procedure is quite simple:
- Throw in a few ice cubes into a bowl of water, and dip a piece of cloth in it.
- Wring out excess water and dab this piece of cloth on the sting.
- Keep dabbing for a good 10 minutes; repeat the procedure for a couple more times in the next 24 hours to really embrace the numbness and feel the pain slip away.
- Tip: It is important to note that you should never dab an ice cube directly onto the skin. This can lead to frostbite. Also, you may choose to use a bag of frozen vegetables or a cold bottle of water instead of cloth.
White and apple cider vinegar are both excellent home remedies for yellow jacket stings, in fact works great on any insect bite or sting. It is the acetic acid in the composition of vinegar that acts effectively: its anti-inflammatory properties drives away potential swelling and inflammation. It begins to work instantly and neutralizes the acid present in the venom and also reduces pain and itching that accompany an insect sting. So, how do you use vinegar to treat yellow jacket stings?
- Pour vinegar into a bowl. Dab a cotton ball into the vinegar and let it soak in the solution for a bit. Place this cotton ball onto the affected area for about 10 minutes and repeat.
- You may also choose to create a paste from a mixture vinegar and meat tenderizer. Apply and leave this paste on the affected area for 30 minutes. After this, rinse with warm water and repeat as required.
Honey is a great home remedy that extends instant relief from potential symptoms that come with the sting of a yellow jacket! It is perhaps the enzymes present in honey that promote the neutralization of the acidity from the venom. This further helps negate the pain and itching sensations in less than a few minutes. Additionally, honey has amazing antibacterial properties that prevent further chances of infection.
- Directly smear raw honey onto the affected area and leave it be for half an hour (until the honey dries out on the skin). Once this is done, you may rinse it off with lukewarm water. This can be used as your lotion for the next couple of days.
- You may also create a potent remedy by mixing honey with turmeric and apply it to the affected area.
4. Baking Soda
Yes, baking soda makes great cookies. It is also a one of the most effective home remedies for yellow jacket stings. This is mostly because of the alkaline properties that baking soda possesses, which aids in the neutralization of the acidity from the sting. This promotes instant relief and reduces itching. It also helps bring down inflammation and redness, if any.
- Make a paste by mixing baking soda with water and apply it to the affected area. After this, rinse it off with lukewarm water and repeat in a few hours.
5. Activated Charcoal
This is a less known remedy, but acts like a charm in treating the sting of a yellow jacket. Activated charcoal has amazing absorption properties that help remove toxic substances present in the body. Also, if used right after stung, it helps bring down the swelling significantly.
- Rub wet charcoal on a band-aid and apply it on the affected area. Leave it be for a few hours, after which you have to replace with a fresh charcoal-dipped band-aid. Repeat as required.
Yellow jacket stings can be more painful than you expect them to be. But, worry not, for you have just the remedy you need to treat them right in your kitchen. Onions! Yes, onions can come in handy if you get stung by a yellow jacket while gardening. Onions soothe inflammation and also keeps the insects, miles away from you.
- Slice a medium sized onion and rub it gently on the affected area for a few minutes. Allow its juice to soak into your skin for 15 minutes. Rinse with water and repeat until you get relief.
- You may also wrap a slice of onion and bind it on the affected area using gauze. Let it stay for half an hour before you rinse off.
A nice yellow and ripe plantain makes a great midday snack, doesn’t it? You’d be surprised how many health experts recommend plantain for yellow jacket stings! It has amazing healing properties for quick relief from pain and helps bring down swelling and itching.
- All you need to do is extract the juice from plantain leaves and apply it to the affected area. Once dry, rinse it off with warm water and repeat it a few times a day, until healed.
- You may also consume activated charcoal capsule to fasten recovery.
It is not every day that you will get stung by a yellow jacket. But, when you do, try these home remedies for yellow jacket stings, and trust us when we say they do work!