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Tis the Season for Insects That Sting - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Tis the Season for Insects That Sting

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From the National Pest Management Association:

It's officially summer ­a popular time for people to spend outdoors at barbeques or completing home maintenance projects. But, these warm months also signal the most active season for pests that can put a stinger in everyone's fun.

Stinging insects such as bees, yellowjackets and wasps are more than just a seasonal nuisance; they can pose a significant threat to your health as well. In fact, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reports that more than 500,000 people are sent to the emergency room every year due to insect stings.

Stinging insects are beneficial in that they pollinate plants and flowers and eat other harmful pests, but they also dole out painful stings and cause people anxiety about being stung. While in reality, bees and yellowjackets rarely sting unless provoked, more aggressive species like wasps can sting in painful attacks if they feel threatened

As a result, the NPMA is reminding people to protect themselves from these unpleasant pests with the following tips:

  • Wear shoes, especially in grassy areas.
  • Stinging insects are attracted to sweets; do not leave drinks or food in accessible areas.
  • Keep windows and doors properly screened.
  • Promptly remove garbage and store it in sealed receptacles.
  • If a stinging insect lands on your skin, resist the urge to swat and instead gently blow on it from a distance.
  • Do not attempt to remove a nest on your own, rather contact a licensed pest professional for assistance.
  • If stung, remove the stinger, clean the area with soap and cold water and apply ice. Benadryl and hydrocortisone ointment may also help calm the reaction.
  • Should you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as tongue and throat swelling, wheezing, dizziness, shortness of breath or drop in blood pressure, call 911.
  • If one lands on your skin, resist the urge to swat and instead gently blow on it from a distance.
  • If stung, remove the stinger, clean the area with soap and cold water and apply ice. Benadryl and hydrocortisone ointment may also help calm the reaction.
  • If allergic to stinging insects, learn how to use an epinephrine kit and carry it with you at all times.
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