What You Need To Know About Yellowjackets
I had the wonderful experience of being stung by Yellowjackets on Sunday and from my painful lesson, I have information to pass down.
First, those sting hurt like hell! It feels like it's stinging me over and over. bee stings are nothing compared to this. You need to avoid these aggressive wasp family members.
Here's the thing though, they hide their nests. I was standing over the one I came across. They built it under a step going up the bank of my backyard. There I was walking the dog and they just started attacking. The closer you get to the nest the more angry they get.
They will sting over and over. Unlike bees, yellowjackets don't lose their stinger and die. they can go at it as long as they feel like it.
Yellowjackets love wood. They "winterize" in wood and build nests in spring. If you think you've killed the nest come winter, you are wrong. They simply let it die and relocated. So if, like us, you have a wood pile in your side yard, they are probably in there too. They make their nests out wood fiber. Get rid of any unnecessary old wood.
If you get stung, immediately put an ice cube on it. That will keep the swelling at bay. Wash the area with warm soapy water, then re-apply the ice.
Remove ice and apply either a baking soda paste, wet tea bag or deodorant with aluminum in it to draw out the venom. The stinger should not be in your skin, as they keep it. Rarely, it will get stuck in you.
Next, apply an ice pack and take pain medication. then, wait it out. Severe reactions, like anaphylaxis can show up anywhere from minutes after the attack to 20 hours later. this needs immediate treatment at the emergency room and an epi-pen.
The basic rule of thumb when dealing with yellowjackets is simple: avoid them at all costs. they are mean and nasty. And their stings HURT!