Help! I've Been Stung By A Wasp In Chicago

Wasp on a drinking glass.
Everyone loves running through the sprinklers on a scorching hot day, but if you have a wasp infestation on your Chicago property, spending time in your yard could be dangerous. Wasps are aggressive summertime pests with bad attitudes and venomous stingers, and a large enough infestation is hazardous to your health. These grumpy pollinators are always ready to pick a fight, so you need to know how to care for a wasp sting if you ever have to deal with one.

What Do Wasps Look Like?

There are over 30,000 different types of wasps globally, but luckily, most of those species are harmless to humans. There are significantly fewer wasp species in Chicago as well, and only a handful of them cause problems in neighborhoods:

  • Paper wasps – 3/4 of an inch long, hairless, a variety of colors including brown, orange, red, black, or yellow markings with smoky black wings; they build aerial paper-like social nests in trees and patio overhangs.
  • Cicada killers – two inches long, hairless, black and yellow abdomens with dark orange thoraxes; they build solitary nests underground.
  • Yellowjackets – 5/8 of an inch long, hairless, black and yellow markings with translucent wings; they build social nests underground and in wall voids.
  • Mud daubers – between one and a half to two inches long, hairless, color varies between black, metallic blue, and black with yellow markings; they have a thread-like waist and build solitary mud tube nests on flat surfaces.
  • Bald-faced hornets – roughly an inch long, slightly fuzzy, black with pale-yellow markings; they build aerial paper-like social nests in trees and patio overhangs.

The most aggressive species of wasps are the ones that live in colonies, also known as social wasps. Solitary wasps are much more docile and only sting when directly threatened or handled, but they'll sound very aggressive if you get too close.

Did You Get Stung By A Wasp?

Stinging insects are difficult to differentiate between because they're closely related and look incredibly similar, but if you're stung by one, then there's an easy way to tell the difference. When a bee stings a person, their stinger gets stuck in the epidermis and detaches from the abdomen as they fly off, and they later perish from it. Wasps don't die when they sting, though, because they don't lose their stingers. They can also sting multiple times if they're feeling particularly aggressive, so if you don't have a stinger stuck in your skin and multiple stings from a single insect, then the culprit is most likely a wasp.

How To Treat A Wasp Sting

A wasp sting could be as harmless as localized pain and swelling or as life-threatening as anaphylaxis, so you need to know how to treat a wasp sting and what signs to look for if symptoms worsen:

  1. Thoroughly wash the sting site with warm soapy water, then gently pat it dry.
  2. Apply a cold compress such as a cold pack or ice wrapped in a towel. This will help reduce pain and swelling.
  3. Take some anti-inflammatory medication – acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen are excellent choices.
  4. Apply antihistamine to the affected area to help reduce itchiness.
  5. If someone else was stung, you don't know if you're allergic; monitor symptoms closely to ensure they don't worsen. If you or your loved one experiences more severe symptoms (nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, full-body rash), seek medical attention immediately.

It's always advised to avoid situations where getting stung by wasps is a possibility, but if you have a wasp infestation on your property, avoiding the wrong end of an angry pest isn't easy. This summer, your local Chicago pest control company can help you protect your loved ones from dangerous pests like stinging insects.

How To Keep Wasps From Taking Over Your Property

It's dangerous to live with a wasp nest on your Chicago property, but it's just as hazardous to try to get rid of wasps. Don't put you and your family at risk this year; rely on our pest experts at Aerex Pest Control to take care of stinging insects. We only use high-quality pest control products that are registered by the Environmental Protection Agency, we have over 70 years of pest control experience, and we know how to stop wasps from coming back. Summertime should be enjoyed outdoors, so if you have a stinging insect problem, contact us today about our summer pest services.

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